Customer service is one of the most stressful jobs a person can have. A customer support representative is the first point of contact when a customer faces a problem. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress is defined as an ‘adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. It’s important for customer service representatives to learn how to put aside all that negativity and manage their stress levels so that their productivity isn’t affected and their sanity remains intact. We’ll be discussing some of the ways how customer service representatives can use tools to manage stress effectively.

Deep Breathing

An effective stress management tool is to practice deep breathing. In times of stress, deep breathing has been known to lower your heart rate and stress levels, bringing you back to a functional state. The process of this is to take inhale deeply and exhale in a slow, controlled way. Other similar methods which are useful for stress management include meditation and mindfulness. Rather than thinking about the past or present, meditation diverts your focus to your breath, helping you be in the present. If you think the concept of meditation is a bit too complex then there is another solution for customer service representatives which is practicing mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness is bringing awareness to your five senses which include sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The idea of it is similar to meditation which is to bring your awareness to the present.

Talk It Out

If customer service representatives have an issue with their customer and don’t have any guideline on how to go about dealing with the situation, they should talk it over with their manager or colleagues. What makes them stress about this certain situation and how to go about solving this stressful situation. If dealing with emotional stress, rather than keeping it all bottled up inside, it’s better to discuss it over with your colleagues as they probably go through the same set of situations throughout the day and are able to relate with your issues. Venting is better than keeping that stress bottled up inside of you and impacting your health negatively.

Don’t Take It Personally

Customer service representatives should learn not to take their customers negative feedback personally. They should realize that when a customer is angry and shouting over them, they’re not really angry at the representative but at the fact that the customer is having difficulties with the service they’re using. Customer service representatives should mentally put themselves in the customer’s shoes and think, how would they react? How would they want the customer service representative to deal with them? Rather than taking it personally, putting oneself into the customers shoes can help figure out how to deal with the situation accordingly.

Keeping a Diary

Another technique which customer service representatives should practice is to keep a diary of whatever stresses them out on the job. Afterwards, by the end of the day or the end of your shift, review the problems that occurred throughout the day. Is there any possible solution to this? If possible, discuss it over with your manager or your colleagues, get advice and find a solution for each and every problem. This way, customer service representatives will have a guideline on how to go about solving their day-to-day problems.

Training

Effective customer service training has the ability to solve the majority of problems that customer service representatives face. Training can be in the form of customer service training games to help break the ice among colleagues and at the same time help improve their communication skills, planning skills and other skills which are essential for a customer service representative. Training workshops, such as our Customer Service 101 workshop, can help effectively communicate with customers and champion a customer-centric attitude. Inadequate training can lead to higher stress levels because representatives wouldn’t have the right skills to fix the situation.

All in all, we’ve provided a number of ways how customer service representatives can effectively manage their stress levels. Out of all these methods, the number one method which is essential for effective stress management is giving adequate training to customer service representatives. If given the proper training, customer service representatives will learn to deal with a variety of scenarios and in the case they find a difficult customer, they will have an idea of how to go about dealing with the situation.