What’s Your Inspiration to Care for Customers?

Customer care, the true sense of wanting to help customers, is a subject that has intrigued me for many years.   Why do I feel so much inspiration to care for customers?

You might immediately think personality type. Maybe some types are more innately inspired to care for customers. Yet, I am not an amiable on the personality scale.  In fact, I have seen many different personality types working quite well in customer care.

Maturity? I have always felt the inspiration to care even as a teenager with summer jobs.  Money?  Well, summer jobs didn’t pay much. In fact, read the myriad of blog articles that claim CSRs are demotivated because they don’t get paid enough to care.  (I don’t agree with that one.)

Well I have spent much of my professional life inspiring customer service and tech support reps to care for customers. Leader after leader has asked me the same question, “How can we motivate our reps to deliver better customer care?”.   One day, I heard the same question again. This time it hit me that the obstacle the leader faced was not the reps — it was the concept of motivation.


The concept of motivation conjures up images of offering comp days if they consistently reach their metrics or scheduling a pizza party if they clear the backlog in the email queue. There is nothing inherently wrong with offering these carrots to accomplish a short term goal. It will not, however, create consistently high quality customer care. The effect of the motivator wears off the same way an advertisement loses its marketing/sales effectiveness over time. It no longer motivates.


On the other hand, inspiration is something deep inside your reps and consistently there. The actual feeling varies in each person. Here is a short list of inspiration points I have tapped in thousands of reps over the years. You will notice a common thread. Inspiration is integral to what makes the individual rep naturally feel good.  What would you add to this list?

  1. Making a difference in the customer’s life that day. To do that, the reps need to be empowered to actually help.   Reading from scripts and having to pass all exceptions to a supervisor is not inspirational.
  2. Seeing how their work contributes to the company and the customer’s success. A director of customer services recently told me that their initial attempt at training reps included a product manager delivering a Powerpoint presentation on the products.  She was in the back of the room and saw the reps disengaging, looking around, swiveling their chairs.   She decided to redo the customer service reps training program and had them actually touching the products, installing them, and so forth.  The results were amazing.  In fact, the results were inspired!
  3. Living what it feels like to be a customer.
  4. Enjoyment and fun. There are people who begin to care about others when they feel good themselves. It doesn’t have to be constant fun — life rarely is. Yet if there is no fun, these reps will not be inspired to give more.
  5. Respect for their individual talents. Perhaps one of the most common inspiration points is people being known and respected for their individual talents — at least in our American culture. In eastern philosophies/cultures, this is not necessarily the case.

©2010 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, is an inspirational and activational speaker and trainer in customer service and teamwork. Her years of experience, her natural intuition about people, and passion for people-skills always take your organization to a higher level of performance.  See her video footage on this site.

One Response to “What’s Your Inspiration to Care for Customers?”

  1. B. Cowen says:

    I enjoyed reading your article “What’s your inspiration” and agree that motivation with pizza parties and such has no long lasting effect. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about Snowfly and our agent incentive program.

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