Monday, November 5, 2012

Which Pooh Customer Service Rep Are You?

I got to talking to a friend of mine the other day about books that shaped our spiritual beliefs.  One for me was The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff and its companion, The Te of Piglet.  While my copy of the Tao of Pooh is long gone, circling (hopefully) the hands of friends and friends-of-friends, I managed to dig up my old copy of The Te of Piglet.  Looking over the back cover, which characterized the major Pooh characters, I was struck by how they all represented one of the major customer service "archetypes."

For example, there is impulsive Tigger, always jumping off to his next adventure.

Sad and pessimistic Eeyore, never happy with anything.

The wise old owl, who over analyzes everything.

Rabbit, the rules stickler and know-it-all who likes to boss everyone around.

Then there is Pooh, loveable Pooh.  

And, of course, Christopher Robin and Piglet --brave and daring yet very unsure-of-himself Piglet.

Back Cover of Benjamin Hoff's "The Te of Piglet"

Am I right?  Sit around the break room of a call center and tell me I'm wrong.  Off the top of my head, I can think of several former colleagues who fit the description of one of these characters.

There are your Tiggers, who make judgements and decisions before gathering all the information.  They are the ones who know how to fix the problem before they know what it is, often jumping the gun and making matters worse.

Every call center has its Eeyore, i.e. the bellyacher.  The call stats aren't fair, the customers don't like him or her, the supervisor is on their butt too much.

I've met owls before -- on both ends of the phone.  The ones who insist on explaining how mail gets from point A to point B when all the customer wants to know is if the payment was posted.

All offices have the rabbits - the ones who think they're better than everyone else.  If only THEY were in charge, right?  They would know how to fix the call center's -- even the company's -- problems.

While Pooh himself might seem like an idea customer service rep let's face it, Pooh lacks a certain conviction in getting things done.  If you called Pooh about a problem, would you feel confident that it was getting fixed or that you were just getting a nice empathy statement?  I can see it now:

    CUSTOMER: I think you lost my payment.
    POOH: Oh bother.  Have you tried some honey for it?

You get the idea.

Piglet might make for a good customer service rep, but lacks the confidence needed to assure the customer.  These are the reps whose statements are peppered with comments like "maybes" and "shoulds."

That leaves Christopher Robin -- Easy to deal with, delightful to speak with, and willing to help.  In many ways, the ideal customer service rep.

So, which Pooh character are you?  Leave a comment below.  I get lonely sometimes.

Tashi Delek!