Great customer service is in the details; those nuances, extra touches that delight customers and cause them to remember us in a great way. Often, businesses don’t train their teams on these nuances because they figure reps either have a way of connecting with a customer, or they don’t. But, just as great leaders and athletes are formed, not born so too it is with a great Customer Service team. One sure way to train your team to dazzle customers is to make sure they are consistently practicing Empathy.
Recently a client noticed their call center reps coming across a bit short in their customer interactions. The reps seemed unable to meet the customers where they were, with their problem or issue. A customer’s statement was met NOT with “I understand” or “I’m sorry to hear that” but rather with “Can I have your phone number?” So we began, with great results, to discuss and train on Empathy, what it means and what it can do to propel a call center ahead of the competition.
Empathy is about putting yourself in another’s shoes. No need to have gone exactly through what the person experienced. You can imagine, think how that may have made YOU feel, and you’ve got it … you can empathize. But there’s a slight catch. To be able to empathize, you have to think of the other person first — not always easy. True Empathy moves us out of our script, out of our comfort zone forcing us to extend towards another. In so doing, it can make a huge difference in exceeding customer expectations. Customers expect their issues to be resolved, but they don’t necessarily expect a real connection of respect, trust building and real listening. That’s where memorable interaction and delight can come in. The customer feels you are on their side, because in effect you are. And you, the rep, know you have listened, heard and honestly helped that customer. You’ve raised the bar from transaction to real help, real relationship building. That gets remembered!
The practice of Empathy is a great teacher. It interrupts our ego giving us the opportunity to serve, listen, be present with another. It requires that we step aside from our own issues to be about someone else’s. When offered sincerely, Empathy is a powerful tool for building excellent customer relations, a powerful tool for self-exploration and enjoyment of our work. When we train people on Empathy, it isn’t just about customer service; it’s about life relationship management. And the transformation can touch every area of our lives.
What Empathy Training can mean to your CSRs
- Power! — A tool to be a better person; more real; make someone’s day every day.
- A chance to be great at what they do.
- Enthusiasm. An opportunity to bring more heart, passion into their work.
- A way to become more understanding, more authentic.
- Financial reward and increased success.
What Empathy Training can mean to your company
- Better relationship with your CSRs.
- Better relationships with your customers.
- More loyalty from employees and customers (what goes around comes around).
- Happier employees more satisfied with their work.
- Improved work environment.
- Repeat business.
- Great word of mouth advertising as customers are heard, understood and delighted time after time … and they remember it!