Ensuring Empathetic Service
We all know that the key to any successful business is making your customers happy, so they continue to choose your products and services, right? Making authentic connections is not always easy but it is always worth the effort. As client service agents, the most important quality in an effective agent is empathy. Knowing how to identify with your customers in a caring way goes a long way to building a long-lasting brand relationship with the customer.
The challenge is finding the right team members who know how to fulfill this need and can ultimately create a warm rapport with your customers. Here’s a few ways to impart an empathic manner when communicating with the people who call in for your assistance:
Put yourself in their shoes
Is there something they are saying to you that you can relate to personally or professionally? Maybe you have experienced a similar situation, or someone you know has, and so you can say you understand and mean it. If not, just being compassionate towards whatever is frustrating them will help diffuse the emotion as you work together to solve the problem.
Use empathy statements
If you say something as simple as “I hear what you are saying, and I understand you are frustrated by that,” it’s a great way to open the conversation, let them know you are on their side and diminish some of the agitation they may be experiencing.
Let them express their feelings and acknowledge respectfully how they are feeling
Again, listening compassionately and communicating you understand the difficulties they are feeling allows you to tamp down some of the heightened sentiment and start from a calmer place.
Positively respond and evaluate how you can remedy the situation
Once you have acknowledged how they feel, then begin to work on a solution with them, so they feel supported and they know you are partnering with them on solving the issue.
This approach has science behind it, too. A recent study suggests that “customer empathy strengthens the positive effect of employee empathy on customer satisfaction, leading to more “symbiotic interactions” and also may lead to more “forgiveness” in response to a dissatisfying encounter.”
Gavin Woody, vice president of operations for A Place for Mom, shares “Finding the right agents is key to building a client’s trust and connecting with its customers. Contact center providers typically concentrate on finding people to fill seats to handle volume and while that is very important, it’s really about finding the right person. The customer’s experience is so important to our process. Being able to have a warm, empathetic, kind, caring, helpful voice on the end of the line to build trust and rapport in the first five seconds of the phone call is extremely important for us.”
Crafting authentic connections with customers help to build authentic relationships to your business. Finding the right team members and imparting the value of empathy in your training will help to keep fostering those positive customer service experiences and give you the opportunity to build brand loyalists from your happy customers.
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