How Empathy Influences Effective Customer Service
Amidst the digital age, companies across all industries strive to adapt by integrating technology into most parts of their business. This includes implementing virtual solutions like chatbots and voice-controlled assistants.
However, with automated solutions taking over the customer experience, a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC) Future of CX report finds that 59% of all consumers feel that companies have lost touch with the human element of customer service. Adapting to digitalization without compromising the human element can be solved by incorporating customer service empathy into virtual solutions.
What is Customer Service Empathy?
By definition, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. In a business setting, incorporating it into customer service would be putting yourself into the shoes of a customer.
By doing so, you can understand the customers’ needs and wants and offer them personalized interaction to improve their overall experience with your organization.
Importance of Empathy in Customer Service
The answer to why empathy is important in customer service is evident in a study that finds that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands with personalized interactions, which only humans can offer.
The human touch we can offer in customer service is the empathy with which customers want to be treated. While technology may be efficient, it lacks the ability to pick up on emotional cues or adjust its message accordingly to calm down a distressed customer.
Showing customer service empathy can give a good experience and promote trust in your brand, as customers may associate your business with the positive emotions you displayed. However, an emotionless and unremarkable interaction may leave a bad impression and affect your customer retention rate.
Best Practices to Show Customer Service Empathy
Customer service empathy goes beyond addressing their needs, as it also puts things into a more refined context by being able to view their concerns from their perspective. Here are some practices in which your front desk personnel can use empathy in their customer service:
Emphasize your availability
A HubSpot research finds that 33% of consumers get the most frustrated when they are put on hold. With this in mind, show customer service empathy by valuing your customer’s time and needs.
No matter their concern, whether in-person or virtual, welcome customers with a greeting to show that you are ready to attend to their needs. A distressed customer would not appreciate it if customer service would treat them as a nuisance or show a lack of interest.
Listen to understand
The best way to practice customer service empathy is by listening to understand a customer’s needs. When the customer is explaining their situation, refrain from interrupting and instead take note of points in their concern that you can assist them with.
The same HubSpot study reveals that 33% of consumers find it frustrating when they need to repeat themselves or explain their concerns to multiple representatives.
One of the key factors to great customer service is exceeding your customer’s expectations. A recent survey says that 87% of consumers are more likely to take positive action towards a business after proactive service.
Show empathy in customer service by anticipating possible needs after solving their initial concern, as this also shows experience in your given field. Ask the right questions to pinpoint any potential problems before ending the interaction.
Acknowledge the customer’s emotions
The most humane way to incorporate empathy in customer service is by leveling with a customer’s emotions. After all, according to HelpCenter, empathy is all about connecting with emotions and responding with compassion.
Using empathetic phrases throughout your operation can calm a troubled customer down if you help them feel heard by validating their problem. Here are some that your on-site and virtual front desk receptionists can try when handling customers:
- “We are sorry to hear you are experiencing this. We will do our best to resolve this as soon as possible.”
- “I can imagine how you feel in this situation. We will sort this out.”
- “I can see why this is an issue.”
- “That must have been confusing.”
- “I appreciate you being so positive about this.”
- “That indeed sounds right. Let me see what I can do to make it work.”
Incorporate Customer Service Empathy into Virtual Solutions
Businesses must adapt by digitizing processes when delivering customer-facing solutions. With these best customer service empathy practices in mind, your business can incorporate digitalization with the human touch that customers are looking for.
With the right training and technology, consider hiring a virtual receptionist solution like WelcomeWare to improve your customer and employee experiences. WelcomeWare eliminates front desk challenges, allowing your team to be more engaged and provide better service for your clients.
Learn how to level up your company’s customer service when you contact us today!
Empathize with your customers better with a virtual front desk
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