What tactics could customer service representatives use to help relieve stress?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Being a customer service representative has the potential to be a stressful job. Dealing with unhappy or dissatisfied customers presents the potential for conflict. Conflict can cause stress. There are ways for the representative to take steps to reduce the stress.

One tactic that the representative should utilize is to greet the customer warmly. Be sure to smile at the customer, make eye contact with the person, and present a very pleasant and outgoing appearance. It may help to use the customer's name such as Mr. Smith or Ms. Jones.

Another tactic to use is to be sure to acknowledge the issue. Be sure you understand the customer’s concern by restating the issue. Then tell the customer that you will do whatever you can possibly do to help resolve the issue.

The customer service representative should make sure his or her body language presents a picture that shows he or she is willing to listen, hear the concern, and resolve it.  Arms should not be crossed.  Eyes should not be rolled. Eyebrows should not be raised. Voice tone should be calm.

To de-escalate potential arguments, the agent should lower his or her voice if the customer begins to speak loudly. Talk softer and softer the louder the customer’s voice gets. This presents a message that the agent will not get into a shouting match with the customer.

Finally, if the agent can’t resolve the problem, the agent should get a supervisor or manager. Customer service agents aren’t paid a lot of money. Supervisors or managers are there to resolve disputes that the agent is unable to resolve. Never take this kind of a situation personally. The customer is not mad at you but is taking out or his or her anger on you. Unfortunately, this kind of situation comes with the job.

Utilizing these suggestions may help reduce distress, de-escalate potential conflicts, and hopefully make the customer satisfied.

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