Enhancing Customer Service Through Empathy: Part Five

This is the last in a series of blog posts on empathy and how it relates to the customer experience. We’ve looked at many techniques, such as research, mystery shopping, visualizing the experience and keeping abreast of online comments. Now, let’s turn our attention to empathic language—which is just as common a topic in customer service theory circles as empathy, and for good reason: the right words can not only lead to great sales and a better bottom line, but can turn angry customers into loyal customers and defuse potentially negative situations.

What are some words you can use to build empathy with your customers? Seeing as understanding is a key tenet of empathy, saying “I understand” can go a long way towards this goal. Part of empathy is feeling genuine sorrow and distress for what the customer is experiencing, so phrases such as “I’m sorry,” can help with this. Reassuring phrases such as “I will do what I can,” show the customer you really care about their dilemma, and are serious about helping them. Just be sure you really are empathizing with customers, and not faking it—they’ll sense a fake a mile away.

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Interactive Decision Tree