This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.

In part one of this two-part series, we discussed some simple ways to improve your customer service dramatically, but what we didn’t address was how to deal with outside influences that might be mucking up your caller care. In this second part, we’ll get you covered.

It’s all well and good to read articles about how to improve your customer service and even really work hard to implement those things you’ve read, but you’ll never achieve truly remarkable caller care unless you take some time to think about you. How you respond and how you’re feeling can make a huge difference in how your shoppers react to what you say to them on the phone.

Tone of Voice Can Make a World of Difference

Tone of voice is everything in a phone conversation. Since you can’t check each other’s body language, you have to convey so much with just your voice. The problem occurs when you’re tired, you’ve had a bad day (or a week of bad days) or you’re in too much of a rush to really do the job right. Believe it or not, people pick up on all sorts of subconscious things during a customer service call, but you can improve your calls with both better content and better delivery.

Here are some simple tips to help keep you in the right frame of mind:

Hire enough help. Skimping on your customer service team is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You need them to pick up the phones quickly, provide your callers with the right amount of empathy and resolve issues to everyone’s satisfaction. When you or your receptionist is rushed because the phone’s ringing off the hook, it’s hard to really slow down and help. This is where an answering service company with overflow calling can be a huge asset. You only pay for the calls they actually answer, so it’s cost-effective, too.

Get away from work. Even if you still answer your own calls during the day, it’s vital that you get away from work at night. There’s no way you can fill others’ cups from an empty teapot, as the saying goes, putting self-care first also means putting your customers first. When you can answer the phone in the morning truly refreshed and have had an evening to get away from the craziness of your business, you’re going to be more willing to help, more flexible in your thinking and a better customer service agent all around. If you tend to take nighttime calls, an after hours answering service can fill the gap so you don’t have to worry that those customers may call someone else instead of leaving a message.

Take a breath. When you’re on the phone to a customer who’s already enraged, it can be easy to get annoyed or even worse. Remember that angry callers are only reacting out of a combination of fear that you won’t hear their problem and frustration that they’re in a situation they’d rather not be in to begin with. When you take a breath and make an effort to put yourself in their place, it suddenly becomes really easy to empathize with a customer’s plight and once they realize you’re trying to help the situation may cool considerably.

Amazing customer service doesn’t take years of training or special education to learn. It all starts with you. The better you feel when you go to work, the better your callers will feel and that’s really what makes all the difference.