Being in customer service will often test your patience and your ability to remain calm. Case in point: entertaining calls from irate customers isn’t exactly the situation we hoped to be in.
And let’s admit it—sometimes it is tempting to dash our patience to the ground and just respond in a fit of anger.
On the other side of the spectrum—there’s empathizing. Instead of prematurely responding to your irate customer, equip yourself with the necessary skills and desire to genuinely empathize.
It’s a radical response, but once you are able to stitch empathy together with customer service, it can solve a tantamount of problems. As a matter of fact, it directly values the customer’s need to be acknowledged and respected.
If you find yourself incapable of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, then you came to the right place! The goal of this article is to provide you with some helpful tips on how to empathize with your customers:
This is probably the most clichè piece of advice—but in all honesty, it all starts with listening. Misunderstanding stems from the inability of representatives to collect adequate information about the problem. Thus, take the time to actively listen and gather all the details. Don’t interrupt.
And another vital fact you need to know: Customers hate repeating themselves! According to a survey conducted by Accenture Global Consumer Pulse, 89% of customers find it frustrating to repeat their concerns. By listening, you can immediately resolve this issue.
Conveying empathy goes along the lines of “I want you to listen to what I’m saying and to not what you’re hearing.”
It is a fatal mistake to reject and invalidate your customer’s concerns. No matter how trivial the problem may seem to you, the fact that they are forwarding their requests means that it is a big deal. Customers would appreciate it if you would jump on board with the situation at hand.
For example, you may say “I understand how frustrating it is when your modem isn’t working.” instead of saying “That seems to be a recurring problem here. Did you plug it in?”. Not only will you sound distant with the latter, but you have also failed to acknowledge the customer’s problem.
Treat your customers as partners in coming up with solutions. Don’t sound distant and inattentive. Always remember that customer service is always about what you can do for the customer.
Your company can be a cut above the rest when you are able to work as a team with your customers. When customers start realizing that you are genuine about teaming up with them, trust is established. Here’s an interesting video that will teach you the importance of teaming up with your customers.
Empathy is never fully materialized unless you can affirm what the other party’s concern is.
A great way to affirm and to combat the tension of dealing with an irate customer is repeating the concerns they have laid down. In this way, you are assuring your customers that you are fully present at the flight of their complaints. You can start your statements with:
- “If I heard it right sir/ma’am, your concern is…”
- “Let me just confirm, you mentioned that…”
- “Okay ma’am/sir, I have taken note of that, but let me just repeat them for your confirmation..”
Empathy is not just a social construct. It must be the very ground on which customer service stands on.
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