Customer service is just one part of the overall customer’s experience, but if you do it right, then this can score you some massive brownie points in the eye of the customer.
Creating an effective customer experience is about more than just ensuring your customers receive the products and services they desire in a timely and efficient manner. It’s also about creating touchpoints (customer service), with real people who can organically advocate for your business, growing your brand not only through word of mouth, but also through their social media.
CEO Michael O’Leary famously remarked, “If I’d only known to be nice to customers was going to work so well, I’d have started many years ago.”
Expressing empathy is a great, natural, and honest way to promote relationships, both personally and professionally. Using an empathetic statement or short phrase can create a connection during a customer conversation.
Bad Customer Service Situations
Bad customer service situations come in many different shapes and sizes. It is important to remember that what counts as poor customer experiences in your business, will be unique.
Let’s have a quick look at a few possible reasons for bad customer service and experience:
- Long waiting times
- Employees who do not understand customer needs
- Unresolved issues/questions
- Too much automation/not enough human touch
- Service that is not personalized
- Rude/angry employees
The bigger problem would be employees not knowing how to speak to customers in a way which portrays empathy, and a want to help them fix their problem, as well as massively improve the business or brand’s customer experience and service for that unique customer.
Employees not trained in handling unhappy customers, tough situations or difficult customers are a big problem for a lot of businesses today.
80% of Businesses say that they have happy customers due to their incredible customer service and experience. According to research, customer feedback and data shows this is incorrect, as only 23% of most businesses can boast about their happy customers.
Think about the last time you were frustrated as a customer. It’s highly likely that one (or more) of the above was the cause.
You will only learn about these issues if you open the door to customer feedback. From there you can start working on decreasing the factors that cause bad experiences. Otherwise your unhappy customers will be like ghosts luring in the darkness.
Why is Customer Service Important?
Using the right empathy (understanding the customer’s problem or point of view) statements and phrases for customer service makes all the difference between a poor or incredible customer experience.
Words and the way your employees say things are incredibly powerful for handling customer’s conversations. The way your customers are spoken to can very much make or break your customer’s experience with your business and brand.
Beyond providing a great feeling for your customers and boosting key business metrics, using empathy statements in customer service can be a good way of morale-boosting for your team.
Empathy Statements in Customer Service
Empathy statements are defined as the act of understanding your customer’s experience in a way that you are sensitive to your customer’s thoughts and feelings.
It is not possible for businesses to provide 100% effective solutions all the time. But what they provide is the best empathetic words in all the points of interaction (touchpoints) to deliver a positive customer service experience.
Why Empathy Statements are Important in Customer Service
According to the Empathy Index, “Empathy is now more important to businesses than it has ever been before, closely correlating to growth, productivity, and total profit margins.”
Empathy statements for customer service show your ability to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. By using the right phrases from the empathy word list can help so much in making customers feel that they are understood, respected, and their feelings are being heard and validated.
Benefits of Using Empathy
There are many different benefits when it comes to using empathy and showing compassion to your customers. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Accelerated productivity and innovation – Customer support teams with strong empathy skills are more productive and innovative
- Increased sales conversions – Truly understanding your customers’ needs means reflecting on their fears, desires, and pain points
- Expanded engagement and collaboration – When team members and managers express empathy and a willingness to act compassionately toward customers, businesses attract highly engaged individuals. Empathetic businesses also have better retention and higher morale among employees
How to Show More Empathy to Your Customers
Always, always, ALWAYS, the customer’s frustration. If you brush it off in a “non-chalante” way, then you are just adding fuel to the fire!
When you try to connect with their pain or struggles, it makes them feel supported. It shows that you are genuinely putting effort to understand their feelings.
Here are some great examples of empathy statements that can be used to acknowledge and show that you understand how your customer may be feeling (never say that you know, as it may spike feelings of rage, rather say you can understand):
- “I can only imagine what you must be going through”
- “You are totally right”
- “I can understand how that would be difficult”
- “I am sorry you are going through this”
- “Oh! That sounds really challenging”
- “It makes me really sad to hear this happened”
- “We are so grateful to you, for sharing your opinions with us. We will investigate it. It will definitely benefit our business”
- “Thank you so much for notifying us about the issue”
- “Thank you! We appreciate your honest feedback”
- “May I arrange for an update call, at a time most convenient for you?”
- “Thank you so much for your patience, sir!”
As you can see with the examples above. The commend trend of the conversation should be – You acknowledge their pain point. Show understanding. Thank them for notifying you of their paint point (problem). Tell them you will further investigate and improve this area to ensure it from not happening again for that exact customer and for future customers. Again, thank them as their feedback is valuable to improving your business and brand. Thank them for their patience and ask if you could arrange for a follow up call to ensure that they are happy and that their problem has been resolved in a satisfactory manner.
A Great Customer Service Empathy Success Story
Ryanair’s empathy success story after implementing their “Always Getting Better” program. It helped to sort many customer annoyances like hidden charges, unallocated seating, and carry on baggage restrictions. Ryanair saw a net profit increase from €867 million to €1.24 billion (US$1.39 billion).
It is important to remember that most of the customers’ decisions are more emotional than logical. That’s what makes empathy a great tool to help show customers that you are on their side, and not against them
And yes, it’s impossible to always get your customer service experience 100% right, but you can always deliver a human connection. And that makes all the difference!