Customer service jobs can be extremely stressful, especially during the holidays, since customers’ anxieties tend to be heightened at this time of year, making them more difficult to deal with. A company’s success is highly dependent on the performance of its customer service agents, since 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after a bad customer service experience, according to the RightNow Technologies Customer Experience Impact Report. But keeping customers satisfied is no easy feat, and the stress can take a huge physical, mental and emotional toll on customer service agents. Here are some helpful strategies for managing stress in customer service jobs:
1) Don’t take everything so personally
When customers are yelling at you, either on the phone or in person, 9 times out of 10 it has nothing to do with you. You just happen to be the person there that they are taking their frustration out on, and a lot of the things they are angry about may be completely out of your control. Reminding yourself that this isn’t about you, and the customer you are speaking with could be a completely pleasant person with you on a different day will go a long way in managing the stress of your customer service job (as well as making it easier to resolve the customer’s problem).
2) Gain healthy habits
Your fuse is likely to be a whole lot shorter on the job if you aren’t eating nutritiously, drinking enough water or getting enough exercise. Managing stress in customer service starts with making sure you are eating right, eating often enough, keeping hydrated, and working exercise into your routine. If you don’t have time to hit the gym before or after work, some simple stretches at your desk or a taking a break to go for a 10 minute walk will help re-center your mind and boost your mood.
3) Don’t forget to laugh
Managing stress in customer service will be a lot harder if you spend your entire work shift without laughing. Though there are bound to be plenty of tense moments in customer service jobs, there are also funny moments, if you can learn to look for and appreciate the humor. Don’t take everything on the job so seriously. It’s also a great idea to keep some funny quotes or jokes nearby for those moments you really feel the need to lighten up.
4) Make time to socialize
You will find managing stress in your customer service job much easier if you can find some people to talk to both on the job and after work, upon whom you can vent the frustrating situations that took place that day. Keeping all of your frustration inside is likely to lead you to eventually unleash on an innocent customer or co-worker (and possibly cost the company business), so it’s very healthy to talk to people about the things that have been getting to you on the job. If you confide in work colleagues or other people with experience in customer service, they are also likely to give you helpful advice for managing stress.
5) Give yourself credit
At the end of every day in your customer service job, take a look at the day’s events. Be open to learning from any mistakes you made, but also don’t forget to give yourself credit for the things you did right. Customer service is not easy, and giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done will be a huge help in managing the stress in your job.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.