5 tips for showing empathy on every call
"Empathize." I've heard it so often that at times it has lost all meaning for me. It doesn't help that many companies don't make a focused effort to effectively teach their agents what it means to empathize and how to convey empathy.
Empathy is so much more than "I apologize for your inconvenience." In fact, NEVER use that sentence. It is now dead and a sure sign that you're likely less concerned about the customer's issue and more concerned about just getting through the call. That mindset is counter productive and will lead to longer call times, frustrated customers, and poor surveys.
To help you out where training left off, here are 7 tips for building empathy into your entire call.
1. Listen Listen Listen
It can't be said often enough. Listening is so important that there should be a training completely devoted to the topic (hint: this will be a topic in our upcoming CSP training class. Learn more.)
Active listening will help you pinpoint the problem, understand the customer's priorities, and determine the best solution.
2. Let them know that you understand and that you care.
"Ok, so I apologize for your inconvenience. What else am I supposed to say?"
Stop, don't do that. There are lots of other ways to verbally express your empathy.
I understand how frustrating it is when . . .
I know how confusing it can be to . . .
I'm sorry to hear that
I realize how complicated it is to . . .
3. Let your smile shine through
"A smile can't be heard through the phone."
Oh yes it can! Believe it or not, your facial expressions can be heard through the phone by how they change your tone a voice. If you speak while smiling, you will sound like you're smilling. In fact, all of your body language can affect your call.
4. Try to put the shoe on the other foot
By definition, empathy is the act of understanding another's thoughts and feelings. All it takes is a little imagination. Think about how you would react or how you have reacted when experiencing a similar situation.
5. Treat customers the way you would like to be treated
Respect is one of the golden rules they used to teach in school. Speack to the custome with respect.
You may be upset too, but control your attitude. Often the customer is actually angry at the company, not at you.
Don't talk over the customer. Allow the customer to finish speaking before you interrupt.
Use less jargon and more language the customer can understand. The level of language a customer uses with you determines the complexity of language you may use with that customer.
Learn more. Earn more.