Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes isn’t always easy, especially if they are frustrated. But there is a great way to relate to your customers, a way that can improve the customer experience and ensure repeat business.
Through empathetic customer service.
Empathy is an important way for call center agents to show customers that they understand their dissatisfaction, and is a key way to provide an excellent customer experience. This is vital for call center success, because:
This blog explores the importance of empathy in customer service and provides empathetic statements that call center agents can use in their customer service processes.
Empathy is the ability to relate, understand, or sympathize with another living being. Empathy is the gateway to compassion and is crucial for all types of relationships, including with customers. It also requires that you put yourself in someone else’s position without judgment. This is an essential aspect of customer service. When you can empathize with your customers, you are more open to listening to their concerns and finding solutions.
Providing empathy in customer service is not only a great way to make customers feel heard and understood, but it can also turn an angry customer into a loyal one. 95% of purchasing decisions are made emotionally. Because of this, call center agents must position themselves as knowledgeable and relatable experts that can solve problems with an empathetic ear. Here are a few more reasons why empathy in customer service is so important:
But before we can explore more about empathetic customer service, we first need to understand customer frustration.
Customer frustration is when a customer expresses discontent after a negative interaction with an agent or company. A customer can feel frustrated in some situations, including:
Staying positive, calm, and going the extra mile are crucial ways to retain customers and ensure their repeat business. Below are a few examples phrases call center agents can use to talk down an angry customer:
It is important for call center agents to remember that customer frustration is not personal. Regardless, no matter how long you have been an agent, it can be difficult to deal with angry customers. But understanding the value of empathy can help agents find solutions that will work for the contact center and customers alike. Working through a negative customer experience can be a highly effective training tool.
Empathy is a necessary soft skill that must be prioritized in agent training and coaching processes. Empathetic agents can build customer relationships, improve the customer experience, and lay the foundation for customer referrals.
Here are a few ways contact center agents can demonstrate empathy in their customer interactions:
Now that you understand what empathetic customer service is and its value, we can explore how to practice empathy in your everyday work.
Active listening is an important way to make your customers feel heard and understood. This helps build trust and creates more open dialogue, even when customers are upset. Here are a few tips for incorporating active listening into your customer interactions:
The key difference between empathy and sympathy is perspective. Sympathy is derived from your feeling or understanding, while empathy is derived from putting yourself in another person’s shoes or situation. Instead of saying “That must be upsetting,” try saying “I would be upset, too.” This makes call center agents sound more relatable and genuine to customers rather than patronizing.
As we’ve discussed, empathetic statements can go a long way toward making customers feel more comfortable and heard in voicing their frustrations. This is also helpful for improving call center agent morale and job satisfaction. Examples of empathetic statements include:
Some tools can support customer service teams by practicing empathy. These include CRM software, which holds all information on a customer in one place. This prevents the customer from having to repeat the problem to different agents. Other digital tools that support empathy include:
When combined with well-trained, empathetic agents, these software features can help your contact center quickly realize your goal: to diffuse uncomfortable situations and delight customers.
Adding empathetic statements to your contact center's customer service standards is crucial for your continued success. Empathetic statements help solidify customer trust and build a foundation for your contact center’s long-term customer relationships. But empathetic phrases are not the only way to ensure return customers. A quality assurance software platform can elevate your service even further. Request a demo to learn how our software can improve your customer service standards today.