Empathy

Empathy.  I have grown to not like that word. I hear it all the time. “You need to have more empathy with your customers. I’m sorry to say this is particular post is not going to be as customer-service-friendly oriented as I planned. Empathy is one place where I struggle.  Writing how customer service needs to be more empathetic is just not a strong point for me, but it is important and must be shared.

I get the whole idea of putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. I understand when a customer is frustrated and wants a resolution. I’m sorry they didn’t get the service they thought they should have received. I’m sorry about their situation and I will absolutely do what I can in my power to fix it for them. But seriously, some customers, I’m just not going to cry them a river.

If there is a starting point for customer satisfaction, in my opinion, it would be education. I believe education should come before empathy. In any successful customer service situation, the first place to start is educating the customer service team. The team must believe in the product they service. They need to know the product line inside and out so they can express that belief to the customer. The customer service team should be able to enhance the customer with knowledge and critical information about the company’s product, service, and policies. Educating the customer is the first step to a satisfied customer. If they acknowledge they understand the polices and  still are not satisfied with the situation, then by all means offer up a good helping of empathy.

Here are some of my favorite empathy statements:

• I’m sorry you’re an idiot and can’t follow simple instructions. Suck it up cupcake, get over it.

• That is really too bad you had that experience at one of our stores, maybe next time you won’t be such a dick when you place your order.

• I totally understand and can relate. I’ve done the same thing by signing a contract, skipping over the fine print, agreeing to the terms that my finance charge will be five times what I signed up for if I don’t pay the balance in full every month.

• I’m sorry you just don’t get it. But here let me get my supervisor for you to sugar coat the situation, kiss your ass, and make you feel better about yourself.

Obviously if you have been following my A-Z of customer service, you know I’m joking. Hey listen, I can’t be serious all the time. Sometimes you must have a little fun with the lessons.  Empathy truly is important in customer satisfaction, but a little education can’t be a bad thing. Learn it, live it, love it.

Want to find out what your empathy score is?  Click HERE to take the test. (I borrowed the picture from another website, so I figured I better share the link to the article I borrow it from.)

What is your favorite empathy statement? Please do share, I’d love to read some.

Footnote: This year I decided to go with the A-Z of Customer Service. I’ve complained too long that customer service isn’t what it should be. Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. He put me in a position make a difference in what I think customer service is and should be. This month I will share with you what I’ve learned about successful customer service. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Cheers.

 

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