Dealing with people can be tough, but dealing with customers can be really tough, even if you work remotely and have limited or no face time with them.
Have you noticed there are times when it seems like every customer call, email or visit has the one aim of driving you nuts, and as a result you become short tempered, grumpy and ready to react?
Well then, you probably have customer burnout.
The signs and symptoms of customer burnout
I learnt my own signs a long time ago:
- My to-do list feels really ‘heavy’ and a little overwhelming. I read the list and don’t feel excited about the jobs on hand, when normally I would.
- I get slack at communicating, taking longer to return calls and emails.
- I avoid any hard conversations. They slide into the too hard basket.
- I choose activities like cutting my toenails, trimming my nose hairs or rearranging my tea bags instead of doing anything resembling productive work.
- I develop an incredible fascination with cat and dog videos on You Tube.
As soon as the symptoms appear, I know I need to do something about it. It is the beginning of the burnout feeling and if left unchecked, only gets worse.
My strategies for dealing with customer burnout
Whilst it would be great to take a month off, as soloists, we rarely have the luxury to do that. So I developed a different approach.
For me, I disconnect. I go somewhere in the wilds with lots of trees, water and animals.
Nature restores my balance. A day at a beautiful creek: swimming, walking, exploring – followed by a great meal and a big sleep ensures that I’m good to go again.
What about you? Need some ideas?
We are all a little different, but we all have that one thing that recharges our batteries.
How do you recharge? What’s the one thing that keeps you sane, especially when you’re running on empty?
For some people it is spending time with an awesome person.
For others it is climbing a mountain.
I have a friend who closes up the house, gets 10 DVD’s, takes everything off the hook and hides from the world for the day.
We all have our own recharging methods. If you don’t know what yours is, perhaps you need to find out. It took me years to realise that when I am stressed I need a nature fix in solitude.
If you find that every day is filled with conflict and stress, maybe you need a break from people? It’s unlikely that the whole world is out to get you, but at times it probably feels that way.
If you have less patience with your clients, maybe you should try working behind the scenes for a while? Self-management is vital in business, especially for solopreneurs. Thriving as opposed to surviving is often a case of getting to know yourself better. Find your de-stressor and use it at the first signs of customer burnout.
What are your thoughts on customer burnout? And how do you deal with it?