CHICAGO, IL — You like the idea of customer service representatives? Well, don’t consider those folks as reps anymore. Now, call them customer serviceperformers.

According to several presenters at the most recent quarterly convention of Contractor Success Group, customer service representatives are critical to the success of a business. But their role needs to be redefined.

“We have to make sure we are training them just as much as we are training our installers, service techs, and accountants,” said Ray Diaz, Comerfords Service Experts, Pleasanton, CA.

The emphasis on performing comes from the corporate philosophy at Walt Disney, according to CSG’s Glenn Whelan. When Disney employees go before the public, they take the role of cast members of a production de-signed to entertain guests at the theme park. When contractor representatives talk to a customer, they are performers with a goal of giving a potential customer a positive image of the company and to assure them of exceptional service.

Customer service people, Whelan said, have to be up and ready regardless of personal problems. “Don’t bring your baggage from home. Be ready to answer the phone in a performance mode.”

Direction needs to come from the boss, he said. “Leaders need to spread cheer if a person is not feeling positive, if that person is going to be positive on the phone.”

Publication date: 09/18/2000