Offering excellent customer service is no longer merely a “wonderful to have” service – it is quickly becoming the deciding factor between business success and failure. Fortunately, today’s businesses can harness their power by focusing on one key characteristic- empathy.
For a moment, imagine the following conversation,
“Sorry, our corporate policy doesn’t permit that!”
“While we currently don’t have that option, would you please tell me what are you trying to accomplish so that I can provide you with the closest alternate solution?”
Clearly, the first consumer received a strong “not my problem” vibe from the company, whereas the second felt valued and sincerely attended to.
But what was the distinguishing factor between the two?
Yes, you guessed it right, Empathy!
One customer representative tries to lead with a problem-solving perspective and, deliberately or unintentionally, alienates the consumer. While the other representative takes the initiative with empathy, valuing the connection far more than the operational outputs. That explains why we sometimes feel unhappy even after our concerns have been addressed or why we feel pleased even if we didn’t accomplish what we desired.
As per research, nearly 70% of the customers value empathetic customer service over superior quality goods, and agents with great empathetic skills are better at building long-term client relationships generally.
Irrefutably, empathy is a wonderful personality attribute to have. Still, not everyone knows how to exhibit it, especially during challenging and stressful calls with irate customers who are furious over something your customer service representatives may not understand.
Thereby, this may be easier to understand for customer service representatives but can be extremely difficult to put into practice.
Before we proceed,
What Is Empathy, and How Does It Affect Customer Service?
Empathy can be defined as understanding what others are experiencing, identifying or connecting with their feelings, and responding compassionately.
But, in all of this, what function does empathy play?
Putting it more simply: what type of customer service can one deliver if he doesn’t comprehend and relate to the problem a client is alluding to and shows no genuine interest in resolving it?
So, it becomes your responsibility to provide your agents with the expertise and abilities they require to become more empathetic towards the clientele.
The differentiator between exceptional and mediocre customer service is-having representatives who consistently go above and beyond to give a positive brand experience. Moreover, to sustain a positive and long-lasting relationship with the customer, empathy must be intertwined across all of the interactions. Since customer happiness and loyalty are directly affected by agent empathy. It’s no secret that consumer satisfaction and loyalty lead to greater sales. Thereby, empathy improves client experiences and can also help in rescuing the bad ones.
Looking for ways to implement in your business?
Here’s how you can do it in your own business: Implement the following strategies listed below to assist your customer service employees in improving their empathy skills.
Convey and explain the Customers' Perspectives to your customer support team
This is an extremely vital tip to follow. Never assume your agents are already aware of this.
Certainly, customer service representatives have first-hand knowledge of the consumer viewpoint with the businesses from which they purchase, but it’s difficult to remember, especially when you are under pressure for 6-9 hours at a stretch. Furthermore, customer service is frequently people’s initial job after high school or during college, and they may not have much expertise.
As a result, it’s critical to take the time to explain to them what things look like from the consumer’s viewpoint – the hurdles the client is attempting to overcome by purchasing your good or service, the struggles she experiences when the product doesn’t function or when she overpays and has limited funds, and how she feels when she tries to call for assistance and nobody seems to bother or care.
Train them to acknowledge the concern and be an active listener
Train your staff that if someone approaches with a complaint about the products or services, they must acknowledge the concern. When a customer displays any kind of emotion, whether it’s an annoyance, misunderstanding, enthusiasm, or something else, and doesn’t get the sense that you understand it, it may come off as rejection or add tension to the interaction. Thus, it is essential for your staff to acknowledge the concern and issue.
Equally important is being an active listener; customers aren’t always adept at properly explaining what they require; as a result, comprehending what those demands are is only feasible when your agents listen with their complete concentration.
Train them to be active listeners; active listening differs from just listening – that it needs you to be involved and should exhibit that you’re listening by providing verbal and nonverbal feedback (if feasible), asking the questions, repeating to confirm, and so on.
Teach Them How to Manage Tough Customer Situations Practically
If aspiring for a more empathic customer service team, you must train them, which includes teaching them how to manage challenging situations, angry clients, and dissatisfied clients.
You must be as clear and detailed as possible; you can even provide them with specific phrases and empathetic language that they can use in certain client interactions. You may also perform daily exercises with your team to help them visualize themselves in customers’ shoes, thereby leading to better management and understanding of difficult situations or conversations.
Assess, analyse and brainstorm the conversation and ultimately guide them
Make sure to have periodic sessions with your staff – where you and your team analyse and brainstorm the conversations between your customer agents and businesses.
In all circumstances, it’s essential to allow your customer support representatives to imagine how their customers must have felt throughout the conversation and to suggest better methods to address the matter.
You can provide your guidance and ideas later, but in order to engage them in the process, let them come up with their answers and solutions initially.
Be empathetic to your customer service staff, and they will pass it on to clients
The best method to teach is to set a good example. If you would like your agents to be empathetic with clients, you should be empathic yourself. When they make a mistake on a call, listen to them out, back them up with consumers if required, and take their private life into account as much as possible when organizing shifts.
Agents will gradually come to believe that you care about them, making it easier for them to respond to client calls, and chats and give back to the organization.
Conclusively, fostering a closer connection with empathy is likely to result in significant improvements to your company’s culture and customer service operations.
We at Bolsterbiz understand this and make sure to provide you with experienced and talented customer service agents that are trained to prioritize empathy and can enable you to understand your consumers’ thought patterns better and assist you in addressing customers’ pain areas in a more congenial manner.
So, if you are looking for empathetic customer support, that can result in happier, more loyal fans and thereby more sales. Connect Today!
Table of Content
- Why Human Customer Service Is Still Essential In A World Of Automation and Chatbots
- How To Train Your Customer Support Team To Be Empathetic- Top 5 Strategies
- Top Tips That Can Help You Elevate The Customer Service Standards
- Ten Email Etiquettes every customer support agent should be taught
- Omnichannel Customer Support