The end of the year is nigh. Your holiday is within reach. All that stands between you is….
…a mountain of work, heaps of stressed customers, tired and hungover staff, and your own body's unwillingness to cooperate.
Hmmm – must be Christmas time.
It's a time of year that most of us love and hate. There's the looming deadline of Christmas… which pretty much signals the end of the year… which means all that stuff we said we'd do this year that's not done yet… is probably not going to get done. There's the increased social obligations (and associated repercussions) and, for most businesses, it's one of the busiest periods of the year.
The last twelve months have been tough for many of us, but these last few weeks may well (hopefully) be flatchat. So now is not the time for working on the business – it's time to get your hands dirty, service customers, keep staff fired up, and keep customer service your priority.
- Take a moment to thank your team.
Give them a pep talk about hanging in there and doing their utmost to service each and every customer. Let them know that you recognise and appreciate their efforts.
- Remember customers are your lifeblood.
They might seem to be flocking you now, but remember back to when you'd kill for another customer? Treat each one like royalty and some of them will remember you throughout the year.
- Have a holiday planned.
Even if it's only a short break, you need something to look forward to.
- Keep your sense of humour.
When things get stressful, make a joke, give something away, put on some pumping music, or hand out the chocolates. Whatever it takes to lighten the mood!
- Know your limits.
Avoid burn-out by saying no to some things. Although everyone wants to "catch up before Christmas", it can be good to put a limit on this – like only going out 2 week-nights, or insisting on having Sundays to yourself.
- Customers are stressed too!
Not only are you busier than ever, as we get close to the big day, customers get more and more frazzled and can take that frustration out on us. Don't take it personally! Apologise sincerely if your service wasn't up to scratch, take a moment to listen to them without distractions, and do your best to make their day a little less stressful. (It doesn't help to tell them about your problems!)
- Bring your Christmas Spirit.
Whatever your beliefs, Christmas is a great time for fun and festivities. Choose merry over misery and wear your silly earrings or that crazy jumper, decorate the office, play that annoying music, hand out Christmas and generally get into the spirit of things! Think of something fun and festive to involve your team – maybe everyone has to wear red, take turns to bring snacks, or run a Secret Santa…