Ten ways to show empathy in Customer Service

Muhammad Faizan Ullah – Chief Operating and Transformation Officer emphasizes on the rules of engagement to deliver a reminiscent customer service experience.

Empathy is as important for delivering great customer service, as an interested buyer at the other end of the line needs to see you understand, why they need your product or service, instead of your competitor’s. Although words, tone of voice, body language and other cues are important for a successful interaction, here are some useful insights to improve your customer service and make you the rep of choice.

  • Please listen to the customer – actively. Let them talk and don’t decide for them what they’re trying to convey as oppose to what you’re understanding from the interaction. If they called, they will listen to your solution to their problem, don’t rush and let them finish talking. Respond with similar words and phrases they used, half of their problems will be solved if they feel you heard their concerns loud and clear.
  • You are not right – you’re just there to help. Make the customer feel they’re being taken care of the minute they start talking to you. Even if the customer is at fault, stay empathetic but also stand your ground in terms of facts and not opinions. Your tone of voice and compliant manner will do half the talking for you.
  • Stay interested in the person. If your customer doesn’t get a chance to fully explain their problem in detail, they will feel unheard or not so important. Expressing your interest in what led to the customer to face a particular issue will ease the conversation ten-folds.
  • In our country, local languages are diverse and can be sometimes complex, when talking to a customer who belongs to a completely different culture or background than yours, conversations do tend to get complicated or confusing. It’s neither their fault nor yours – language can be a barrier. Carefully make your points clear as much as possible even if you have to get a little bit casual with them.
  • You represent your company – replying to a customer’s excited phone call or email with a boilerplate is the worst response. Read the customer’s tone and respond accordingly. This does not mean you give up your own or your company’s personality, just find your balance on formal-informal scale throughout the conversation.
  • Ask – not assume. Sometimes a simplest of solutions can come off as complicated because of the way a customer receives or perceives them and also the peculiar environment they’re in. When you assume, the customer will feel rushed, for example don’t ask them to refresh their systems or reboot their phones, ask them if they have already done that so that you troubleshoot their problem further.
  • It’s not personal. Giving people the benefit of doubt eases up a rather stressful interaction on a busy day. Customer may be having a bad day or something depends on their issue getting resolved ASAP – in any case don’t take it personally and give second chances.
  • A pinch of respect goes a long way – always be respectful. They are your valued customer, they chose your product and offerings over another, appreciate that. If a conversation is likely to take a bad turn, take a pause and reassure them that their loyalty has never been missed and you are there to help them find the best solution.
  • Avoid sympathy – whether it’s an email or a support call that you’re handling, don’t use sympathy in interactions. Remember you cannot give up your company’s personality while being a bit more personal in your interactions.
  • Customer is always right – take their side in such scenarios, don’t deny what they’re saying, they will respect you for your honesty. Customer always needs to see their opinion has value in your eyes.