As most customer service agents know, multitasking is an inherent part of the job. Many times, it is a requirement mentioned in customer service job descriptions. Ultimately, multitasking is about working smartly. When done right, multitasking enables CS agents to accomplish more in less time. Here are some ways you can get better at multitasking in the customer service industry:
1. Identify high and low priority tasks. Multitasking starts with prioritisation. When you identify priorities of tasks, you may get insight into the ones you should spend more time. Many of us end up spending a lot of energy on activities that do not call for that much input. Prioritisation also provides a timetable for your day and you will find out exactly how long each task takes.
2. Set deadlines for tasks. Measure how much time each task is taking you. In customer service, several tasks would be similar or even, the same since various scenarios are recognized and addressed during training itself. So in the day of a customer service agent, there are few tasks for which time cannot be predicted or measured. So every day is a new chance to see how much better you can do than what you did yesterday.
3. Group related tasks so the transitions are fewer. The momentum you build with a specific task can be channelled into other related tasks—a good way to do more in less time. It may even be that completing one task takes care of half of the other. Research (New York Times, 2007) says that when a person gets interrupted in the middle of a task, it takes them up to 15 minutes to regain focus on what’s at hand. Grouping similar tasks together means that your work is recyclable to an extent for the next task, and your attention isn’t diverted. Since concentration is at the centre of multitasking, this manner of working helps.
4. Work on your concentration so you can multitask better. In today’s digital age, attention is the costliest price you can pay anyone. The downside is that it’s part of the reason why our concentration collectively has dimmed. Find focus exercises and improve your concentration abilities. Take time off from screens altogether so that you feel more well-rested. The effect is that your brain will be high-functioning to match the pace of the job.
5. During break time, make sure to shift focus to avoid overload. Often, break time is when we catch up on personal social media or messages, or even calls. Engaging in this completely during a break may not be constructive in several ways. The constant screen-gazing will add to the eye strain and the lack of pause in processing information can cause mental fatigue. Break time can instead be when you stretch or try other relaxation techniques to help you recharge.