In many jobs, bad moods don’t matter much. Factory workers and back-office staffers can just put their heads down and make it through the day. However, in customer service, you don’t have that option. You have to find a way to deal with customers even when you don’t feel much like communicating.
After all, success at your position depends on positive interactions with the outside world. This fact makes it tough to get through a day of customer service when you’re feeling lousy. A bad mood isn’t a small thing. Theoretically, an ill-timed outburst could threaten your job.
So how do you get through it? How can you stay upbeat and courteous with customers, even when you’ve got that little black raincloud hovering over your brain? Here are some tips to get through a day of customer service when you’re in a bad mood:
Remember: customers calling in with a complaint aren’t mad at you personally. They might be frustrated with the situation and behave badly as a result. But you shouldn’t let it get under your skin. If you start to lose your cool, use professionalism as a shield. Instead of getting angry or snapping back, focus on your training. You can fall back on your customer service script or stock phrases to keep the conversation moving forward, without saying something you’ll regret.
Recognize When Your Patience Is Fading
Sometimes anger boils over all at once. However, even in these situations, you can usually feel your temper simmering. When you start the day in a bad mood, you need to stay alert to the signs that you’re reaching your breaking point. Remember, you can’t count on introspection from an irate customer. Your self-awareness goes a long way to keeping the interaction productive. When the temperature of the conversation starts to rise, you can take early steps to avoid conflict.
Take Mini Breaks
Ideally, if you start to get heated, you want to step away and take a few moments to collect yourself. This might not be an option every time. Scheduled breaks come when they come, not when you need them most. And there might not be enough time in the day to take a breather after every frustrating encounter.
Still, if you start to feel the end of your patience approaching, take a second or two to regroup. Even a short, self-reflective beat can be enough to regain your composure for the next customer.
A momentary break might not even be an option. In a busy call center, for instance, customer interactions often come one right after another. However, there are still ways to inject some mindfulness into your day, allowing you to settle your nerves while you maintain a hectic schedule.
The easiest of these: close your eyes; take a breath. Before you snap back at a client, take a second to appreciate the situation and calm yourself down.
Talk to Your Coworkers
Every customer service rep has their battle stories. Share yours with your coworkers and elicit some of theirs in return. Think of it like a support group. You can get valuable advice on how to deal with the most troublesome complaints. At the same time, you won’t feel as alone. The conversations will give you an opportunity to vent in a relatively constructive way. If you’re complaining with your coworkers, you’re less likely to turn on your customers.
Bad Mood or Something More?
Bad days come and go. Hopefully, you can push through your sour mood and start fresh tomorrow. However, if you feel yourself getting frustrated constantly, and begin to dread each customer interaction, it might point to a bigger problem. You might not be in the ideal situation for you. If you decide that the job itself might not suit your talents, there are steps you can take.
You might need a change of scenery. By partnering with a highly respected staffing agency, like PrideStaff, you open yourself up to new (potentially less frustrating) opportunities.
Contact PrideStaff today to find out more.