National Customer Service Association
NCSA Membership Log In Contact Us
National Customer Service Association
...Customer First

Chapter Updates :: An Unusual and Exciting Event

» back to Chapter Updates Archives

Central Florida Chapter June Event

June's NCSA Central Florida chapter meeting promised to be an unusual exciting event, and it delivered at Sea World Parks & Entertainment Contact Center.  It was the first meeting in our history to include animals of the two-legged and four-legged variety.  The pictures tell the fun story of the morning.

After a gracious welcome from Brad Matzinger, Director, Sea World Contact Center, the floor turned over to Kelly Flaherty Clark, Director, Animal Training. During Kelly's 28 years with Sea World she has held a variety of roles working with animals, and managing the expert animal trainers. Her and her Animal Ambassadors spoke about the similarities of motivating animals and people, or in other words, our employees. We are all animals at heart, and remarkably respond to the same stimuli.

Some key thoughts from Kelly:

  • We can learn a lot from employees with short tenures.  They come in with fresh eyes.  Humble yourself to learn from anyone.
  • Sea World trains their animals on the idea of Operant Conditioning—behaviors are modified primarily by the consequences that follow them (positive or negative).
  • Operant Conditioning follows an A-B-C sequence. There is the Antecedent, this triggers the Behavior, and that produces a Consequence.
  • Negative Consequences decreases frequency of behavior AND motivation. It also increases fear.
  • Positive Consequences increases frequency of behavior AND increases motivation.
  • Behavior is not 'good' or 'bad.' Leaders must set the criteria so all understand the desired and acceptable behavior.
  • Find out what motivates your individual employees. Do they like Twizzlers? Do they work best if they are publicly recognized? This will help shape an individual’s positive consequences, and more than likely will get you the result you seek.
  • Trust is a better motivator than fear, but what works best is clear criteria and the why behind that criteria.

There were many more nuggets of wisdom shared, and the ideas have immediate application to our contact center environments. Our businesses will be positively impacted by our experience today.

Thank you for hosting our June event, Sea World Contact Center!