When the customer reaches out for service, they want to be heard. They essentially want to feel like they are understood. Developing empathy is integral to delivering quality customer service. Customer service cannot always provide resolutions, but it should always deliver empathy. These top tips will help you develop your empathy and provide better, more human customer service.
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHY
Customers who ask for help have, nine times out of ten, tried everything they could to solve the issue themselves. A customer service representative is often their last hope before giving up. By doing something as simple as asking for a name, you can add personality to a conversation and show that you do care for the customer’s problem. Empathy is often all that is needed to indicate that a problem can be resolved. Through showing that you understand a customer’s pain, you indicate a motivation to do something to solve the issue.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share other people’s emotions. This is completely negated if you don’t listen. Listen to the whole message and understand the significance of body language, tone, your own emotions, and your predispositions. By making a concerted effort to listen attentively, you can make it much easier to develop empathy.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE CUSTOMER
By acknowledging what the customer believes and why they believe this you accept that different individuals hold different opinions and that everyone usually has a valid reason for having these different opinions. Acknowledging someone doesn’t mean you agree with them. Validating a customer’s perspective, however, can be a good starting point to providing empathetic customer service.
Examine your own position. Are you driven by having the last word, winning, or showing you’re correct? If so you might have to re-think your attitude a little. Customer service is all about prioritising good relationships and solutions over anything else. Through making sure you have the right attitude, you will automatically develop empathy.
Empathy, the comprehension of emotion, cannot be achieved without having some form of human relationships with a customer primarily. By presenting an approachable, pleasant demeanour empathy becomes something of a natural response. Remember customers are customers and not simply problems.
THE THIRD PERSPECTIVE
It’s naturally difficult to side with someone who is making a complaint to you. By forcing a third-person perspective, you can develop a better understanding of customer problems and what they would like to be done as a resolution. Try to take your customer’s viewpoint and work through their problems and your reactions. By doing this, you can achieve a more balanced resolution that will satisfy everyone. Instinctively your customer will feel you care more about their issue and, in turn, you will be able to comprehend the right steps to achieving a good resolution.