“Anchoring” Your Customer Service

anchorOur customer service expert and friend, Jeff Toister (@toister) of Toister Solutions, says in his book titled Service Failure,An “attitude anchor” is something that secures your attitude in a positive place.

Picture yourself in a stressful situation with a customer–you are doing all you can to help them, but as we know, this is not always easy. When the situation ends, what can you do to help bring yourself back to a positive place?

Because after all, we must take care of ourselves in order to take care of our customers.

Jeff describes the two types of attitude anchors:

Recovery: Recovery anchors are powerful yet quick methods for you to get back on your feet again.

Maintenance: Maintenance anchors are more consistent to help you keep balance in the first place.

Anchors are personal–everyone has something that makes sense and works for them. This is a great exercise for everyone in customer service.

Here is my personal list:

Recovery Anchors

  • Talk to a friend or coworker
  • Take a walk outside (if telecommuting, walk with my dog)
  • If I can’t get away from my desk, take a moment to close my eyes and breathe deeply
  • Listen to a favorite song

Maintenance Anchors

  • Spend time with friends, family and my dog
  • Take regular breaks and eat lunch somewhere other than my desk
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Creative outlets (music, writing, crafts, etc).

Why are attitude anchors important?

Customer service isn’t always easy and staying positive can be challenging. To avoid burnout, excess stress and other service related conditions, we must figure out how to remain in a balanced state of mind to ensure the success of our customers.

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Think of it like this, “An attitude anchor a day keeps customer service burnout away!

On October 25th, during our fun Coffee and Customer Service hangout “Talking ‘Service Failure’ with Jeff Toister“, I was chatting about how I really find the “attitude anchor” idea awesome. I  know I can easily be affected by stress and being able to pull myself out of it is tough.

Then, we received this Tweet from ZenDesk’s Jessica Pierson (@JGPierson):

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I had already planned on getting a tattoo with my sister during my visit home to California…but then cancelled it last minute. After that Tweet, I called to reschedule for a tiny anchor tattoo.

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Tattoos are not for everyone and you might think I’m a bit crazy for doing this, but here you have it.

I now have absolutely no excuse to forget to use my attitude anchors and now you all can hold me accountable as well.

Plus, attitude anchors also can be used outside of the office. There will always be situations where the seas we sail will be windy and wild. It’s how we respond to it that matters.

BUT WAIT…there’s more!

Looks like this is becoming quite the trend because Jeremy (@jtwatkin) and Jeff (@toister) now have their own Zendesk (@zendesk) “Attitude Anchor” tattoos, courtesy of Jessica Pierson (@JGpierson).

To check out the tattoo awesomeness, click here and here.

Challenge: What are your attitude anchors and how will you remember them?

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Jenny Dempsey is the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. With over a decade of customer service experience, Jenny has been recognized through social media channels as a thought leader. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. When she's not helping or singing to customers, she is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, coaching clients over at her side passion project, JennyDempseyWellness.com.

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