This case study is about how can one abusive customers cause emotions to run high.
As the times improve with technology, we now have automated telephone system for customer service centre. But with this system, it creates a labyrinth for customers. Longer waiting time and thus it's more difficult to speak to an actual human being.
How mad can a customer get? Customer could rant and rave over some small issues and there’s an even vulgarity involved. There might be customers who can be racist towards the officer.
Employees have no choice but to swallow down the hatred. Ad many companies require customer-service employees to display positive emotions at all times to maintain satisfied customers. But they can't expect it to just stop there. It could cause emotional instability to the employees. They are bringing home the negative feedback and emotion, might lead to a dispute within the family due to all the stress.
Employees who are frustrated by the inability to do anything about abusive customers and the mood being caused can have psychology effect on them. Inasmuch as there are no ways of releasing the stress for them.
Although some companies train their representatives on how to defuse a customer's anger and to avoid being abuse personally but the effort isn't enough. If the training helps, employees who work on the phone would not have frequent absent or are more prone to illness and are more likely to make stress-related disability claims than other employees. Thus, emotions can run high and the effects can be damaging.
'The customer comes first' has been heard by many. But companies should give attorney to employees on to deciding when it is appropriate to put customers second. This could help on reducing the stress level the employees have.
3. Questions and Answer
1. From an emotional labor perspective, how does dealing with an abusive customer lead to stress and burnout?
Dealing with an abusive customer leads to stress and burnout, directly in proportion to the amount of time and level of hostility taken in the phone call. Even with using coping strategies such, it is difficult to not take such calls personally. In the long term, such negative emotion would have been accumulated until one cannot take it and explode suddenly. Emotional labor is a form of emotional regulation wherein workers are expected to display certain emotions as part of their job, and to promote organizational goals. The intended effects of these emotional displays are on other, targeted people, who can be clients, customers, subordinates or co-workers. It is an employee’s expression of organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions at work. Employees can display fake emotion by acting. Such acting can take two forms: 1) Surface acting which involves hiding one’s inner feelings and refrain emotional expressions. 2) Deep acting wherein they modify one’s true inner feelings to match the emotion expressions the organisation requires. This can be very mentally torturing and cause them to be stressful. Having to bottle up certain emotions in the name of customer service can cause a person to blow up later. Even with “thick skin,” stress will affect immunity and psychological well-being. This is not healthy for that person or for others around them. Stress is a complex issue and no two individuals will be affected in the same way by either work requirements or the work environment. In practice, it can be helpful to think of stress in terms of a simple ‘bucket’ model:
The bucket model suggests that stress and fatigue result when a person’s reservoir of personal resilience is drained faster than it is replenished. The bucket model shows, there’s no point in ‘filling the bucket’ if stressors keep draining it quickly. Control of stressors is frequently needed in order to prevent stress building up. 2. If you were a recruiter for a customer-service call center, what personality types would you...
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