Working in customer care can be a rewarding job for those of us who love helping others! Here at Nimble, we understand the importance of providing our customers with the best support possible. We hire people for this job who demonstrate stellar emotional intelligence. They are naturally patient, empathic and attentive listeners. As a Care Ninja, I am constantly putting these skills to work when communicating with different people from all over the globe! Each customer comes with their own unique personalities and stories to tell. Depending on the scenario, I must be ready to take on any subject that may arise. This could be both good or bad.
To keep the workflow going, I must be able to think quick on my feet, adjust my mood to match the current situation and put my brain to work for the best possible solution for my customer. This requires me to put all of my emotions aside and focus on the needs of others. Unfortunately, the idea of the relentlessly cheerful customer service rep can be difficult to adhere to and sometimes, even we need to take a break from selflessness.
This is why self-care is so very important. Often times we are too busy assisting others to check in on our own psyche. It’s important to be aware of how we are feeling as this can affect the relationships we have with our customers in numerous ways.
By taking these steps, you’ll be able to keep your selfless train running smoothly which will lead to a better experience for your customer!
Create A Zen WorkSpace
Whether you work from home or at an office, having a proper workspace is key to getting into a zen state of mind. Your surroundings have a big affect on your mental well-being. A cluttered or messy desk could make you feel buried and overwhelmed.
Clear out anything and everything that does not contribute to a positive work environment. This could mean getting rid of old paperwork, post-it notes, books you’ll never read, etc. Keep an item or two on your desk that’s personal and brings a smile to your face throughout the work day. For example, I like to keep a picture or two of my family on my desk. Seeing my nieces and nephews bright smiles makes me euphoric and puts me at ease.
Another thing to check for while in your zen space is your posture. Make sure you’re sitting tall but comfortably. Regular check-ups with your doctor can determine if you are experiencing side effects from long periods of sitting. Exercise can also help prevent many health concerns. Which leads me to my next tip!
Ask any of my Nimble team members and they’ll gladly tell you that I’m a strong advocate for establishing a rock solid fitness routine. Whether it’s going to the gym, playing beach volleyball or taking a jog around the block, exercise is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and take your mind off the pressures of day to day work life. It’s also a great source for creativity and anti-depression which will help you stay sharp and come up with new solutions to problems.
Exercise in the morning to increase alertness, prepare for the mental stress of the day and increase retention. Exercise at night as a way to unwind and let out frustrations in a positive way.
Taking breaks throughout your day is a good way to recharge your batteries and re-focus your mind. Try to take a 5-10 minute break every hour and make the most of your breaks. Sitting behind your work computer and scrolling through your social feed while chowing down on a bag of pretzels may not be the best respite to reboot your brain.
Choose a highly efficient way to recover during your breaks such as taking a walk to get some fresh air or coffee. Sharing non-work-related thoughts and ideas with your co-workers is a great way to ease stress. You may also want to take time alone during your break to meditate and become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. If your office has a nearby park or isolated outdoor area, take a moment to sit, close your eyes and take a few deep breathes. These are sure-fire ways to improve positivity and calm the nerves.
Make sure you utilize your vacation time to avoid burning out. Planning vacations for the future gives you something to look forward to as an achievable goal. Don’t worry, your office will survive without you and they’ll thank you when you’ve returned relaxed and recharge from your time away.
Celebrate Your Achievements
In the day to day work life of a care agent, we are constantly attending to the needs of others. So much so that we forget to stop and celebrate our successes. When you receive positive feedback from your customers, take the time to pat yourself on the back!
Create a list of all of your customer’s most positive feedback. This is especially easy to do if your company uses a helpdesk system such as Desk.com to message your customers. These systems usually have a built-in rating feature that allows your customers to rate their overall support experience.
When your customers share their positive feedback, copy and paste it into a Google Sheet or Doc. When you are experiencing a troublesome day, you can re-read these to give your spirit a boost. A little self-indulgence never hurts and it may even kickstart a superb response to your next support email.
Set A Daily Quitting Time and Stick To It
I find this one the most difficult to abide by as I always find myself wanting to get to every customer, even those who wrote in after closing time. There will always be more that you can do for your customers, however, you must establish a limit and not push yourself beyond that. It’s normal to feel drained at the end of the day, however, this should not lead to thoughtless replies. Customers are good at spotting an insincere response and they’ll get the impression that the service rep might be getting lazy. This is why it’s important to set a specific quitting time and stick to it.
At Nimble, our closing time is at 5 PM. My personal goal is to finish my last customer support email by 5:30, laptop closed thereafter. This way, my last customer gets the best response possible and I get home in time for the family dinner.
When you take the time to take care of yourself first, you’ll see a major improvement in your overall well-being. Remember it’s vital that you create a peaceful workspace, establish a decent fitness routine, take the time to clear your head, celebrate accomplishments and set a limit.
A little self-indulgence is not about being selfish. It is good for the psyche and will help you strengthen your long-term support skills as well as boost productivity.