The work that a customer support staff does is essential for a business’s success. But dealing with customers is a challenging job.
The customer support team of a business has to solve problems all day and manage customers who can be frustrated and concerned. These workers also have to present themselves in a positive way at all times regardless of their own feelings or personal issues.
Such interactions and the constant use of problem-solving and decision-making abilities can be very difficult to sustain with a positive attitude.
Employee burnout is a very real possibility that can lead to absenteeism, poor performance, and job anxiety. One study found that 27.4% of customer service representatives experience emotional burden. And being continuously exposed to this feeling of emotional burden can lead to burnout syndrome.
Another study shows that customers who deal with employees who experience depersonalization and emotional exhaustion feel hostile and angry. The result is that they perceive the service to be low in quality.
A few signs of burnout are irritability, headaches, and emotional exhaustion. It’s vital to be proactive to pay attention to these signs to prevent a full-blown burnout from taking place.
While completely avoiding all emotional stress is not possible, it can help to have specific attitudes to create the most personal resilience. Developing certain positive attitudes and approaches in your customer support staff can help them boost their emotional wellbeing
In this post, well explore specific attitudes that can help customer service personnel stay positive and effective over time. You can help grow these attitudes with training, workshops, and by acting out these attitudes yourself.
Avoid taking things personally
It can certainly be hard not to take things personally when your job relies on providing solutions and interacting with people. Here, your performance relies on how the customer perceives your words and actions and on your actual solutions.
But the reality is that, to the customer, it isn’t personal at all. The customer may be concerned or frustrated and they are looking for a solution from the company. While acting as the voice and representative of the brand, you have to avoid taking negative interactions personally.
Doing this does not mean that you don’t care. In reality, it can raise your level of performance since you’ll approach any issues from a more rational perspective.
To stop taking things personally, you have to develop rational thinking. This means avoiding over-generalizations, such as believing that the whole day is ruined because of a single or few difficult customer interactions. Or believing that you aren’t good at your job because of a few challenging issues
By adopting a more rational attitude including not overgeneralizing and avoiding making things personal, you’re more likely to avoid over-emotional responses that lead to exhaustion.
Looking after customers is only possible when you’re in your best form. This means that carrying out self-care is an important part of your professional routine.
It’s essential to have habits and routines in place where you’re spending time on activities that boost your overall wellbeing.
As a leader or business owner, you can offer training, online courses, or just share internal advice about the following self-care techniques:
- Meditation and breathing exercises as short and effective techniques to stop feeling frustrated or overwhelmed
- Journalling and doodling to express your emotions in a healthy and positive way
- Taking walks and getting outdoors for short periods of time or any other activity that creates a change of scene
- Communicating and socializing with colleagues and friends to boost your mood
Prioritizing self-care is a valuable tool that can prevent exhaustion and burnout. Customer support representatives need to learn to read their own signals for burnout and take steps to manage it before it gets overwhelming.
Find humor in everyday activities
Humor is a powerful emotion that can rapidly change your mood. Developing a sense of humor towards everyday interactions will help you approach customer care with greater energy and positivity. There are many lessons to be learned from customer service and if you can approach this with a light-hearted attitude and by not taking yourself too seriously, you’ll feel better and happier.
At the workplace, it’s helpful to create a fun environment with the use of humorous but appropriate posters or by sharing content internally. Consider having themed days and other events at work to lift the mood.
Focus on one thing at a time
Multi-tasking is overrated. Its also a path to stress, loss of focus, and emotional overload when done too often. You are far more effective and happier when you’re focused on doing one thing at a time.
A customer service representative does their best job when they feel patient and organized. Learn to prioritize tasks, create a structured approach to resolving customer issues, and then try to knock them out one task at a time.
You won’t just spend less time with each issue, you’ll also do a better job and feel confident. Finally, when you are focused on a single task at a time, you get a positive feeling every time you finish a task. This hit of dopamine when you accomplish something will turn into a positive feedback loop that leads to long-term habits.
Change your attitude towards discomfort
When you’re dealing with a number of customers every day, its certain to get uncomfortable. Approaching this from a rational perspective, discomfort alone is manageable. But it’s the thoughts we build on it that lead to emotional distress.
With practice and effort, you can learn to develop a tolerance towards uncomfortable situations. Remember that discomfort is always temporary. You need to avoid extreme thinking such as believing that discomfort is bad or that you can’t stand it.
Keep asking yourself to come up with rational responses to feelings of discomfort. In some time, you’ll find that uncomfortable or emotionally charged situations become easier to tolerate.
The prevalence of burnout in the customer service department can lead to poor performance and higher turnover. You need to support the people who support your customers and one way to do that is by helping them develop positive personal attitudes.
Also, it’s essential to provide the right technological tools such as helpdesk tools and live chat platforms to enable timely and useful support.
When your customer support team has the best technology, training, and attitudes that keep them resilient, you’ll be certain to create more satisfied customers and happier employees too.