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Gray Zone of the Week

Use The Gray Zone ethical dilemmas to introduce your students to problems and situations that don't have one specific right or wrong answer. This week’s Gray Zone topic: Customer Service Mindset.

Dane is a customer service representative at a call center for a major cable/Internet provider. It’s his first job out of college, and he’s anxious to build his career and develop a customer service mindset. He knows that to do so, he must consider customers’ needs and treat them as if they’re his employers.

However, Dane has a conflict. He is under strict instructions from his supervisors to do everything possible to avoid lowering a customer’s bill or allowing the customer to discontinue her/his service. There are times when he almost feels as if he’s being a bully to his customers. He certainly doesn’t feel as if he’s putting their needs first or handling their concerns effectively.

Dane feels torn between pleasing his managers and demonstrating a customer service mindset. What should he do?

This Gray Zone comes from the Set Your Mind to It lesson module (LAP) and aligns to performance indicator CR:004 Demonstrate a customer service mindset.


Last week's Gray Zone topic: Calculating Break-Even Point.

Nearly every business is concerned with making a profit, and to do so, it must first break even. Besides knowing when it can expect to begin making a profit, a business has many other purposes for calculating its break-even point. One of these purposes is determining what incentives the business can offer its employees, such as sales commissions.

Darius is starting a new company, and his goal is to reach the break-even point as quickly as possible, so he can begin making a profit. In interviews with potential salespeople, he has informed them that their commission rate will be 7%. However, as he calculates the break-even point, Darius realizes that the business will be able to break even much more quickly if the sales commission rate is 5% instead. Since he hasn’t signed any written agreements with his new employees, Darius decides to lower the commission rate. What do you think? Is it ethical for him to do so?

This Gray Zone comes from the Tipping Point lesson module (LAP) and aligns to performance indicator PI:006 Calculate break-even point.