In the new book “The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies”, Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske make the dominating power of warm and competent behavior and its effect on the bottom line crystal clear. The biggest take away from this book is that in order for a company or individual to make a lasting impression that breeds the deepest customer loyalty it must behave in ways that showcase the utmost warmth and competence. The same can be said that customer service delivered with warmth and competence has a massively positive influence on the bottom line. The level of warmth of competence a company possesses elicits very specific emotions and responses from customers.
Warm and Competent
Those who exhibit behaviors that are warm and competent are seen with admiration and pride where customers are more likely to become not just loyal customers but advocates of the company.
Cold and Competent
Those who exhibit behaviors that are cold and competent are treated with envy and suspicion and can be subject to potential sabotage.
Warm and Incompetent
Those who exhibit behaviors that are warm and incompetent are treated with sympathy and pity. These individuals elicit responses of patronizing help and social neglect.
Cold and Incompetent
Those who exhibit behaviors that are cold and incompetent are treated with contempt and disgust bringing on a customer behavioral response of rejection and avoidance.
The aforementioned findings speak volumes for the kind of customer service training every company should go to great lengths to provide frontline employees. Employees who show warmth and competence when dealing with customers will have a stronger impact on customer acquisition, retention, and customers becoming advocates for the company than those employees who fall in any of the other categories.