4 Keys to Acting With Empathy in Customer Service
What is empathy? It is something as simple but important as the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. In the field of customer service, practicing empathy is vital to the success of our business and the image generated by our brand to the general public.
These are the 4 keys to acting with empathy:
1. Discovering what the customer actually wants
Customer services are used to assisting hundreds of customers every day. Among so many requests, it is very common to find a customer who sounds quite annoyed, and their protests may be concealing their real needs. Taking notes and acting with empathy is the key to finding the solution.
Thinking like that customer will help us analyze, first, what has happened. Writing it down will be useful to enunciate a solution which will solve the doubts and problems we are being asked about. “This is what has happened, and you want this”, i.e., to really find out what the customer wants, above the tone of anger or reproach we are listening to. We must understand that they are at a moment when they are feeling upset with the service. As soon as we act with empathy, they will cease to be and change their perception.
2. Considering what customers know and what they do not
A good way to find out what the customer wants is to ask oneself what they know and what they do not know. Many times we can take it for granted that the users we are assisting know the procedure or product as well as we do, but most times that is not the case.
That is why you have to ask yourself the question: “what information do they have, what information are they lacking?” Only then will we be able to know their real situation and provide them with a solution.
3. Showing we want to help
What is empathy? The most important thing for a customer is to know they are being listened to and that their customer service is willing to help. Listening is the only way to find out what is happening to them and gather the necessary information to give our customer a logical answer.
The fact of listening and our willingness to provide solutions to the user, is in itself a process that requires empathy.
Take a look to these 7 Customer Service Skills That Your Employees Must Know.
4. Practicing empathy in any form
Do not think that empathy can only be “used” face to face or by telephone. Actually, we can also practice it via email, chat, or support sites (helpdesk).
What is empathy? The tone of voice is important but it is not everything: we can also choose the right words if we are communicating with customers in writing. Showing that the problem posed by the consumer has a solution is what makes possible the connection between the user and our organization. It is therefore important that we care to be empathetic at all times, especially in difficult situations (it is easy is to act with empathy when everything goes smoothly).
And you, what are your keys to acting with empathy with your customers?