By Valerie Cecil
According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, we all fall somewhere on a continuum on four different dimensions of personality. Each dimension has benefits and drawbacks for customer service representatives. Some representatives are better at handling emotional customers, while others are better with customers who know just what they want but need a little help with the details.
By understanding the different dimensions of personality, you’ll be better able to guess whether individual employees will do better in specific types of customer service situations. Read on to learn about various aspects of personality, and what they mean for your employees’ approach to customer service.
1. Introversion versus extroversion: Introverts tend to think before they speak, while extroverts speak first, then think about whether they meant what they said. From a customer service standpoint, it’s better to employ those who think first, but extroverts have certain other characteristics that make them successful in customer service positions too. For instance, while introverts need alone time to recharge, extroverts gain their energy from being around and interacting with others. Introverts enjoy one-on-one customer interactions, while extroverts often prefer making presentations to groups. Both types of individuals can be great at customer service, but if you notice characteristics of introversion or extroversion in your customer service representatives, use this knowledge to your advantage when assigning specific tasks.
2. Sensing versus intuition: Those who are better at sensing tend to live in the present, taking their cues from past experience to create common-sense, practical solutions to problems or issues that arise. Those who are intuitive, on the other hand, prefer thinking about future possibilities, and are imaginative and creative. For customer service representatives, it’s typically a benefit to be sensing, as this type of person is better able to solve current customer needs. Intuitive personalities, on the other hand, can sometimes find creative and unusual solutions to ordinary problems, and can be great at predicting customer needs in the future so as to fill holes you may not even know you have.
3. Thinking versus feeling: Thinking personalities are great at going through information and organizing it into logical categories. They’re able to stay detached where feeling personalities get emotionally involved. Feeling personalities hate conflict and are sensitive to the needs of others. For customer service representatives, both thinking and feeling can be a benefit, depending on the individual customer. Some customers want pure information and analysis, delivered as succinctly as possible, which is a great fit for thinkers, while others need to make an emotional connection to the salesperson or associate, which is where feelers can shine. Having a mix of thinking and feeling personalities on your staff means you’ll have both of these types of customer covered, and be able to call on whomever seems like a good fit for an individual customer.
4. Judging versus perceiving: Judging personalities tend to have a plan going into each new situation, whereas perceiving personalities are much more flexible and willing to adjust based on what’s going on around them. Judging personalities are detail-oriented, which is often a benefit to companies, and they enjoy taking action and working well ahead of deadlines. Perceiving personalities, on the other hand, are comfortable in unfamiliar situations in which they don’t already have a set plan, and work best under the pressure of an impending deadline. Judges, therefore, can often make persuasive salespeople, as they know where they’re headed in each customer interaction, but perceivers are better in unknown situations, such as when a customer is unhappy with a purchase or interaction he or she has had.
About the Author
Valerie Cecil is a research coordinator, marketing specialist and writer for Tissue Paper At Retail Packaging. Her work allows her to investigate many topics, ranging from online consumer relations to effective communication in the workplace. When she is not working, she enjoys kayaking, watercolor, and scouting out the best Tissue Paper At Retail Packaging out there.