Home & Family
Essential employees find themselves on the frontlines of the economic tidal wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The people who keep grocery stores stocked and operating are facing anxiety-driven customer behavior.
Customer service employees are often the first to answer questions about empty shelves, long lines, and toilet paper rationing. Anxious customers, plus uncertainties employees may be facing in their own lives, can lead to unintended confrontations that damage the reputations of employers and businesses.
Supervisors can help employees manage this stress by focusing on three pillars of customer service.
Communicating effectively in the workplace is a critical skill for an employee. Employers consistently rank good communication skills at the top of the list for potential employees.
- Pay close attention to what is being said without planning your own response while another is speaking.
- Wait until the other person is finished talking before responding. (This can be difficult with an upset customer).
- Know where your authority begins and ends. Contact a supervisor or manager before a situation escalates.
Enthusiasm and Positive Attitude
Individuals with a negative attitude are generally not at their best, may treat others rudely and disrespectfully, and are not enjoyable to work with. In customer service settings, employees with a positive and enthusiastic attitude will approach customers proactively and offer assistance. Look at each situation as a chance to accomplish something, both for the customer and for yourself. Stay emotionally detached, yet focused.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
There is no shortage of challenges and issues that can arise on the job. Having the necessary skills to identify solutions to problems is one of the skills that employers look for in employees. Problem solving and critical thinkingrefer to the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve problems. When you understand that the customer is upset, you can bring empathy to his or her point of view—no matter what they say to you. This empathy will help you deal with the heat of the moment in a calmer way.