Tag: Positive Attitude

How to Improve Your Team’s Customer Service

How to Improve Your Team’s Customer Service

Customer service means different things to different people. To some it means going beyond what’s expected of you. To others it means adding value and integrity to every interaction. To others it means taking care of customers the way you would take care of your grandmother. We might all define customer service a little differently, but we can all agree on one thing: to provide great customer service, your team needs to put energy and enthusiasm into their interactions with customers. Great customer service begins with a great attitude.

Your Team’s Appearance Counts in Customer Service

As a society, we are all aware that a lot of emphasis is put on individual appearance. To some extent this is actually something regrettable, as it means that people are prepared to judge a book by its cover. Conversely, however, your team should be aware that the opinions of its customers matter. Those opinions may not be the same as that of the team members, but when it comes to ensuring the success of a team they still matter. In fact, the saying “the customer is always right” could be considered to apply here. Most customers wish to be treated with courtesy and to deal with individuals who look like they have made an effort with their appearance. Therefore it is beneficial to ensure all the members of your team takes heed of this fact.

This does not mean that in every business it is important for customer-facing staff to be Stepford-style automatons who look, act, and behave as though they had been prepared for their role to ensure that every business operation is the same as the last. A certain amount of character, which includes a modicum of individuality, is desirable in a customer services situation. It is important to maintain standards, but also to give the appearance that each transaction is different from the last.

Even if the transaction or the enquiry is not carried out in person, it is still important for your team to consider the matter of appearance. “Appearance”, after all, is not just a term which applies to physical appearance. It also refers to how things seem. If a customer is dealing with a team member on the phone or via e-mail, they will be well advised to ensure that their professionalism does not slip here. Often in businesses which do not directly face the customer – such as call centers – the dress code is “relaxed”. Team members can wear jeans and a t-shirt, or whatever feels comfortable, as long as their performance is polished and professional. Some businesses prefer to have a strict dress code even in these circumstances, feeling that dressing smartly equates directly to a smart performance.

The Power of a Smile in Customer Service

Often opinions differ on what constitutes a strong approach to customer service. There are some who would argue that efficiency is everything – providing the customer with what they require, when they require it without them needing to ask for it. The overall impression that this method aims for is that things happened without anyone needing to try, as if by magic. This means that courtesy counts for an increasing amount in customer transactions.

Being positive and friendly in customer interactions plays a major part in ensuring that a customer walks away from the experience having felt that everything was done in a way that suggested the customer is valued. This may impact on how much they spend in a single transaction, and just as important, whether they return to the business with more customers, because of their positive experience. In this respect, a smile can make a world of difference to how the customer feels about their treatment, and about the business in general.

Having a smile on their face will make your team look more welcoming. It is something that cannot be overestimated as a customer service and retention tool. If you were to walk into a store, and saw two sales assistants – one who looked cheerful and open and one who looked like they had just opened an overdue credit card bill – instinct would dictate that you approached the cheerful one should you have an enquiry about the item you wanted to buy. Therefore it is advised that in dealing with customers your team is always alert, friendly, and personable. Even if they are not particularly feeling that way, it has been argued by body language experts that the act of smiling releases endorphins which make you feel happier. So it is worth making them making the effort to put a smile on their face however they are feeling.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Your Team Staying Energized Improves Customer Service

All teams experience low points during the course of the day, but there are ways to boost your team’s energy when it is lagging.

  • Take a walk, even if it’s just to the restroom.
  • Drink a glass of cold water.
  • Be sure to eat a good breakfast and lunch.
  • Plug into others – being with energized people, keeps you energized!
  • Listen to up-beat music.
  • Try to stay humorous.

A working day usually stretches from around 8-9 AM and goes on until approximately 5 PM. Though there is some movement in these times, the typical structure of a staff timetable is that a working day will extend to around eight hours, and will involve some short breaks in between times. The importance of this information is that it can be difficult to maintain a positive demeanor for eight hours straight, especially if team members are thinking about matters beyond the workplace. Eight hours of appearing positive and upbeat can be the hardest part of a job, without even considering the brass tacks of the job – ensuring that the customers are seen to.

It is essential in this respect that anyone in a customer-facing job approaches their day in a sensible, structured fashion which allows them to get the most out of themselves. Staying energized is often difficult, but as long as your team develops a routine for dealing with the difficult events, then they can find a way to deal with even the dreariest day. There will be times during a working day when they would like nothing more than to go and get their jacket and walk out the door. However if we all did that whenever we felt like it, the chances are that we would mostly be out of a job.

It is essential for your team members to find something that allows them to break out of the “lows” that anyone will experience during a working day. These lows are common to all of us, and we all have different ways of dealing with them. One of the most commonly used methods of shaking out of this kind of torpor is a “change of scenery”. If they have a moment and they can leave the shop floor, it is beneficial for them to get up and go somewhere else for a moment. Maybe it will be something as simple as going to get a drink or get some fresh air. Whatever they do, it should be vastly preferable to scowling at every customer who simply asks them the price of a certain item.

It should also be noticed that making the effort to have breakfast in the morning – even if they feel as though eating is the last thing they want to do – can be of huge benefit to the team. It allows them to maintain energy through the morning, which for many people is the hardest time of say to stay positive. It may be a cliché, but making sure that your team members don’t skip breakfast can go a very long way to keeping them energized through the day.

Your Team Staying Positive Improves Customer Service

Your team can’t control all of the problems and irritations that come up during the day. They can control their attitude and how they react to the situation.

Tips on staying positive:

  • Rearrange or redecorate their work space.
  • View negative situations as a training session for their future, use them to their benefit, they may help them later in life.
  • Find ways to spend more time on tasks they enjoy.
  • Look for opportunities to learn new things.
  • Realize that they can find positives in any negative situation. Albert Einstein said: “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”

At the beginning of the day, they should think about one important thing that they want to accomplish that day. Think about why it is important. They must tell themselves that they have the ability to accomplish it successfully, and congratulate themselves when they have accomplished what you set out to do.

Positivity is something that is very hard to create out of nothing. It occurs naturally in some people, and others are deficient in it. Positivity can result from good things happening at the right time – or for that matter at any time. It can act as an energy source on which a person can access to bring the best results time and again. Whether you are a team leader looking for good results from a sales team, or a team member looking for your own positive results, it is essential to bear in mind that the best results come from situations where the individual, and those with whom they work, feel that positive energy that feeds into a good performance.

Most of us have spent time with positive and negative people. Although those who are negative may be so for perfectly good reasons – past experience may have seen them consistently fail to get what they want – they can be difficult to deal with, even to the point where they seem to sap the positivity from those who have it in supply. This is something that you will tolerate from a friend, but in a team it is essential to stop this kind of negativity by whatever means necessary. Having a bright outlook can be difficult, especially when luck seems to be in short supply, but this is what separates good team leaders and team members from bad ones.

Outlook and attitude are essential for any team, but particularly in one where the team will be dealing with the public. It may seem that the day is not going their way, and that they are permanently going to be frustrated, but the essential thing to remember is that if they project this mood on to the customers, they will certainly have a bad time sales-wise. Positivity is hard to manufacture out of nothing, so sometimes your team will have to project it when they are not necessarily feeling it. Eventually, if they keep this faux positivity running for long enough, it will create the conditions for real positivity to take hold and thrive. Of course, if they already feel it so much the better – as far as possible they should share it and allow it to become a prevailing condition.

 

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Build Your Team Using Appreciative Inquiry

Build Your Team Using Appreciative Inquiry

There are many techniques and practices that can be used with appreciative inquiry that anyone can use in their lives. Learning about appreciative inquiry not only benefits the team members, but the entire organization. It helps address ways to encourage positive ways of thinking instead of using negativity or even criticism.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

The definition of appreciative inquiry is the ability to recognize the best in the team members and utilizing those strengths to discover new possibilities and results. Appreciative inquiry focuses on positive thinking and expresses ideas and opinions to reach an end result. What does that mean for you or your team? Appreciative inquiry in the team encourages team members to think positively, which in turn helps them to overcome their own negative thoughts to work harder and reach their own goals for better productivity.

Generating a Better Future

Appreciative inquiry helps build a vision for a better future by using questions to turn the person’s attention to their past, present and future successes. These questions generally focus on what the person enjoys about their surroundings and their current situations. Once these ideas have been identified, the individual can take these positive thoughts to turn toward the future and build a path to success. Since we learn from our past mistakes and choices, we can use questions and insights to decide what we can use to make the right choices later. The key is identifying what works for you, and how you can use them to your advantage to create a better future.

Ways to create your future today:

  • Determine your goals
  • Make a plan for them
  • Identify how appreciative inquiry can affect these goals and plans

Engaging Team Members in Positive Thought

One of the age-old ways of determining how a person views a situation is asking them if the glass is half full or half empty. Many pessimists will reply that the glass is half empty while opportunists will see the glass as half full. Even one pessimist in the team can hinder everyone else’s positive attitude, so it is important to engage every team member in positive thinking. When everyone avoids criticism and implements the ‘can do attitude’, it not only creates a pleasant work environment for everyone, but team members begin to feel better about themselves and take pride to finish any job with ease.

Engaging your team to think positive:

  • Encourage group discussions
  • Invite others to share their ideas and opinions
  • Make them focus on the positive side of things and avoid negative phrasings

Change the Person, Change the Organization

When team members take pride in themselves, they also take pride in their team.  But if they have negative feelings about where they work, it can show in their productivity. When you change how a person views or thinks about the team and their roles in it, you in turn change how the team is perceived as a whole. This is why it is always important to meet with team members and listen to what they have to say; value their ideas and opinions.

If the team members feel as though they are making a contribution to the team and are a part of the master plan, they will feel more inclined to think positively and alter the overall view of the team. With positive and reflective team members the team should then become a positive entity and provide a better environment for everyone.

 

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The Importance of a Positive Attitude for Team Leaders

The Importance of a Positive Attitude for Team Leaders

Leaders, who are achieving lasting success, are those leaders who possess a positive outlook on life. To be an effective team leader it essential that you have a positive outlook on life. A positive attitude not only determines your level of contentment it also impacts how others interact with you.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

A Positive Attitude is a Choice

As a team leader, you should never wait for someone else to motivate you. Do not let the circumstances dictate the way you think. No matter what may have transpired yesterday, your attitude today is your choice.

Your Attitude Determines Your Actions

Success is not always the result of a high IQ or exceptional talent. Your attitude is always more important than your aptitude. A positive attitude is important because your attitude will determine your actions.

Your Team is a Mirror of Your Attitude

A team leader cannot have a poor attitude and at the same time expect the team members to be positive. The positive attitude of a leader not only fuels the leader, but it also encourages the team to keep pressing on until they succeed. As a team leader, one of your goals should be to pass on your positive attitude to your team.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

If you already have a positive attitude, it is crucial that you work on maintaining it. Maintaining a positive attitude is better than trying to regain one. If you struggle to expect the best of yourself and your team, remember you can change it because you can choose your attitude.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Attitudes

Feed on a steady diet of positive and motivational material. Start feeding yourself with a regular diet of motivational books and talks. The more negative you are, the longer it will take to turn your attitude around. A steady diet of positivity will transform you into a positive thinker.

Achieve a goal a day. If team leaders feel that they are not making progress, it may cause them to fall into a rut of negativity. Team leaders can overcome this by setting achievable daily goals for themselves. A pattern of positive achievement will help develop a pattern of positive thinking.

Put up reminders of positivity. Put up reminders in your work area and home to keep your thoughts positive. You can put up awards, inspirational posters or positive letters you received. Find something that will work for you.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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