Staying positive in a customer service work environment can sometimes be difficult, especially when dealing with unpleasant customers. Instead of counting down the clock until the end of your shift, though, other more beneficial ways exist to help you stay upbeat, have a positive outlook or cope with trying situations. In addition, supervisors and managers usually appreciate employees who take responsibilities seriously and keep positive attitudes while working.
Read the company's mission statement. Think about the company's written objectives and goals in relation to the customer service work you do. For example, many businesses make a high priority out of giving the customer the best product and "experience" possible. Recognize how your job becomes a part of the company's mission.
Engage the customer. Devote your entire attention to customers while working and focus on providing great service to each person you encounter. Speak clearly, so customers can hear. Actively listen to find out how to resolve and fix customers' problems; ask questions to probe further into customers' requests and identify solutions.
Personalize your work surroundings, if possible. Post motivational quotes about customer service around the office environment to inspire you. Hang pictures and images of your personal goals, such as career, family or monetary goals that you need to achieve.
Manage stress in your personal and work life. Practice relaxation techniques--such as meditation, guided imagery or progressive muscle relaxation--on a regular basis to cope with work stress and personal issues. Talk and vent to your boss, supervisor or co-workers about difficult customers whom you've experienced. Dealing with stress in healthy ways can help prevent you from projecting a negative attitude towards customers.
Develop a list of the most frequent problems that customers address. Turn this list into a "cheat sheet" and keep it nearby your desk, phone or workstation. Refer to the list to find quick answers when attending to customers. Keeping this "cheat sheet" in front of you can decrease your stress levels and the amount of time customers wait for answers.
Memorize routine work procedures and customer service policies. When fulfilling orders and requests for customers, practice each step in the process as best and as quick as you can. Try to out-perform yourself with each customer request you encounter. Performing your work duties in rote fashion enables you to focus more time on listening to what the customer wants, engaging him in conversation and providing a high level of service.
Practice smiling while talking with customers, especially over the phone; customers will "pick up" the general tone of your voice and overall attitude.
Avoid heated arguments with customers; call a supervisor over if you need help.