You may have noticed, this week, that our blog is focusing on the theme of professional telephone etiquette. Having already covered the importance of smiling while on the phone and initiating top-quality holding procedures, we figured it was time to delve into another integral element of providing top-of-the-line customer service. The ability to offer empathy is something every customer service phone agent should have.
What is so important about expressing empathy?
It’s the clear marker between treating a customer like a person and like a dollar sign. Obviously, every customer your business has is important to its bottom line. However, in today’s world, developing and growing customer relationships is of the utmost importance if you want to run a successful business. At the end of the day, your ability to express genuine care and concern for a customer can mean the difference between securing long-term loyalty and losing that customer for good.
Expressing empathy improves public perception of your company.
“Demonstrating empathy will show customers that you care and will improve their overall impression of your company, even if they’ve recently had a negative experience,” says 3C Contact Services, “The main goal of customer service is to ensure customers are happy and that they have a positive experience, which is exactly what showing them empathy achieves.”
Under what circumstances should you express empathy?
Consider any situation that may have put the customer in a negative position. It could have to do with a problem he/she has with your products or services. If your customer was inconvenienced in any way, it’s important to demonstrate that you genuinely understand and appreciate his/her displeasure. “I’m truly sorry you had that experience, I’d also be upset if I were in your shoes” is a great example of an empathetic statement.
Understand that expressing empathy is a lot more than simply saying you’re sorry. A simple “I’m sorry” just won’t cut it. The statement could be construed as disingenuous, especially since you’re not stating exactly what you’re sorry for. As well, the two-word reply doesn’t acknowledge that you can relate to the negative situation the customer is in.
You should also express empathy when the negative circumstance is out of your hands.
Let’s suppose you’re speaking to a customer and he/she explains that there was a recent death in the family. Of course, the situation has nothing to do with your business. But this moment is an extremely important one for you to comment upon. “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I too know of this pain and wish you comfort and strength” is an extremely kind form of empathy that a grieving individual is likely to appreciate.
“Empathy is the ability to share or understand the feelings of others,” explains Ernest Wong on Talkdesk.com, “It’s an essential element of everyday relationships and can be equally powerful when it comes to company-customer relationships.”
As important as it is to inject empathy into your customer service practices, it is equally important to use a state-of-the-art phone system to provide the best customer service possible. For information about MeloTel’s cloud-hosted Commercial Phone Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!