Customer empathy means deeply understanding client needs, challenges, and desires in order to create the best solutions for client support.
You can talk to anyone who has worked in client support, and they will consider empathy as one of the essential things in their list of abilities. Client empathy, an idea that might have seemed like a buzzword or buzzword in the past, is now proving to be a competitive and fundamental differentiator. Client empathy, like client experience, can mean different things across 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?
What Is Customer Empathy?
We can define empathy as the ability to understand and share the perspective and feelings of others and to put ourselves in their shoes to see a problem from their point of view. In psychology, there are three types of empathy: emotional, cognitive and compassionate.
Therefore, not all empaths look or feel the same. In client service terms, empathy is the ability to maintain human interaction with the client. Being empathetic doesn’t mean you agree with someone. It only implies that you understand their point of view or perspective.
This is the main trait that customer support agents must possess, as they have to talk to different customers on a daily basis and consequently resolve their problems – sometimes dealing with difficult, angry and furious customers – while representing the company in the right way. It is possible to increase, for example, client loyalty and satisfaction, with greater empathy. It’s a fact that the most empathetic top 10 companies also increase their financial value twice as much as companies that are even in the bottom 10, according to HBR’s Empathy Index report published in 2016. This should not be the case . be a surprise since empathy is an essential ability to be able to anticipate, respond and eventually satisfy client needs.
Tips for Deepening Customer Empathy
Are you looking to deepen and strengthen empathy with your customers? Here are some suggestions to help you with this process.
1. Observe, Interview, Engage
First, we know that the easiest way to build customer empathy is to take a researcher approach and then go to where customers directly interact with your services or products.
Try to observe your customers, their unusual behavior. Focus on where they always go before and after communicating with your business. After you get a quick idea of who they are, ask about their typical day and routine.
Then, find out what their issues are with what you are offering them. Find out more about their ideas, thoughts and feelings about everything surrounding your offerings. From now on, demonstrate excellent customer listening skills and act like a customer. Now imagine being in their physical, mental and emotional experiences to determine your services or products to meet their demands.
This way, you will know better how they feel and can fine-tune your product or service to meet their exclusive demands and desires. The function of the thumb here is to put yourself in the customers’ shoes. This way, you will be able to better anticipate and respond to their needs.
2. Share Customer Perceptions
Customers often share their observations with businesses on the Internet. You’ll likely have to rely on technology tools to sift through thousands of product articles, social media posts, and emails. But by doing so, you will facilitate and gain more insight into what customers feel and think about your business. 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 program can help you understand the client better and better understand what’s going on in their mind and heart. This empathy map targets your customers’ feelings and considers customers’ experiences in different categories: what they feel and think; say and do; hear; see.
Then, you will need to analyze your relationship with customers to create an empathy map. Ask yourself if you know how they feel and what they think. Are you aware of what you are solving? You need to gather the necessary information if you don’t already know the answers. Therefore, an empathy map could be useful, as a follow-up activity after observing and engaging with your client. Make sure you respond to a customer’s point of view rather than how you would like them to feel.
4. Include Comprehension Phrases in Your Customer Service Interactions
When a customer contacts customer service, you can turn a potentially painful experience into something positive. You can use phrases like “I can imagine how disappointing this can be when this happens” or “I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this problem.” Show great empathy and let your customers know that you feel what they are going through.
These phrases work best when paired with assurance that you will do everything possible to resolve the problem quickly. Besides, you have to be careful not to do it often; Empathy works best when it’s genuine and doesn’t seem exaggerated or forced.
5. Examine Your Prejudice
We often have hidden and, sometimes, not so hidden biases that might interfere with our ability to empathize, listen, and understand the needs of others. Most of these errors often center around visible factors such as gender, age, and race.
If you have a bias, even an unconscious one, toward a specific category of customers, it usually becomes apparent to customers during your interactions with them.
You should always try to be as neutral as possible when dealing with different customers, earning everyone the same treatment – the way you expect (or would like) to be treated. It’s helpful to be aware of customer empathy, but it’s even more important to take action and take steps to develop it.
On the other hand, paying attention to your customers’ requests and taking the necessary steps to meet them can be incredibly rewarding. There is always an opportunity to improve, and it is never too late to improve our abilities.
Customer Empathy at Katrium
At Katrium, we offer several services that can support businesses and their customers. We always put customers in the center and create customer empathy. As well, we strive to understand clients’ needs as well as fulfill those demands to exceed customers’ expectation. Read more about call center benefits and cost efficiency of hiring a virtual assistant on our blog!