I asked some of the best customer service representatives how their managers could help them push through a stressful event and here is their advice:
- Offer Routine. There is great comfort in routine so when there is stress in my life, anything you can do to help keep my job routine is very helpful.
- Trust me. It helps to know I have a choice to keep working or to take time to manage the situation. Show me your trust and I will make a decision that balances my personal needs with work needs. I need to work to pay my bills so if I can I will make work my choice. However knowing that it was my choice to keep working, not your choice, allows me to appreciate the company I work for and then I am more committed when caring for customers.
- Be Flexible. If you notice that my "game is off", ask me about it in a private place. Offer to be flexible with my schedule where possible so I can take care of my family. Perhaps I can take a long lunch today and then stay late tomorrow to take care of that flat tire.
- Teach Stress Management. Some customer service interactions can be just as stressful as family crisis, so please encourage us to learn stress management as part of our core curriculum.
- Laughter. Nothing breaks the rhythm of a stressful day like a quick laugh. Let us have some fun at work everyday, not just when there is a special event.
How do you help your reps continue to provide great service when stress has popped into their life?