When it comes to customer service, small business owners, customer service professionals, and organizations must completely understand that client issues can happen at any time of the day or night. When issues do arise, customers want answers, and often times they want answers yesterday.

As a customer service professional, one might think that a 9 to 5 job is just that, one shift, and your off until the next day. This approach, however, is not the best approach for maximizing true potential and growth. As a customer service manager, it is important to help your staff learn that in order to grow as a professional, and continue building on their skill set for handling the most difficult client issues, a lifestyle approach is important.

Early in my career, I began by taking customer issues in hospitality that the front desk staff could not handle. During my work day, I handled each and every issue with the customers best interest in mind. Once my work day was over, however, customer service was no longer a thought until I sat at my desk the next morning. Through the years, I have built a strong skill set for dealing with customers and their vast array of issues. It was not until I made a small but very important change in my thought process, however, that my customer service mindset switched from a 9 to 5 approach to a lifestyle.

With a lifestyle approach to customer service, I began analyzing my interactions with others beyond the work day. I also began not only analyzing myself, but analyzing others around me. When standing in the checkout line at the local department store, or the bank teller line, I found myself analyzing the interactions of customers and cashiers. Over time, this developed to analyzing the interactions between workers, and managers at restaurants, or conversations that took place in front of customers. This continued development in my customer service mind set, later led to pointing out issues, and determining what I would have done differently in certain situations. Over time, my 9 to 5 approach to customer service transitioned into a full time passion for analyzing, developing, and providing the best customer experience.

As part of ongoing employee training, managers should work with the customer service professionals in their organization to begin transitioning them into looking at customer service as a lifestyle, not just something performed in shifts.