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Customer Service Manager Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: These managers must be willing to serve all types of customers and constantly use their customer relationships to further develop business. They seek maximum results by partnering with clients who are delighted to work with these achievers. They easily assume the role of directing and control the activities of their subordinates.

Predictive Skills: Seven characteristics will predict management success in this sales management 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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