It’s Showtime! – Bust Out of Service Fatigue 


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You’ve probably heard the phrase “Fake it ‘til you make it.” It’s a reminder that even when you don’t feel like you can perform at your best, sometimes just acting like it will make it so. When it comes to busting out of our service fatigue rut and getting back to customer service excellence, I call it being Showtime ready, and trust me: it makes all the difference.

What is showtime?

Consider a theater in which the actors waiting behind the curtain to go on do not get along well. There may be personal conflict or performance stress, but when they step on stage, they have lines to say and a role to play in order to give the audience an enjoyable experience. You’ll never observe an actor step out of character, look out into the audience, and say, “Hey, you think he’s a nice guy? You have no idea what he’s really like.” It simply would not happen in the theater!

The same is true for business. How often do we tell the customer things that happen behind the curtain that they don’t need to know? Once the lights go on and the open sign is on the door, it’s showtime. Show up in your costume (your business attire). Use the scripts you’ve been given (the right words at the right time for a desired result). Give your audience (your guest) the best possible experience no matter how many times you’ve recited those lines or completed that task.

Use Showtiming to Bust Out

When it’s showtime, it’s go time. But service fatigue can keep us from summoning the energy it takes to truly be “game ready” at the start of each new day. This is where it’s important to put mind over matter, to get into a showtiming state of mind even if it doesn’t come naturally. Give yourself a pep talk. Take a few deep breaths. Do what you need to do to shift your mindset and your attitude so that as soon as you’re open for business, you’re ready for showtime. Because the reality is, if you can shift your attitude, it’s actually very difficult not to raise your energy levels and bust through your service fatigue. If you pump yourself up for your day like a professional athlete or stadium performer before a big event, the energy and enthusiasm are sure to follow.
So here’s your homework for this session: commit to showtime every day next week. Get your whole team on board if you can! Making a commitment to a showtime attitude trains your brain to recognize that when it’s “game on,” it’s time to perform at your best. And if your coworkers, staff and teammates are on board, all the better. Showtiming is contagious, and no one wants to be left out of the party!

And if you think I’m crazy for suggesting you rally your team to get into a showtime mentality, take the office manager of a clinic who saw me speak once about this. Weeks after my keynote, she reached out to say the office staff had started a daily ritual: every morning before the clinic opened, the staff gathered in a huddle for a team cheer, hands in the center and “Showtime!” shouted in unison. After a few weeks of this? “Our energy was higher, and people were showing up to work on time. Even though it was a silly little thing we were doing, we were serving our patients better because we had a showtime mentality,” she said.

The exhaustion you’re feeling is real, and there’s no single way to bust out of it. While you work on setting boundaries and getting enough rest, consider committing to a showtime mentality—whether you’re ready to or not!—to get back to the customer service excellence your guests, customers and clients deserve.

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Meet Laurie Guest

Meet Laurie Guest

An entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author, Laurie Guest, CSP is a “go-to-resource” for customer service excellence. For more than two decades, she has shared her practical point of view on customer service and staff development with audiences and companies across the country, blending real-life examples and proven action steps for improvement. Her latest book, The 10¢ Decision: How Small Change Pays of Big, presents her most sought-after and impactful strategies to find and retain the best staff and highest-quality customers while delivering exceptional guest experiences.

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