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How Important is empathy in customer service? (Very)

Plus some tips on how to let your callers know that you care

Olivia Maier

· 3 min read

Your customers won’t always be happy

Despite your best efforts, there’s just no way to leave every single customer satisfied all the time. When that happens, it is not unlikely that you will get a call about it.

It can be tempting to rush into those types of calls with a “fix it” attitude. Which makes sense, as your goal should be to resolve the issue during the first call from your customer. However, while that attitude may help find the right solutions, it might leave your customers feeling criticized, confused, and unhappy despite a positive resolution.

That is why your customer service agents should be trained on how to balance the “fix it” attitude with an important skill: empathy. Yes, we called empathy a skill. That is because it can be taught to your agents, and with practice it can become a powerful tool for your employees.

With empathy on your side, your team may be able to see improved customer relationships, and increased loyalty. They may also notice more willingness to compromise, and an increase in successful call resolutions.

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Empathy benefits for your callers

  • Helps the customer feel heard
  • They understand their concerns are being taken seriously
  • They can feel reassured in their purchasing decision knowing they will receive good customer service

Empathy benefits for your team

  • Better customer service leads to improved retention rates

  • Your agents will be better able to understand your customers’ needs

  • Your callers may reveal valuable information that they wouldn’t have if they weren’t made comfortable talking to your team

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So how can your team improve your empathy?

  1. Engage in active listening: This means reducing your multitasking, and listening to both what your callers are saying and how they are saying it. Some helpful tips you can instantly start incorporating include restating in your own words, asking for more information, and validating their point of view.
  2. Incorporating leading questions: By using open ended questions your customers may feel more comfortable giving you more details. Leading questions will help steer your customers in the right direction, but leaving them fairly open ended lets them give you the information that they feel is relevant, helping your callers feel heard.
  3. Overcome biases: Bias training is a great way to combat both conscious and unconscious bias, which may be preventing empathetic service for your callers. Learning to recognize and combat biases can help your team treat your callers with improved empathy.

These are just some of the ways you can get started improving empathy in customer service. Ask your team where they feel they are struggling to get a better picture of methods your team should start using.

In the end…

Having an empathetic approach to customer service can improve the customer service experience for both your callers and your employees. Make sure you are giving your team the tools they need to support them, especially if you are handling the majority of your customer service over the phone. With Yodel, you’re able to take advantage of our robust set of features to empower your team to excel in customer service. Get started with a free trial today and see why thousands of companies trust Yodel for their business phone communication.

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