In your opinion, what is the primary ability that every customer support agent should have? You can talk to anyone who has served in customer support, and they will consider customer empathy as one of the essential things in their list of abilities. Customer empathy, an idea that might have seemed like a lip-service or buzzword in the past, is now showing to be a competitive and fundamental differentiation. Customer empathy, just like customer experience, could signify different things to different industries, disciplines, and people. But can we refer to a common thread that we can all agree on? Can we talk about an industry standard when it comes to understanding customer empathy?
Let’s Talk about Empathy and customer empathy. What Precisely Is It?
We can define empathy as the capacity to understand and share the point of view as well as feelings of others and can put yourself in their shoes to see a problem from their perspective. In psychology, there are three kinds of empathy: emotional, cognitive, compassionate.
Consequently, not all empathy looks and feels the same.
In terms of customer service, empathy is the capacity to sustain human interaction with the customer. Speaking about some of the most spectacular customer service failures that have been widely talked about, you sure will realize that they involve a significant lack of empathy. Being empathetic doesn’t signify that you agree with someone. It only implies that you understand their point of view or perspective.
It is the main character trait for customer support agents to possess because they must speak to different customers daily and consequently solve their problems – sometimes dealing with difficult, angry, and furious customers – while still representing the company in the right way. It’s possible to increase, for example, customer loyalty and satisfaction, with higher empathy. It is a fact that the companies in the top 10 of being most empathetic, also boost the financial value twice more than those companies that even belong to the bottom 10, according to HBR’s Empathy Index report that was released in 2016. It shouldn’t be a surprise since empathy is an essential ability for being able to anticipate, respond to, and eventually meet customer needs.
Tips for Deepening Customer Empathy
Are you looking to deepen and reinforce empathy with your customers? Here are some suggestions to help you with this process.
1. Observe, Interview, Engage
First of all, we know that the easiest way to reinforce customer empathy is to take a researcher’s approach, and then go where customers directly interact with your services or products.
Try to observe your customers, unusually how they are behaving. Focus on where they always go before and after communication with your company. After appropriating a quick sense of who they are, inquire about their typical day and routine.
Next, ask about their pain points about what you’re offering them. Ask more about their ideas, thoughts, and feelings on everything surrounding your offerings.
Now, exercise excellent customer listening and act as a customer. Now, imagine that you are in their physical, mental, and emotional experiences to determine your services or products to meet their requests.
In this way, you will better know how they feel and can fine-tune your product or service to meet their exclusive requests and wants. The function of thumb here is putting yourself in the customers’ shoes. Thus, you can better anticipate and meet their needs.
2. Share Customer Perceptions
Customers often share their observations with companies on the Internet.
You will likely need to count on technology tools to look through thousands of product articles, social media posts, emails. But by doing so, you will facilitate and procure more insight into what customers feel and think about your company.
Collect and share this information with everyone in the company and design ways to use the ideas to create a better customer experience.
3. Do an Empathy Scheme to understand customer more
An empathy scheme can help you better understand the customer and get some clarity into what’s going on in his mind and heart.
This empathy map targets your customer’s feelings and takes into account customer experiences within different categories: What they are feeling and thinking; say and do; hear; see
Next, it will be necessary to analyze your relationship with the customers to complete an empathy map. Ask yourself if you know how they feel and what they’re thinking.
Are you aware of what you’re solving? You must gather the necessary information if you don’t already know the answers.
Hence, an empathy map could be useful, like a follow-up activity after being observed and engaged with your customer. Make sure you answer a customer’s perspective rather than how you’d like them to feel.
4. Include Comprehension Phrases in Your Customer Service Interactions
When a customer contacts customer service, you can transform a potentially painful experience into something positive. You can use phrases like, “I can imagine how disappointing it can be when this happens,” or “I am so sorry you’re fronting this problem”. Display a big empathy and let your customers know that you feel what they’re living.
These phrases work best when associated with assurances that you’ll do everything possible to resolve the issue promptly. By the way, you have to be careful not to do it often; empathy works better when it is authentic and doesn’t seem exaggerated or forced.
5. Examine Your Prejudice
We often have covered and, at times, not-so-covered prejudices that could interfere with our ability to empathize, listen, and understand others’ needs. Most of these mistakes are often centered around visible factors like gender, age, and race.
If you have a prejudice, even an unconscious one, towards a specific customer category, it’s typically apparent to customers during your interactions with them.
You always have to try to be as neutral as possible while dealing with different customers, deserving to everyone the same treatment – the way that you’d expect to (or would want to) be treated.
It pays to gain awareness about customer empathy, but it’s even more important to act and take steps to build and reinforce customer empathy throughout your organization.
On the other hand, paying attention to your customers’ demands, and taking the necessary steps to address them can be amazingly rewarding. There’s always an occasion for improvement, and it’s never too late to improve our abilities.
At Katrium, we offer several services that can support businesses and their customers. We always put customers in the center. As well, we strive to understand clients’ needs as well as fulfill those demands to exceed customers’ expectation. Let’s check out our offering services and find what you need at: https://katrium.eu/services/