When it comes to providing amazing customer service, why is it better to be a goldfish than, say, an elephant?
A goldfish has a short memory!
In fairness, the poor goldfish has undeservedly earned a bad rap for having a short attention span (they actually do have a memory and can learn things), but it’s a cute little fish and sets up the topic of today’s shareworthy service post – resilience – quite nicely.
What does resilience have to do with great customer service?
When customers are angry, insistent or even downright hostile, they can throw you off, right? While it’s important to listen to upset clients and candidates (sometimes they need to vent), absorbing all that negativity can drain you.
Resilience – the ability to move on and put a negative experience behind you – is essential to serving every client and candidate well, because it allows you to approach each new service interaction with an optimistic and solutions-oriented mindset.
Ok, so do you really need a short memory to provide great customer service?
Nope; you just need to be able to press your mental reset button and move on from a tough service interaction. Here are a few tips you can use to channel your inner goldfish and provide shareworthy service, no matter what customers throw your way:
- Read this post on managing rude customers. It’s full of practical ideas to cope when employers or job seekers don’t play nice.
- Practice stoicism. The ability to maintain your composure in an emotionally charged situation is a skill you can learn. Practice one or more of these techniques to keep your cool and provide great service, even when dealing with challenging customers:
- Envision your circle of control. In your mind’s eye, visualize a small circle within a larger circle. The small circle represents what’s in your control (i.e., your own actions) and the larger one represents what’s out of your control (i.e., how others behave). Focus your attention and energy on that smaller circle.
- Imagine your positive response. If you’re anticipating a negative reaction from a customer, visualize the positive ways you could handle the situation. When you envision favorable outcomes, you’re more likely to achieve them.
- Try mind-body mirroring. When you find yourself becoming frustrated, act like a calm person would (i.e., fake it until you make it). Speak calmly and in a slightly lower tone, and control your body movements. Where your body leads, your mind will follow.
- Proactively create an upbeat environment. When you build a supportive, positive workplace culture, it’s harder for upset staffing customers to bring you down. And if they do, you can rely on your team to help you recalibrate your attitude.
- Remember your “why.” To keep yourself from getting sucked into someone else’s negativity, remind yourself of why you’re doing your job. Think about what’s truly important to you. That perspective will help you see a tough situation for what it is – and not let it overwhelm you.
- Take a humor break. Humor can relieve stress, reduce anxiety and promote emotional well-being, so integrate more fun and laughs in your day! Try watching a few minutes of your favorite comedian online, or even a scene from a sitcom you love. You can also share a work-appropriate joke with your team. A good laugh will improve attitude and help you shake off a tough customer interaction.
Challenging customers are a part of doing business, but these tips for improving your resilience will help you approach every interaction with a service mindset.