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Customer Service Manager Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires the ability and motivation to serve all types of customers and uses customer contacts to build relationship that build to business; often seen as the customer’s greatest advocate and particularly skilled at creating enjoyable experiences for customers; good delegation skills to a staff that has been well trained in all aspects of customer service; usually considered “street smart.”

Predictive Skills: Seven characteristics will predict sales rep success in this manager position. Review below how top sales performers will differ from lower performers.


Shows and fosters respect and appreciation for a variety of backgrounds, cultures, values, and perspectives; seeks to understand the views of others; is comfortable accepting the fact that others may not share his personal values; prefers to cooperate in working on mutual goals rather than judge or criticize those who see things differently


  • Tolerant of individual views, opinions, and attitudes
  • Tends to accept people at face value without filtering their words or actions through personal biases
  • Can embrace his own personal values without imposing them on others
  • Tries to find common ground with others rather than focus on dissimilarities


  • Imposes on others the same standards by which he judges himself
  • Tends to respond more favorably to those individuals who share his views, background, or values
  • Can become locked into his own viewpoint and resistant to efforts to change or alter his opinion
  • Can fail to distinguish how people differ from each other; sees only that they differ from him
  • May attempt to change others to fit his image


Establishes and implements a customer contact process that maximizes opportunities to increase business; commits to telephone contact at the level of frequency needed to sustain customer interest and promote additional product or service opportunities; is comfortable taking the lead in a customer contact and maintaining a high profile role that gets the customer’s attention


  • Takes the initiative in a customer contact process to identify and follow through on opportunities for additional business
  • Maximizes time spent expanding business opportunities by making customer contact a priority over more administrative or noncontact activities
  • Keeps a high profile that gives him a natural entry into opportunities to satisfy customer requirements
  • Is comfortable taking charge of the contact and leading customers through the steps to a purchase decision


  • Prefers to respond to customer requests about additional products or services than to actively solicit new or increased business from them
  • May lack persistence in sustaining a customer contact process if noncontact activities are more appealing or more pressing
  • May be timid about taking the lead in customer contacts with the intent to interest them in additional product or service offerings
  • Counts on a standard process being in place to identify new business opportunities with the customer base


Consistently achieves above-average results by understanding the customer’s business, empathizing with their problems and setting a plan to meet their needs; tirelessly focuses on building strong relationships with customers by acting on their behalf to work the seller’s internal systems to meet their requirements; sees partnering with customers as the efficient method to reach personal career goals


  • Is driven to achieve or exceed targeted results and uses sales as a means to get there; hungry to be a top producer
  • Holds results achievement to a high personal standard
  • Believes in taking personal responsibility for the level of success achieved
  • Is unwilling to have his goal achievement derailed by internal politics or bureaucratic procedures
  • Promotes a sense of partnering with customers
  • Takes the first step to establish a trusting relationship that assures customers of his commitment
  • Is genuinely interested in understanding customer needs and works the company’s internal systems to satisfy those needs
  • Collaborates with a network of support resources to satisfy customer requirements


  • May adopt a casual or relaxed approach that fails to project personal dedication to achieving or surpassing sales targets
  • Can be content with marginal success or lowers goals to reach a level of success that is easier to accomplish
  • May not sustain the intensity needed to consistently meet or exceed sales objectives
  • Wants to be successful on his own terms without tying his efforts or results to effectively fulfilling customer requirements
  • Achieves results that will support his career progression more so than strengthen his partnerships with customers
  • Can be impersonal or detached in his approach to the sales process, minimizing the opportunity to build a customer alliance


Maintains a positive mental attitude and uses enthusiasm and genuine concern to encourage customers to buy; attempts to make each call an enjoyable experience for the contact; builds long-term relationships which foster repeat business


  • Genuinely positive and upbeat in his attitude
  • Looks for the best in others and does not expect to find a hidden agenda
  • Focuses externally on how he can help others rather than focus on himself
  • Enjoys working with other people and tries to make the interaction pleasing or gratifying to them
  • Presents an enthusiastic and agreeable attitude that draws a positive response from others
  • Communicates openly and easily with people


  • Tends to let obstacles or barriers dictate his mood
  • Becomes frustrated or discouraged when things do not work out as planned
  • Skepticism and wariness in sizing people up may result in selective or limited interaction
  • Tends to prefer the more solitary aspects of his work
  • Can leave people with a neutral reaction to what tends to be a rather functional contact


Possesses a span of control that allows direct access to all of the key staff people in the group or organization; practices a hands-on, face-to-face coaching style and seeks personal involvement in day-to-day tasks; utilizes a walk-around style to follow up and ensure that delegated tasks are effectively completed


  • Provides full and complete information in making assignments, including timelines and results expectations
  • Ensures that subordinates understand the measurements that monitor progress toward goals and results
  • Consistently follows up to track results and understands the need for occasional repetition or reinforcement of guidelines
  • Does not abdicate in delegation, but stays personally involved, using first-hand knowledge of the steps for achieving the goal to coach less experienced individuals
  • Broadens his control by giving subordinates a chance to develop their skills and contribute to the organization, but remains a presence so that deviations from the goal can be quickly identified


  • Gives insufficient information or explanation when assigning tasks
  • Does not expect to repeat himself or find it necessary to restate objectives or performance criteria
  • Assumes subordinates can do what he can do without intervention, and experiences frustration when results do not meet expectations
  • Prefers to direct others through more formal processes and expects them to perform as agreed without reminding or coaching
  • Resists personal involvement in monitoring or assisting with subordinate efforts and results, expecting them to be self-motivated and self-directed
  • Assigns tasks but abdicates responsibility


Demonstrates a commitment to the continuous education and training of others as a means of increasing their overall competency and productivity; prepares more structured sessions to cover the most critical areas of learning for the audience; stays on top of information needed by colleagues and customers in an effort to serve as a resource; takes responsibility for motivating others to learn and retain key information; reinforces what is being taught through periodic repetition; regularly assesses individual and group competencies and routinely addresses them by adjusting his training


  • Prepares scheduled and consistent programs to train or educate others
  • Establishes measurable criteria for assessing progress in the learning process
  • Demonstrates patience and a willingness to repeat or reinforce ideas and information until the audience understands
  • Focuses training sessions on those competencies that will make a difference in the group’s ultimate effectiveness
  • Concentrates more on the results produced or change accomplished through his training than with how attractive or entertaining the training can be


  • Prefers one-on-one training or a more loosely organized curriculum to the structured requirements of a scheduled class session
  • Expects the people he is training to be self-motivated to learn and becomes impatient when required to repeat or reinforce information he has already covered
  • Does not implement a tracking process for assessing the effectiveness of his teaching efforts or the progress of his trainees
  • Enjoys working on content delivery and may be more concerned with the audience’s assessment of his public speaking skills than with the subject matter
  • Tries to make the training entertaining at the expense of providing only relevant information


Absorbs new information quickly and is comfortable dealing with abstract concepts and relationships; relates new information to previously acquired knowledge to expand and refine his frame of reference; enjoys learning and expanding the breadth and depth of his understanding on a variety of subjects


  • Enjoys learning and broadening his depth of learning and insight in a wide array of topics
  • Absorbs, stores and recalls new information quickly
  • Deals comfortably with abstract concepts and relationships
  • Pursues academic, theoretical or research-based information


  • Needs repetition to process new information and requires additional time to integrate it into his repertoire
  • Prefers concrete tasks
  • Learns best through one-on-one instruction and improves his base skill level through experience and hard work
  • Uses practice opportunities or trial runs to become completely knowledgeable of and comfortable with methods or techniques he needs to use

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