Nature vs Nurture

Great leaders are born, not made. This old adage still creates debate, even though most psychologists and military leaders believe that leaders are made and not simply born.

I often hear the same debate rumbling on about customer service – are those who are great at communicating with customers just using their natural skills or can you train people to work well in a customer service role?

Naturally I believe the latter is true. It’s a fact that some people are more friendly and outgoing and therefore suited to a role with customers, but training and developing specific skills can take customer service teams from good to great.

I have seen this throughout my career, so I know how vital targeted training is and we really make a lot of effort at Teleperformance to help people develop and improve.

Callcentre Helper magazine recently said that contact centre managers should “hire for attitude and train for skills”, which is really good advice – attitude is something that is often overlooked as exams and experience are all checked.

If someone doesn’t want to do a job, they won’t do it well regardless of training. If you go into a job with a positive attitude then success is far more likely to happen – with any employer and at any level of seniority.

This applies to any job, but in customer services attitude really takes on a new importance. Customers will be happy talking to someone who projects an attitude that they are working to fix the issue the customer called about. Even if a new team member is slower than desired, customers will forgive if they can feel that the agent is doing their best to help.

A bad attitude sours all of this goodwill. And it’s just no fun to work with someone who is always negative – let’s focus on the good things about what we do everyday… helping people.
Helping Hand

This entry was posted in Careers, Contact Centres, Customer Service, Human Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Nature vs Nurture

  1. AprilS says:

    This is really great advice! Not only is hiring people for attitude going to get you better employees for customer service, it also helps build a more positive corporate culture. Less arguing, whining, and the kinds of behaviors that come with people who have poor attitudes.
    Plus, you can train anyone with the right attitude to be awesome at customer service, as you said. Also, you get to train them how to do it your way and not the wrong way, which can be half the battle when retraining new employees.
    Great points…

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