Stress is a common complaint for many call center representatives and face-to-face customer service providers. It is created by many things in a person’s personal and professional life. Often it is caused by the one element of the service environment that no service provider can avoid — people.
If something or someone is causing you stress or bothering you; speak up in a non-emotional, professional manner. Provide feedback by sharing with them your feelings, the behavior that you believe is causing the stress, explain the result of their action(s), and ask their assistance in fixing the problem or eliminating the stress-inducing behavior. You should think of one or more possible realistic solutions to offer prior to having this conversation.
The following is an example of how you might handle a stressful situation in the workplace:
Assume that you are a customer service representative in a clothing store and your supervisor tends to ask you to perform back-to-back tasks before you have time to complete previously assigned ones. You might say something like, “Sharon, I often feel stressed when you ask me and other sales representatives to straighten inventory on shelves or change pricing when there are a number of potential customers on the sales floor. We have been told that customers are our priority, but then we are held accountable for getting the other tasks done as well. This typically ends with my leaving work with a headache and feeling that I have not done a good job. Can we discuss ways to get all the work accomplished in a manner that will make the job less stressful for employees?”
Do not assume that they know how you feel or what is going on in your head. In many instances people do not recognize the impact of their behavior on others. In examples such as the one above, your supervisor may be under pressure that you are not aware of from her boss.
Allowing something to fester will not only cause you suffering, but can also negatively impact relationships long-term. When you are not upset over something, share your thoughts or concerns with the other person in a non-emotional and non-confrontational manner. This strategy can potentially help you deliver the best customer service possible and applies to your personal life as well.