Podcast: Revenge of the Customer Service Rep
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Organizations Leadership Social Impact Mar 7, 2019

Podcast: Revenge of the Customer Service Rep

Why employees sabotage customers, and what companies can do about it.

a customer service representative ends a call.

Michael Meier

Based on the research of

Yu-Shan (Sandy) Huang

Rebecca L. Greenbaum

Julena M. Bonner

Cynthia S. Wang

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Employees in all kinds of industries have to deal with unpleasant customers.

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Waiters get mistreated. Call center operators get screamed at. Salespeople have to smile at difficult clients. But why do those tense moments sometimes escalate to sabotage?

On this episode of the Kellogg Insight podcast, Cynthia Wang, clinical professor of management and organizations at Kellogg, shares what she discovered—and what companies can do about it.

The good news? There’s a way companies can help keep their employees from turning on their customers.

Note: The Kellogg Insight podcast is produced for the ear, and not meant to be read as a transcript. We encourage you to listen to the audio version above. However, a transcript of this episode is available here.

Featured Faculty

Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

About the Research

Huang, Yu-Shan (Sandy), Rebecca L. Greenbaum, Julena M. Bonner, and Cynthia S. Wang. 2018. “Why Sabotage Customers Who Mistreat You? Activated Hostility and Subsequent Devaluation of Targets as a Moral Disengagement Mechanism.” Journal of Applied Psychology.

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