How to Cast Extraordinary Service People

What do Michael Curtiz and Martin Brest have in common? They each had the challenge of casting the best candidate for a starring role in a new movie. Michael had an exciting new star named Ronald Reagan, who had screen tested for the lead male role opposite Katharine Hepburn in a new movie titled “Casablanca.” And Martin had a similar challenge: a successful, new box office drawing card named Sylvester Stallone had screen tested for the lead role in a comedy movie titled “Beverly Hills Cop.”

Selecting people for customer service roles is similar to casting people for roles in a play or movie. First, both require artful performances aligned with audience expectations. Creating an interpersonal experience that customers remember as satisfactory, pleasant or dazzling is like the actor’s mission of having audiences so caught up in the play or movie they start believing the performer is the person portrayed. Second, both require a casting choice based on personality. Ronald Reagan in Humphrey Bogart’s slot would have resulted in a movie quite different from the screenwriter’s intent. And, Rambo as Axel Foley?


About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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