We contact a call center for a specific purpose. It might be to fix a problem with our account. Or it could be to order a product or service. The transaction isn't relationship-based as might be contacting a lawyer or psychotherapist.
Yet, more and more call centers have embraced the Happy Clappy tactic. As the current issue of The Economist explains, Happy Clappy entails injecting extreme friendliness, positive affirmations, and upbeat tone into customer relations. And more. The more is happening in organizations which have created human-resources policies which supposedly enhance employee daily happiness. There might even be a Chief Happiness Officer.
When Happy Clappy prevails, the call center will first ask me how my day is going. Duh. Usually my day is going not so hot since I have encountered wrong billing on my credit card. I am agitated. No, I don't want to engage in small talk which, it might be assumed, will distract me from my negative emotional state.
It's time-consuming and annoying to have the call center representative inflict Happy Clappy on me. Instead, I would prefer that the professional on the other side of the phone line be businesslike. And competent.
Businesses might discover that Happy Clappy is proving out to be counterproductive in customer relations.