Stress often runs rampant in the workplace. Especially for customer service employees who are on the front lines every day, fielding complaints and questions. In small quantities, it can help your team stay alert and improve productivity. It’s a powerful motivator. However, a large amount of stress has the potential to hinder task performance. Not to mention, take their toll on employees’ mental wellbeing. Here are 7 ways to give your customer service staff a helping hand and reduce on-the-job stress through online training.
8 Ways To Lower Stress Levels On-The-Job
1. Equip Them With Workplace Confidence
One of the best ways to manage stress and overcome work-related pressure is to build self-confidence. When employees are confident about their abilities, they’re more likely to tackle challenges without feeling the strain. So, immerse your customer service staff in simulations and branching scenarios that mimic on-the-job situations that often induce stress. If they can handle an irate customer in the simulation, they can transfer that experience into the workplace. This will make them more confident and assured when they do encounter a disgruntled customer and they will be able to quickly diffuse the situation.
2. Impart Practical Skills
Possessing the required skills helps customer service staff manage stress more effectively and overcome common obstacles. For example, if they lack communication skills, they may be unable to articulate their thoughts to customers or cannot actively listen to their complaint in order to find the best solution. However, online training equips them with these vital skills. Serious games are just one way to bridge the gaps and identify areas for improvement. The key here is to facilitate practical skill-building that doesn’t hinge solely on theories or hypotheticals. For instance, adding a variety of skills that your warehouse or HR staff must acquire will only overwhelm your customer service staff. They need skills that pertain to their job duties and roles. Time management, organization, and planning are also crucial skills if you want to help them manage workplace stress.
3. Build Real-World Experience
Experience on the job is hard to come by. Seasoned customer service staff often has their fair share of emotional wounds to show for it; especially those who are more empathic or not ‘thick-skinned’. But you can give your employees a healthy dose of real-world experience with the help of examples, anecdotes, and branching scenarios. They can manage their stress more effectively if they’ve ‘seen it all before’ even if it was in an online training environment that gave them the opportunity to learn from mistakes.
4. Expose Employees To Unique Customer Personas
Customer service staff encounters a broad range of personality types throughout the course of the workday. From the perfectly content customer who suddenly gets angry when they realize they can’t return an item to the customer who comes in every day asking a multitude of questions that are difficult to answer. These encounters can cause your employees a great deal of stress. Use online training to expose them to various customer personas so that they’re fully prepared. For example, a simulation or serious game that teaches them how to work with different traits or behaviors.
5. Offer Moment-Of-Need Support
There are times when even the most experienced customer service employees simply don’t know what to do. They’ve never encountered the problem before, or the circumstances are unusual. In which case, they need just-in-time online training support to help them through it. Employees are better equipped to manage their stress if the support resources are always there for them, instead of having to wait until the manager comes in or to attend the next online training session. The secret is making it micro and mobile-friendly. Customer service staff must be able to access the moment-of-need online training resources discreetly on the job, get the information, then apply it right away.
6. Streamline Task Performance
Not knowing how to perform a task can make employees panic. Particularly when it’s a time-sensitive task and customers are patiently, or not so patiently, waiting for a resolution. As such, you may want to incorporate online training tutorials, demos, and other online training resources into your eLearning course design. Employees can streamline their task performance, reduce on-the-job mistakes, and improve proficiency. Instead of taking 10 minutes to complete the return process, they bring it down to 5, thereby reducing their stress levels and feeling more self-assured. Not to mention, they improve customer satisfaction rates since they offer speedier service.
7. Provide Troubleshooting Guides To Minimize Workplace Pressure
Troubleshooting guides may be in the form of quick demo videos, online training tutorials, interactive infographics, or clickable checklists. These online training resources help employees quickly navigate the choppy waters of customer service, even if they are new hires. A great way to compile a troubleshooting repository is to survey your team. Get their input regarding which problems they typically encounter and why, as well as which delivery formats might bring them the most benefit. For example, would they like to listen to a quick podcast that features tips on how to deal with a customer complaint? Or what about participating in a serious game that teaches them to how to handle POS glitches? They’re in a unique position to shed light on work-related sticking points and ways to address them with online training.
Online training instills confidence and real-world experience. This helps customer service staff prepare for the unexpected and remain cool, calm, and collected under pressure. You’re more likely to retain your top talent if employees have all the support they need. Thereby, improving customer service scores, staff satisfaction, and sales. Use this article to help customer service employees minimize their stress and maximize their potential instead.
Is your current LMS part of the solution, or yet another stressor that employees must contend with on the job? Find the best customer service training LMS for your team using our free online directory.