Empathy is the act of putting yourself in the shoes of your customer to understand their problem. In customer service, showing empathy helps establish a professional relationship with the person you are talking to and increases customer satisfaction.
54% of customers have higher expectations from customer support today than what it was a year ago. The number increases to 66% for consumers aged between 18 and 34 years. The best way to keep up with (and even exceed) customer’s expectations is by showing empathy.
Six Ways to Show Empathy to Customers Over the Phone
1- Understand the Situation
The first and foremost responsibility of a call center agent is to understand the situation of the customer. Try to figure out what exactly the customer is feeling about the issue. The next step is to use a positive statement like:
- I am sorry you have to encounter this. I can understand what you must be going through
- That sounds really challenging
- I can see you have been with us for more than X years and the issue you are facing is completely unacceptable
- If I were in your place, I would get frustrated too
2- Clarify the Situation
What is the potential reason for the issue? Is there a misunderstanding or doubt from the customer’s side? Or some issues from your company’s side? It is important that the customer knows the reason behind the situation. You can use statements like:
- I’m sorry that you have to go through this. It seems like the problem happened because
- I understand what you are going through. It happened because
- A few of our customers complained about the same. They faced the issue because they [their mistake]. Would you mind checking if you did the same?
- We recently discovered this issue. This is happening because
3- Reassure the Customer
After you have clarified the situation, reassure the customer that they are valuable to the company and that their problem will be resolved asap. Use empathy statements like:
- Thank you very much for letting us know about the concern. We will get it fixed quickly
- A few of our customers have complained about the same. We are working on it to make sure that it does not happen again
- I will personally ensure that your issue gets resolved at the earliest
- I have got the concerned team looking into your problem. I will update you with the status soon
4- Provide a Sense of Immediacy
While reassuring the customer, provide a sense of immediacy. It calms down customers (even the angry ones) and minimizes frustration. To demonstrate a caring approach, and show a sense of urgency, use sentences like:
- I appreciate your patience, Sir/Ma’am. Please be assured that I’m working on your issue on a priority basis
- I’m currently working on getting a solution to your problem
- We are currently working on your issue, and it will be sorted by the end of the day. I hope that’s not too late
- I have recognized the problem, and I have a quick solution for it
5- Make a Commitment
Commitment comforts the customers as it highlights that they are valuable to your company and that their complaints are being resolved. It also informs customers about the next process. To commit, use statements like:
- I’m personally working on your issue, and I will contact you as soon as I have an update
- I understand the urgency of the problem. You enjoy your (birthday, holiday, or vacation) and I will contact you shortly
- Since you have bought the product from us, we guarantee you, we will fix your issue asap
- I really appreciate your patience. Stay assured your problem will be resolved within two working days
6- End the Call With a Strong Empathy Statement
Now that the call is about to end, you should still maintain a positive and empathetic attitude. It helps make the customer feel comfortable and satisfied with your service. While signing off, use statements like:
- Is there any other issue that I can help you with, Sir/Ma’am?
- I hope you have got the solution you were expecting. Let me know if you have any other questions
- Your satisfaction is our first priority. Have I answered all your queries? Or do you need assistance with anything else?
- It was my pleasure talking to you. Let me know if I have missed anything or you have got additional questions.
Empathy is one of the best things that can minimize frustration and increase customer satisfaction. Let them know you understand them using the six ways mentioned in this article and see your call center growing rapidly.
Did we miss any important way to show empathy to customers over the phone? What other ways do you use to show empathy to customers? Let us know in the comments.