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Ways To Prevent Customer
Service Team Burnout3
We call them Customer Care Providers for one reason: they care. They care about
their customers, about their company and about doing a great job. If they don’t care
about these things, they are merely babysitting our office or retail space. But the good
ones, the ones who truly care are in constant danger of burnout, unless they can be
trained in a system or develop a method themselves for handling difficult customers,
and difficult situations. The three leading causes of burnout can cost you thousands in
lost sales, staff turnover, time and low morale.
Teach them to read the situation and read the customer
Much of customer service is intuitive. We have a ‘gut feel’ about what the right thing
to do is in any given situation. Intuition is developed over a long period of time from
experience and trial and error. Not everyone has experience or the ability to recognize
a repeat situation and benefit from prior knowledge. Many people continue to solve
problems with the same methodology that didn’t work last time. These are the individu-
als who would benefit from training in a step-by-step method to lower tension and take
customers through a process of solvability. It is a learned behavior in dozens profes-
sions – medicine, police work, air traffic controllers – and it is a skill that can be taught.
Learning to read people, understanding why they speak and behave the way they do is
the beginning of preserving your cool under fire.
Expand their communication skills
A good description of a customer service providers’ work is professional communicator.
It is the principle activity on a daily basis. The better communicator you are, the more
information you can gather and the better chance you have of helping the custom-
er solve their problem and make a good buying decision. So much depends on an
employees’ ability to control their words, tonality and body language when dealing with
a customer; being able to speak with them in a way that diffuses rather than triggers
emotion. To de-escalate a tense situation, the customer care provider must have the
communication skills to take their customer from emotional to rational and calm.
Encourage them not to take negativity personally
We marvel at those who can avoid getting ‘hooked in’ to a customers’ nasty com-
ments, glares and rants. Staying calm in these situations is challenging and it may
seem natural that a caring customer service provider take it personally. But feeling guilty,
or overly responsible, or even feeling bad about oneself won’t solve the customers’
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