Empowering Customers With Empathy

No one wants to feel like just another number and, at the same time, everyone immediately feels better when they feel like they’re understood.

Similarly, employees don’t want to be faceless and brushed aside, and this is of course infinitely true for the customers that they serve. In fact, according to a recent poll done by RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report, 89 percent of customers moved their business to another company after experiencing a poor interaction.

Providing an excellent customer interaction means going beyond a call center agent simply checking a column and giving a form answer. It should go without saying, but unfortunately, the message still needs to be relayed today: As simple and straight-forward as it may sound, it’s important that the customer experiences empathy from the agent that he or she is interacting with.

Simply put, there are two facets to the concept of empathy. It is important to not just respond to a complaint or problem, but to recognize and relate to the customer as well as the problem being experienced. Empathy is the ability of an agent to identify and relate to, on both an emotional and practical level, what the customer is dealing with. That’s the foundation of a call center agent’s job.

The overarching goal of empathy is that by recognizing and fully empathizing with the situation, the agent can then explain the steps necessary to resolve the issue.

This is especially important in cases where there might not be a simple solution, or perhaps if there is no solution to be found. While it’s a sad fact that not every problem can be fixed, by letting customers be heard and actively empathizing with them, they will be more likely to not only forgive the company, but be more open to whatever alternative solutions are available.

An agent displaying empathy empowers the customer and lets them know they are not just a client number on a computer screen. Every client is an active participant in the success of a call center software company. Letting them know this will help ensure their continued business.

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