Customer Service

More customer service through effective time management

Customers need to be able manage their time and prioritize tasks. It can be rewarding to plan events, activities, or tasks on a daily, weekly, monthly, or weekly basis. This allows you to be more proactive in dealing with situations. This planning will help you to reduce the need for crisis management. This planning is essential for both work and personal life. If you don’t manage your personal life well you could bring personal stress to the workplace. This is not only inefficient but also unfair to your employer and coworkers as well as external customers.

You can review your schedule regularly after you have set up key events and tasks with a scheduling program (e.g. time management software, written planning systems or calendars, or an electronic scheduling device that can upload information to your computer). This will help prevent you from forgetting anything.

A way to manage events is to make a list each day of all the activities you are involved in and assign a value according to their importance. You need to be consistent and prioritize every day. Many people view planning as the end of their workday. They are more likely to be ready to start when they get to work the next day than spend time planning.

Guidelines for Choosing Priorities

These guidelines will help you decide which tasks to tackle first. These will help you to create a realistic list of daily tasks that is achievable. As you have seen in the previous chapters on goal setting, it is important to set realistic goals. These standards can be used as a guide for setting priorities.

Judgment. Your ability to judge what you can achieve in any given day is your greatest asset. Your strengths and weaknesses are well-known. Remember that customers and others have the greatest impact when choosing priorities. You should also not place too many priorities on your daily list. This will make it difficult to get things done. You might feel discouraged and lose heart if this happens.

If you feel that you have higher priorities than you have time for, your boss may be able to help you. Asking for help can often improve your relationships with others. As long as you don’t abuse their assistance or seem to be dumping your work onto them, they will feel valued and trusted by your gesture. You should also consider the other resources you may use to complete tasks, such as technology, vendors outside, or customers.

Relativity. Prioritization is a matter relativity. Some projects and tasks are more easily rated than others. It is important to ask yourself the question “What’s the best use of my limited time?” Many people fill their days with simple or uninteresting tasks. It can create a hollow sense of accomplishment. Although they may be able to get a lot done and enjoy it, they don’t add much value to customer service or help in achieving organizational goals. Remember that when setting priorities in the workplace, your primary focus should be on customers and activities that support them.

Timing. Priorities can be determined by reality and deadlines. Priorities may also be established by the start time for a project or task. It is important that you have enough time to complete the task before you start. If you don’t have enough time, you might need to reprioritize the task or get assistance.

It is important to be realistic about the time required to complete a task. It is important to include this amount of time on your daily plan sheet. Consider your peak performance time. People have a time in their day where they are more energetic and get more done. If possible, capitalize on your peak time and schedule high-priority tasks there.

Prioritizing System

You can create your own priority system by listing all your pending activities, then grouping them according to importance. It doesn’t matter how you assign value to a task, as long as you keep the same format every day. Some people use the A, B, and C system while others use a 1, 2, 3, format. Here are some suggestions for criteria when assigning a task:

Priority A – Must do or crucial items. Management directives, state, and federal regulations may require that certain things be completed. These deadlines or opportunities can help you succeed or advance (e.g. state tax reports, customer actions, applications for positions in an organization with a cutoff date).

Priority B-Should be done. These items are of average value. They may be useful in improving customer satisfaction or performance but they are not necessary or have critical deadlines (e.g. sending an unwelcomed information kit to customers about a new product, or creating a proposal to change an existing process or system).

Priority C-Nice things to do. This is the lowest priority category. It includes tasks that have no direct connection to customer satisfaction. These tasks may be interesting or fun, but they can be skipped or neglected. It is unlikely that putting off or scheduling these priorities for a longer time frame will have any impact on customer service. For example, team members may meet to brainstorm ways to organize cubicles more efficiently, clean out old e-mails, or line up products on a shelf.

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Note: You can prioritize your voicemail and e mail messages by going through them at the times and dates you set.

To be successful with time management, you must have a plan. You and your customers will both benefit if you manage your time.

We are a team of professionals with each having two decades of experience in start-ups, sales, marketing, finance, HR, large scale project and profit centre management and running mature cross functional operations. At we are big believers that knowledge transfer is critical to our industry’s evolution. We love to share our experiences and learnings through our online resources.

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