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It takes energy to start each day strong. No matter how good your customer service was yesterday, each morning you begin again managing customer expectations, getting tasks done, and maintaining good working relationships with your internal customers (your boss, colleagues, and anyone inside the company who is affected by your work.) How do you keep yourself motivated and productive enough to create great customer experiences day after day?
Here are five morning habits worth turning into daily rituals for ongoing success.
Create a small instant success
Customer service requires composure under pressure and a lot of problem solving. It’s easy to get bogged down or overwhelmed by daily demands, petty personality problems and complaints. To give yourself an “I can do it” attitude, start your day with a small success. Pick a repeatable action you can do at the start your day like clearing the work space on your desk, writing down your highest priority task, or doing a five minute mediation to prepare yourself to be present. A small success leads to bigger successes. During a speech for his alma mater, U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McCraven told graduates, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” That small action becomes your first success of the day – a daily accomplishment that sets the pace for your mindset and actions.
Nix the mind-numbing
We are creatures of habit. Take a week and watch your typical morning patterns. What wastes your time, leaves you feeling drained or unproductive? Is it a quick Facebook check that consistently steals a half-hour or more of your morning? To be polite, have you become the “victim” of a coworker’s daily morning gabfest? Do you start with self-criticism or shortcomings from the previous day? Notice the pattern then you can change it.
Use the power of three
To muscle through challenging customer service issues and get things done, it helps to start the morning with three powerful adjustments:
- Adjust your breath. Small shallow breathing is depleting and increases stress. Start your work day with slow deep breaths, and imagine each breath as energizing your body for action.
- Adjust your body. Not everyone is outgoing early in the morning. Though, when talking with a customer or colleague, your body language sends a message. Notice what message you’re sending. A yawn, furrowed brow or constant tapping of your foot can be interpreted as disinterest, impatience or stress. Also, certain habitual body postures can leave you feeling fatigued or strained. Observe and change positions when you’re hunching over your phone or holding your wrists in an uncomfortable angle as you type.
- Adjust your mind. At the start of the day, remind yourself WHY you’re working. The meaning you bring to your work has a strong effect on your sense of purpose and ability to truly be of serve. Say to yourself, “Because of this job, I get to …” Even the most dreaded aspects of customer service work can be meaningful, even if only to allow you to take care of your family or fund your lifestyle.
Picture your customer service success
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe that’s why Instagram and Pinterest are so popular. Start your morning with images (photos or a symbol of past achievements) that lift you up and support your intentions. You can quickly get ready to give great customer service by viewing a thank-you note from a happy client. Or find stamina by viewing a quote, photo, or memento from a mentor. Set a screen saver with words or images that create feelings that put you in the state of mind to truly serve your customers.
Choose your “person”
It’s not always easy to stay on track alone. Sometimes having a trusted colleague who knows what your goals are can help you keep on course in areas you’re committed to improving or in gaining greater competency. You can be that person for others, too. Have a daily morning huddle with your team to get everyone on the same page. If that’s not possible, consider an email check in with your accountability partner to generate the energy you need to accomplish your goals and to support them in accomplishing theirs.
What about you? How do you start your day strong for customer service success?
Marilyn Suttle is a customer experience expert, international speaker, and coauthor of the bestselling book, Who’s Your Gladys? How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer into Your Biggest Fan and Taming Gladys! The Busy Leader’s Guide to Creating Fierce Customer Loyalty. Marilyn delivers customer service and communication keynotes and workshops to help her audiences create strong, productive relationships in every area of life. For more information, email: email@example.com
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