Many customer service issues can be solved quickly at little or no cost by simply expressing empathy. The challenge is empathy requires two things from customer service providers. First, we must have a relatable experience that is similar to what our customer is going through. Second, we must have the presence of mind to demonstrate that we acknowledge and understand how our customer is feeling.
Here are a few ways you can express empathy:
- Tell the customer directly that you know how it feels to be in their situation.
- Make an empathetic statement such as, "I can understand why you'd be frustrated."
- Pay careful attention to your tone of voice. A warm and soothing tone conveys empathy, but a short, monotone delivery can signal to the customer that you don't care.
Bonus tip: Remember, the purpose of using empathy is to make your customer feel acknowledged and valuable. Avoid shifting the focus from them to you, but telling them your story (unless they ask) or making a comment that suggests you are even worse off than they are.