Customer Service Tip: Take Care of You!

Posted By: Rommel Anacan

I admit it…I let my emotions get to me at work one day. I was alone in the office all day, and quite frankly, I was “done!” Have you ever been there? When you cannot handle one more phone call, or request, or someone asking “When is Amazon getting here???” and on and on and on.
Well, I was having one of those days when the phone rang. That would have been enough to set me off because, as I mentioned, I was “done!” Did I mention I was “done????”
Well, the customer on the end of the line was not happy with something; and while I don’t remember what it was that made me so mad, I do know that I took off my headset and threw it at my desk.
As it left my hand I knew it wasn’t going to be good and I immediately regretted the decision! After the headset hit the desk and I saw a couple pieces of plastic go flying in the air, I KNEW it was a
bad decision.

Why am I telling you this story?

I wanted you to know that if you have bad days, if you have days (weeks, months, years) when you’re over dealing with customers, that I totally get it and understand! Customer service is hard work. It’s not easy dealing with people day in and day out. It isn’t. Because people are messy, complicated, confusing, frustrating and unpredictable.
And yet, while we know that it’s understandable when we don’t give great customer service, when we lose it with a customer, when we do something we know we shouldn’t or don’t do something we know we should, the fact is, giving good service ultimately helps YOU in the end. It helps you ease the concerns of a worried customer. It helps you calm an angry person down. It makes your job easier.
Remember the barista who famously “lost it” with a customer, while another customer recorded it and shared it with the world? Unfortunately the barista lost her job over the situation. Her one moment of losing it with a customer caused her to lose her job. I don't know about you but that definitely didn’t make her job, or life, any easier!

So, what can you do?

Take care of yourself! There’s no way to give good customer service if you’re operating at a deficit all the time. If you’re weary. Discouraged. Overwhelmed.
So before you try and take care of others, be sure to take care of yourself.
I know it sounds way too simplistic, but the truth is the following things will help you immensely:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat well (You can’t drink 20 cups of coffee a day and 10 donuts and expect to feel great!)
  • Have fun outside of work
  • Try to find the fun in work
  • Take your breaks! We have a work ethos that often implies that you should eat lunch at your desk and/or never leave the office. You need those breaks in the day. Take them!
  • When you feel yourself starting to get more punchy, irritated, irritable etc. take that as a sign that you need to do something!! You might need to go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, meditate in the storage room, or just step away from the desk for five minutes. Whatever it is, listen to the message that your body is sending you, before you send the wrong message to your customers and the people around you!

You're worth taking care of- and so are your customers! So.... TAKE CARE OF YOU! You can't take care of others, if you don't take care of yourself.

Like many of you, Rommel Anacan is a multi-family housing industry veteran, having worked at all levels of the industry, from on-site to corporate where he developed a reputation for tackling common industry challenges in uncommon ways.