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How to practice patience in customer service

selective focus of word patience made of cubes surrounded by blocks with letters on wooden surface isolated on blackWe’ve all heard the phrase “patience is a virtue,” because having a patient demeanor is often valued and praised. However, it’s not something that’s easy to master. Being patient is hard. Sometimes things get under our skin and make it difficult not to boil over. But when you work in customer service, you can’t let your emotions get the better of you. You have to stay in control and practice patience. This is, of course, easier said than done. It takes time to fully develop this trait, but it is absolutely necessary! Since we know patience can be difficult for many, we wanted to talk about some things you can do while speaking with customers to stay calm and collected.

First, when a customer says something you don’t like or goes off on a tangent, you may feel your patience quickly waning. This is a good time to breathe deeply. If you’re on the phone, make sure to mute yourself so the customer can’t hear you. As you breathe deeply, try not to lose focus on the call. While you may want to zone the customer out to keep your emotions in check, you can’t, because you may miss important details regarding how to assist them.

You need to listen to what your customers are saying attentively. Try to listen to the key points and not let their emotions get you heated. If a customer is upset, remember that although they may be expressing it to you, you aren’t the source of their frustration. You just happen to be the one they’re venting to. Remember your job is to help them. Think about how gratifying it will be to resolve the issue and turn their anger into satisfaction. Make that your focus.

If things get too out of hand and you feel the customer is being aggressive, then you may need to pull a manager in to resolve the problem. Know what your limitations are and when you need someone else to jump in and assist with an issue.

As you assist customers, remember they may have other things going on, besides what they’re calling you about. It’s like the saying goes, “you never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always.” It may help to post this quote at your workstation as a reminder. Ultimately, it’s the customer service agent’s job to listen, answer questions, and provide resolutions. Make sure that you’re doing this with a listening ear and a patient demeanor. Good luck!

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