Podcast: Revenge of the Customer Service Rep
Skip to content
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

Listening: Revenge of the Customer Service Rep

download
0:00 Skip back button Play Skip forward button 9:27

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

Add Insight
to your inbox.

We’ll send you one email a week with content you actually want to read, curated by the Insight team.

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

Cynthia S. Wang

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.

Suggested For You

Most Popular

Careers

Four Ways to Influence Your Bosses without Alienating Them

Here’s how to make your manager look good and become indispensable in the process.

Careers

How to Feel Authentic While Building Your Personal Brand

Get beyond clichés like “adaptable” or “self-starter,” and learn to tell meaningful stories about yourself.

Organizations

Worried Your Employees Are Slacking? Rethink How You Pay Them.

A new study reveals the optimal incentive system, and it’s surprisingly simple.

Most Popular Podcasts

Careers

Podcast: Our Most Popular Advice on Improving Relationships with Colleagues

Coworkers can make us crazy. Here’s how to handle tough situations.

Social Impact

Podcast: How You and Your Company Can Lend Expertise to a Nonprofit in Need

Plus: Four questions to consider before becoming a social-impact entrepreneur.

Careers

Podcast: Attract Rockstar Employees—or Develop Your Own

Finding and nurturing high performers isn’t easy, but it pays off.

Marketing

Podcast: How Music Can Change Our Mood

A Broadway songwriter and a marketing professor discuss the connection between our favorite tunes and how they make us feel.

More in Organizations