Use of Fear in Delivering Excellent Service?


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A few days ago, Kate Nasser published an interesting post called “Empathy in Customer Care – Lose Your Fear!

In it, she discussed how people are more willing to help others who are afraid rather than those who are angry. I even added a comment to the effect that this is an evolutionary trait that helped us to survive in a pre-civilization world.

But, let’s look at it from another perspective. Can fear be used as a motivator, to help you go further or does it make you “freeze up”? As rational, thinking beings, we have the capacity to overcome fear rather than allow ourselves to go into “fight or flight” mode.

Fear as an Enabler

Some of us use our fears to motivate us, identify points to improve and limitations to overcome. In these cases, our fear can be an enabler and help us become better at what we do. John Maxwell has a great example of this in a recent blog post: “Don’t Shun the Sting!

So do you use fear to help you improve or do you give in and flee (or worse fight)?

Customer Excellence and Fear

So can we use fear to improve customer service? Individually? Organizationally?

As individuals, we can always use our fear as a motivator to become better at what we do. But it has to come from within ourselves, personally.

I may be looking at this from only one side of the coin, but I really don’t see how fear can be used in a group setting. We cannot control the reactions of others and at least one person will react negatively. Unfortunately, in this case, emotions are “contagious” and the stronger the emotion, the more this is the case. Fear is a very strong emotion, you cannot control it’s spread.

Fear should not be used as a tool in any group setting. It is a purely personal tool to be used by those who are self-aware and ready to make the effort.

What do you think? Have you seen any positive use of fear in a group setting? Or does it always simply poison the work environment?



photo credit: Marco Bellucci

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eric Jacques
Customer Excellence Blog
Customer Service Excellence Advocate -- working as a Client Satisfaction Manager


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