Constructive Thinking in a Customer Service Environment
Updated: Jan 20
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” ~ William James
I recently read a very interesting blog about managing one's own negative thoughts– a short and helpful read. It made me think of my work consulting in the area of customer service.
Customer service professionals’ work is about caring for others and giving customers the best experience possible. Ironically, the thing that can get in the way of them doing their job is… themselves. We all want to do well and are disappointed when we don’t. We are self-critical. We get distracted when we think things aren’t going well. We spend a lot of time noticing what we’re doing wrong and beating ourselves up about it. And while we are engaged in tearing ourselves down, we aren’t engaged in helping anybody else. Which is the goal.
We need to take the focus off ourselves and put it on the customer. But how to do that? As with everything, the solution starts with awareness. When those self-deprecating and critical thoughts pop up, we can take a moment to notice them and think, “Look – there I am, beating myself up again.” And then we can ask ourselves a question: “Is this a useful thought?” "Is it helping me right here and right now?"
Most often we find that what is going on in our head is it taking us out of where we should be and getting in the way of what we should be doing. It can be useful to push the thought to the side and pull ourselves back to the present, back to the interaction we are having with another human and try to concentrate on how we can help.
What do they need? What can I do?
This isn’t about me, this is about them and their experience. If we repeat this thought exercise, with practice we can get better at it.
"Is this a useful thought?" If not, get back to the present, refocus on the service and make it about them, not yourself.
Kirk Dunn is the VP of Customer Engagement at VereQuest and a highly skilled coach, actor/writer and textile artist.
VEREQUEST is a consulting firm specializing in driving and sustaining the quality of the customer experience in the contact center environment. We help our clients, each a leading organization in N.A., to strive to win the hearts and loyalty of customers through a wide range of proprietary tools and techniques.
Get in touch to get to know us better @ firstname.lastname@example.org