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Customer Service: 4 Painless Ways to Embrace Change in 2016

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Phyllis Gillman

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As a long-time customer service representative in the insurance industry, I’ve experienced my fair share of busy days. 

Join me every other week as I reveal some of the experiences I’ve endured that have made me a better employee, colleague and customer service representative. As I share what I have seen and heard in the industry, I hope you can use my accomplishments, mistakes, tips and tricks to improve your own customer service skills. 

Subscribe to our Customer Service Newsletter: Candid Customer Service here.

Dealing With Change in the Workplace

I couldn’t help but shake my head as I overheard my co-workers in the lunchroom grumbling about new software upgrades today.

“I’m swamped as it is,” I heard them exclaim. 

“I’m fine with our classic software,” they sighed. “I don’t have time to learn the upgraded version.”

Let me be clear, if anyone knows how difficult change can be, it’s me. 

As a 27-year insurance customer service vet, I’ve gritted my teeth through more computer upgrades, new hires and yawn-inducing training sessions than I can count. 

I may have furrowed my brows at the replacement of our file cabinet collection with computers and fancy software, but I survived. And you can too. 

4 Painless Ways to Embrace Change Today

Change is never easy. We all have to fight the urge to dig our heels in and make the process even more difficult. But if we know change is inevitable, especially in the customer service industry, how can we adapt with as little frustration and stress as possible?

1. Be Ok (for now) With Being Slightly Uncomfortable

One of the most important things I’ve learned, through the unending changes endured by the insurance industry, is that most often, change leads to greater efficiencies later. Those small portions of your interrupted workflow that seem like a pain now, will (with time) promote greater speed and productivity. 

Although you may have to take an extra second to remember where a certain check box or link is as you learn a new system, within a couple weeks, you’ll be back to your speedy self. Be willing to take a step back in order to take a couple steps forward later. Trust me, it gets better.

2. Make the Jump

Prolonging change isn’t going to make it go away. It won’t make it magically unnecessary to adopt a new way of doing something. The sooner you make the leap, the more quickly you’ll begin adapting. Teetering on the edge of new implementation will only increase your dread and worry. You could have already started learning a new process and gotten more comfortable by now.

3. Put Your Heads Together

Chances are, as you struggle with a new process or problem, a colleague has already encountered something similar. While it’s a great idea to troubleshoot on your own, don’t be afraid to ask a co-worker for help or brain storm about how to resolve an issue. 

4. Speak Positively

Avoid temptation to grumble or complain with co-workers about a new system or office changes. Complaints can affect your attitude and transfer feelings of negativity to co-workers, who might also be worried about impending changes. Instead, handling change with your head held high can promote positivity and teamwork and may even help you establish yourself as a leader who conquers instead of cowering. 

Join me again later this month for more tips and suggestions about improving your efficiency, organization and productivity as you provide your own clients with the best service possible! 

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As a 27-year customer service veteran in the insurance industry, Phyllis Gillman has spent more than her fair share of time helping clients and customers. In her long stint in the industry, she’s answered over 702,000 phone calls.


You can stay updated on Phyllis’ favorite customer service tips, tricks and trends by subscribing here.



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