Workplace Stress: Stressing Customer Service

You've spent time, money and effort training your staff in customer service.

They know how the widgets work. They can recommend the best thingamabobs for the whatchamacallits. And as far as the hoodgiehoodgies go, well, they're not a regular stock item, but you can still get them at that store over on Main Street. "Just one moment - here's the phone number and correct address for you." "Oh, that doohickey is heavy. Let me help you put it in the car."

Customer service. Your customers know when it's great. They also know when it isn't. They leave the business or the phone call with more than a bad taste in their mouth. Often all their senses have been painted and tainted, like a stubborn stain, which leaves a mark that becomes evident to all with whom they speak.

You've spent time, money and effort training your staff in customer service, but have you equipped them with stress transformation techniques?

These techniques have a wide range of benefits which benefits the customer, the employee and the business.

The customers/clients benefit because they:

  • Feel heard.
  • Are helped.
  • Have the impression that their business matters to the company.
  • Get what they need.
  • Know that they will be treated well.
  • Don't feel mistreated.

The employees benefit because they:

  • Feel that they are better equipped to handle the public.
  • Are able to balance their nervous system and transform stress on-demand.
  • Deepen their listening skills.
  • Are better able to meet the needs of the customer.
  • Practice emotional regulation skills including increased patience, better manners and more kindness and compassion.
  • Have the ability to establish rapport.
  • Access their intuition so that they say and do the right things at the right time.
  • Feel supported by an employer who cares about their emotional, mental and physical health.

The business benefits because it:

  • Earns a reputation that it cares about its clients and customers and values their business.
  • Has satisfied customers/clients who become repeat customers/clients.
  • Develops a customer/client relationship that is based on integrity.
  • Has employees who are healthier, more productive and innovative.
  • Observes a decrease in short and long-term disability claims.
  • Sees a reduction in violence and abuse in the workplace.
  • Becomes a better place in which to work and do business.

You may be able to deduct the training as a part of your operational costs.

How stress affects your customer service representatives:

  • Negative emotions and feelings trigger a chemical cascade of stress hormones, which affect their emotional, mental and physical health.
  • Lack of comprehension on how to self-regulate emotions leading to impaired reasoning, memory and comprehension.
  • Distraction, inattention, poor listening skills, not fully present with customer/client.
  • Feelings of frustration, anxiety, worry, fear, etc. which cause the two branches of the autonomic nervous system to get out-of-sync, resulting in less-than-clear thinking and ill-health.

How are your customer service reps empowered?

  • Learn techniques that allow them to take the significance out of negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, fear, frustration and worry.
  • Gain the ability to apply emotional self-regulation techniques.
  • Boost comprehension and problem-solving skills.
  • Deal with the emotional stressers and mind “jammers” that block communication and learning.
  • Develop greater confidence, control, focus and motivation.
  • Quickly get “in sync”, “in the zone” or “in the flow”.
  • Increase the harmony and unison between the brain, heart and nervous system.
  • Feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. When they feel better, they do better.

"Nothing erases unpleasant thoughts more effectively than conscious concentration on pleasant ones." - Hans Selye

In a coaching program, your employees learn how their thoughts and emotions affect their operating system. They see how their heart rhythm responds to the way in which they think and feel. They practice implementing techniques that can been done anywhere, anytime, to bring their nervous system into balance. They know that by changing the signals that go from the heart to the brain via the autonomic nervous system, they alter the chemical cascade - they say adiós to those stress-inducing, symptom-producing chemicals. They feel empowered knowing that they have control over their emotions, rather than their emotions having control over them.

Employees who are calm and balanced have a different energy than those who are soaking in stress hormones. This energy is felt by the people you serve. Think of the emergency room at your local hospital - generally, the staff who work there go about their business caring for the ill and injured in a manner that exudes professional and instills confidence. They know that good emotional management is the key to a better outcome. Are you able to say the same at your workplace?

Contact me to equip your employees with stress transformation techniques. Enhance your customers' service experience.

Your turn: From which business did you receive exemplary customer service? What made it special?

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4 Replies to “Workplace Stress: Stressing Customer Service”

  1. Great points Marianna about how important a role stress plays in both the customer and employee experience. Even from a customer perspective, you can often feel the shift in communication simply by adding a smile and showing you understand how hard their job can be – lowering stress on both sides!

  2. I tried not to put a spoke in the wheel Marianna but I am so disgusted with atrocious customer service everywhere, yes, without exception, every where, that I have stopped expecting it. The minute something out of the ordinary happens, and instead of machines you have to interact with human beings, everything collapses. I find this to be the case without exception because we have become so mechanised in our businesses that the people manning the machines have no clue as to how to interact with live customers. No amount of training and taped recordings played back to the staff by HR seems to get those desk jockeys to understand and implement person to person communications.

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