A company’s customer service representatives are the conflict resolution center for dissatisfied customers with questions, concerns or complaints. It is their job to determine the exact nature of the problem and figure out what the customer needs so that they will leave happy. It is easy for a customer to become angry when they are frustrated, tired, or feeling like they are not being heard. Here are some empathy tips to help relate with customers and improve your customer service.
Having the tools to deal with these customers is necessary for customer service representatives to effectively handle any situation. Unfortunately, these are not skills that come naturally to most people. Taking some time to teach empathy tips and interpersonal communication skills to employees is something that can greatly benefit all parties involved.
Expressing empathy is a way of showing customers that you really understand their frustration and you really care about helping them. If the representative is able to use empathy techniques to calm and rationalize the customer, it is easier for them to find a solution to their problem. If a customer feels like they are being listened to and that their problem has been acknowledged and understood, they will not be quite so defensive and probably more open to negotiation.
Using Empathy in How You Speak
Some empathy tips to consider include using appropriate language and demeanor. When trying to resolve any conflict, there is a tone you want to maintain throughout the conversation to convey feelings of care and concern. Some phrases that can be used to effectively communicate with disgruntled customers include:
“I realize how complicated it is to…”
“I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to…”
“I know how confusing it must be when…”
Other vocabulary words that are helpful in conveying empathy are words such as ‘understand,’ ’empathize,’ ‘apologize.’ These words help the customer know that you truly are concerned. Once the customer feels you understand their situation, try to redirect their focus onto finding a solution instead of continuing to dwell on the problem. Do not confuse empathy with sympathy. The customer does not need pity or condolences, and showing empathy does not mean that you have to agree with them. It simply shows you understand.
Future Business from Empathy Today
Having a great customer service team is crucial for the long-term success of your company. Customer service representatives need to have the training and information available to ease their job and the resolution process. Take some of these empathy tips and see how you can improve your interactions with customers.
After all, nobody likes to stand in the dreaded customer service line. The next time you are assisting with a customer complaint, try to be the person you would want to be helped by the next time you have to exchange an item!