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Handling Bad Days

Let’s face it: we’re all human, and we all have our bad days. There’s any range of things that could happen to cloud your day, from the trivial-but-annoying to the seriously upsetting. While it’s never an enjoyable experience to have a bad day, it’s also not the customer’s concern when those days happen. Letting your bad days bleed into the customer service you provide is a guaranteed way to lose customers and gain a bad reputation.

There aren’t many suggestions to be offered that will save you from a bad day altogether – things just happen sometimes. Luckily, there are many techniques you can employ when a bad day strikes, and you still must put forward your best work.

Handling Bad Days

I’m human – why can’t the customer understand that?

The customer is very aware that the service representative they’re speaking with is human. As such, they’re also aware that you’re prone to experiencing all sorts of emotions as well. The customer doesn’t need to see this wide range of emotions first-hand, however, to believe it. This might be the only time that this particular customer interacts with a representative from your organization. Given this, your customer’s first impression of you is likely to shape how they view your company as a whole – particularly if they’re in contact with you because a product or service purchased from your organization has not performed as designed or intended. In these cases, the customer might also be experiencing a bad day or negative emotions.

According to Zendesk, around 50% of customers will switch to a different company after a single bad experience. Putting that into context, if a customer’s only interaction with a representative of your organization is while you’re having a bad day, you risk losing up to half of your customers! That amounts to a tremendous loss for your company, particularly given that customer recruitment is far more costly than customer retention.

Rather than humanizing yourself to your customers by showing them that you, too, have less-than-stellar days sometimes, build rapport with the customer. This can be done by showing interest in them as an individual, remembering small details about them from previous interactions and demonstrating that you care about their experience. HubSpot Research reports that 93% of customers will carry out repeated transactions with a company after receiving high-quality customer service. Understanding which emotions are appropriate to show your customer is key to retaining almost all of your customer base rather than losing nearly half.

Building Rapport

Salvaging a bad day

A group of Customer Service Superstars was convened to provide their best advice for those in customer-facing positions to help them become indispensable to their organization. These Superstars were nominated by their own companies because of their contributions to the organization through consistently delivering excellent service. Even the Superstar panel members admitted that they have experienced bad days that threatened to impede upon the level of service they provided to customers.

Several important recommendations were provided by the panel, however, that give insight into how they keep personal problems from negatively impacting their performance at work. Importantly, the Service Superstars likened being in a customer service position to being on stage. Regardless of what might be going on offstage, once you enter the stage (or, in this case, your office or workspace), you’re tasked with putting on a high-quality performance. This doesn’t mean you need to be fake or not genuine to customers. Rather, this suggestion reminds the customer service representative to play to their audience – the customer. In each and every interaction, your priority should be on delivering the service that the customer expects.

Continuing on with the stage analogy, this means that whatever factors are contributing to your bad day should be left offstage – or out of your office – prior to starting the show. This doesn’t mean that the Superstars suggest never dealing with difficult things that might be occurring in your life. Rather, these challenges should be dealt with away from the customer. Each customer that you interact with on a daily basis should feel that they’ve gotten your best, whether it’s the first person you’ve spoken to that day or the very last.

To hear the rest of the suggestions from the Customer Service Superstars, contact a ServiceSkills representative today and request a free demo of the Service Matters Roundtable Series. It’s a unique peer-to-peer training course that allows you to hear and learn from some of the top performers in the industry – real people who provide advice applicable to situations you’re likely to confront every day.

Be sure to check out these additional videos and posts from our ServiceMatters Roundtable from the team at ServiceSkills: