Should You Have a Niceness Quota?

I read a comment recently in reference to a company’s support policy requiring their customer support agents to fulfill a “niceness quota”.  As a result, agents are focused more on meeting their quota than solving the customer's issue.

After reading the comment, I thought about my own experiences interacting with support agents. How much of the conversations are focused on how I felt and how empathetic the agent is to my need for support. That is all good, but honestly, I just want my issue solved. I wanted my question answered.

Being nice is a must for anyone who has customer contact. Support agents must have empathy for the customer and a genuine desire to help resolve the customer’s issue. But do customers feel better when the “nice” statements are being read from a script? Is the empathy genuine when it is obvious the agent has made the same boilerplate statement 100 times today?

How much efficiency is lost when a 1-minute chat session is drawn out to 2 or 3 minutes with unnecessary dialog aimed at making me feel better? Would I rate my support engagement higher if I was able to get my question answered quicker? Would I feel better about the company if my problem was solved faster?

Call scripts should help guide the conversation. Having some prepared dialog to help defuse angry customers is helpful, but in my opinion, is not necessary for every engagement. The focus of a support engagement should be to clearly understand and address the issue as quickly as possible. The niceness of the agent should be real – not required.

I would love to hear from others on this topic. Please comment below.

Mark Tebault

Mark has more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing technology, creating learning programs, and developing and executing customer success strategies that create loyal customers and maximize revenue.


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