Do you have the customer service blues? Or, work with someone who does?
Do you dread unlocking the doors in the morning for customers? Do you breathe a sigh of relief when a customer walks away without encountering a problem? Do you find yourself hoping the next customer doesn’t ask questions? Are you judging people based on your previous customer interactions? It sounds like you have the customer service blues.
When you work with the public, it’s easy to become jaded. It might feel like an endless stream of negativity. You might have even labeled some of your customers as difficult.
How do you change difficult customers? We want to fix other people so they don’t make our lives more difficult. How do you change them? The same way you change anything, change your behavior. This is not something people want to hear. When I say this in a training session, there are typically a few eye rolls and moans from the group. But after we take time to analyze it and adjust our behaviors, we notice that many of our customers are not difficult, cranky, or hard to handle. Some people are. But most are not. We can become numb because we focus on the negative. We don’t have control over other people, only ourselves.
Change Your Perspective
- Have a positive attitude. You can create good habits almost as easily as bad habits. Read tips on how to do this in the resources below.
- Be genuine and treat others well. Even when you are having a bad day, be the best you can offer. Your day will turn around by helping others and putting one step in front of the other.
- Walk the walk. Talk the talk. You might feel guarded or negative about your job or your customers. Replace a negative thought with a positive thought. Practice smiling and being pleasant with each person.
- Pretend each person is your first customer of the day. Treat each person with a fresh outlook. Don’t let one experience bleed into the next. After awhile, it will become second nature and you can allow each experience to stand alone and not influence the next customer service experience.
- Practice active listening. I have solved many problems over the years by listening and simply asking “how can I help you?” Even if I can’t resolve everything for the customer, the majority of people are satisfied they were able to tell their story. People want to be heard.
- Give people another chance. Maybe the person is having a bad day. Offer empathy, patience, and understanding. Don’t label the person and put your guard up the next time you see them. Give them a second chance.
Are you miserable in your job? It might be time to analyze further.
- Are you utilizing your skill set?
- Do you have fun in your job?
- Are you trying positive attitude techniques in your life and job?
- Is this what you want to do?
- If it’s what you need to do, do you have a plan and goals in place to change your path in the future?
- You might need some time away from a customer service job or need to change careers. Often, time and space can offer the perspective you need.
What if you work with someone who is singing the customer service blues?
- Be a leader and set a good example.
- Offer alternative reactions or solutions, if they are open to it.
- Be a team player and step in when appropriate.
You Set The Tone. Remember, if you are in the customer service business, you set the tone. How do you feel about your customers? If your business numbers are down, look at your attitude and your co-workers’ attitudes. Most people will return to a business as long as they feel they were treated well. This article, 16 Customer Service Skills That Drive Every Business, has a lot of good information, tips, and statistics. Here are two supporting facts:
- 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them
- 66% of customers switch companies due to bad customer service.
Treat others well and they will treat you well. Your business will be rewarded with happy employees that will want to work and happy customers that will want to return. I believe we treat people well if we are living a healthy, happy life. It starts with you. Take care of yourself. Work toward a positive attitude. Treat people fairly. Spend more time listening and less time speaking. After all, we can only control ourselves.
I’m here to help
Further reading & resources:
Daus, Caroline. 2015. What I Did About My Miserable Job. Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-daus/what-i-did-about-my-miserable-job_b_8785204.html
Dewe, Craig. 11 Tips for Maintaining Your Positive Attitude. Life Hack. Retrieved from: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/11-tips-for-maintaining-your-positive-attitude.html
EABarnes. 2016. The Best of Customer Service – A Positive Attitude Counts. HubPages. Retrieved from: http://hubpages.com/business/Positive-Attitude-in-Customer-Service
Hansen, Mark Victor. 2016. It Takes a Positive Attitude to Achieve Positive Results. Success. Retrieved from: http://www.success.com/article/it-takes-a-positive-attitude-to-achieve-positive-results
OFlaherty, Declan. 8 Tips To Help Create A Positive Mental Attitude. Tiny Buddha. Retrieved from: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/8-tips-to-help-create-a-positive-mental-attitude/
Robbie. 2016. 16 Customer Service Skills That Drive Every Business. JitBit. Retrieved from: https://www.jitbit.com/news/customer-service-skills/
Walters, Natalie. 2016. 11 Signs Your Job Is Making You Miserable. Business Insider. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-your-job-is-making-you-miserable-2016-3
Wycklendt, Megan. 2014. 10 Habits To Grow A Positive Attitude. Fulfillment Daily. Retrieved from: http://www.fulfillmentdaily.com/10-habits-to-grow-a-positive-attitude/
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I’m celebrating one year of writing this blog. This is my 31st post. Almost 3,000 people have viewed what I’ve written. That is a humbling number. Thank you for reading, for your support, and for your feedback. And remember, if you need anything, contact me. I’m here to help! ~Tina