Dan Maxwell
June 28, 2013

Coffee Cup.jpgSeems easy to confuse milk and cream! Found myself wondering again this morning if someone hadn’t put cream in my coffee instead of milk.

It got me thinking about the right kind of traits for good customer service. The person who served me wasn’t quite as sociable as one of the other staff at this location. So not as “bubbly”; but then, that should help them focus on the task at hand.

True, but it’s about accuracy … and the motivation for that comes from another trait – Detail Orientation. People with lower Sociability like to figure things out (more analytical), while those with higher Detail want to make sure they get it right – that it’s milk, not cream! Hmm … there’s a problem … the “Milk/Lait” box on my cup wasn’t checked off – someone skipped a detail!

The more obvious driver of good customer service is friendly communication – which of course, comes from higher Sociability. So it’s both Detail AND Sociability which make for a great customer service experience!

This illustrates an important point: it’s a combination of traits that makes someone a top performer – and this is true for any role. Engineers and Accountants have similar “most important” traits. Managers and Outbound Sales Representatives also have a typical “strongest trait” combination. In Customer Service roles, Detail is important for customer satisfaction, and Sociability creates a positive environment.

What specific combination of traits is best for roles in your organization? Just getting one of them right, can clearly impact performance.

In my situation, it may have only impacted my cholesterol count – I’ll no doubt drive through that same location for another coffee. But what does it cost your organization to be missing half the right trait combination?