Case study successful social relations
Mike Aranjo is a recent graduate from a three-year business diploma program at a Toronto college. His area of specialty is marketing, but he hasn’t been successful in finding his dream job yet in marketing. It’s now eight months after graduation, and he reluctantly decides to take a call-centre job at Miratel Solutions Inc. in North York (his mother knows the manager, so he didn’t even apply for the job). On his first day at CallPro, Mike is scheduled to take a six-hour training course called “Dynamic and Effective Customer Service”. He arrives at the CallPro office about five minutes late, because the subway was having problems. His new manager Sandra Fairley has already begun the training session with two other employees. “We’ve already begun Mike, so can you grab a seat quickly? Thanks,” Sandra says. “Yeah, it wasn’t my fault, the subway had a delay,” Mike mumbles, slouching into a seat at the back of the room. “Lesson 1, Mike: don’t make excuses at work – take responsibility for things you’re responsible for,” Sandra says. “As I was saying,” she continues, “today’s training gets you thinking about excellent customer service in the following three ways…” Mike feels defensive and angry. He almost tells Sandra to chill. It’s not his fault the subway was delayed! Plus, Sandra is a friend of his mom’s, so why is she giving him attitude? The first half of the six-hour training goes well. The three new employees, including Mike, are shown the “scripts” they will use on their phone calls this week. They’re also given instruction in how to use their voices (i.e. tone, pronunciation) to sound friendly on the phone. Finally, they’re given instruction on how to close a sale and how to deal with people who are unhappy. On his lunch break, Mike is sitting in a corner of the office lunchroom with his headphones on. His music is pretty loud and he’s enjoying being able to relax. He’s not really feeling like going up to anyone and introducing himself or being overly friendly. He sits by himself and eats his sandwich. Eventually, one of the other two employees going through training today comes over. She smiles and asks if she can sit down. Her name is Laura. “Go cray-cray,” Mike says sarcastically, “enjoy yourself!” “Thanks Mike. So what’s your story?” Mike and Laura talk for about five minutes – it turns out Laura went to the same college as Mike, but two yeas earlier. Laura looks at her watch. “It’s time to go, Mike. Training’s starting again.” “I doubt she’ll notice if we’re a few minutes late,” Mike says, looking to see what Laura’s reaction will be. “Well, I’m not going to piss off Sandra on my first day. See you there,” Laura says before getting up and heading back to the training room. Back in training, Sandra is prepping her three new employees to make a sample call. In this situation, employees will be doing an outbound call to university alumni offering to sell insurance solutions. One trainee will play the part of the person receiving the call, while another trainee will play the part of the outbound Case 1 Text Week 2 2 call maker. Sandra asks Laura and Mike to work together, with Laura being the receiver and Mike the caller. They read from their scripts. “Hello?” Laura says. “Hello, my name is Mike Aranjo. I’m calling on behalf of MBNA insurance. As an alumnus of Ryerson University, we’re able to extend incredibly low rates on car and home insuran…” he stops, then continues, “Sandra do we really have to go through this whole script? I feel embarrassed, like I’m supposed to be an actor or something.” Sandra is stunned for a moment, but she recovers and says, “Mike, there’s no substitute in this business for practicing live. I’m surprised you don’t see this. If you don’t practice making outbound and taking inbound calls, I have no way of knowing the quality of the work you’re going to be demonstrating once you’re on the floor by yourself.” “I get it, but I just thought maybe we could practice one-onone with our manager, instead of in front of fellow employees,” Mike says. “Mike, let’s take a break for a second,” Sandra pauses for effect. “I understand where you’re coming from – I respect that as a brand new employee you may be nervous or hesitant. All I can say is, having worked in this industry for about 25 years, I know the kind of training that gets results. I hope you’re going to want to continue participating.” “I guess,” Mike mumbles by way of reply… Later on, Mike is playing the role of a call centre employee taking an inbound call about a charitable donation. “I’m calling to ask you to PLEASE stop calling me at home, disturbing the time I have with my family to have a quiet meal. It’s incredibly annoying and rude!,” Laura says, playing the part of an inbound caller. “I know the script says I shouldn’t get angry back, Sandra, but is that realistic? I mean, I’d probably just tell her to calm down…” says Mike. Sandra rolls her eyes and wonders what she’s gotten herself into by hiring Mike.
Identify three positive and three negative examples of workplace behaviours and interactions in the case related to Mike and the concepts related likeability and positive demeanor. Identify the most serious of the three negative examples and explain the rationale for your choice.
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