On July 3rd, right before I was heading out for my holiday with family, I got a desperate call from a manager of a large contact center. The manager told me that recent satisfaction surveys revealed a real problem with Rep attitude and the perception of rudeness over the phone. This afternoon I meet the Reps of this contact center and I will launch phase one of my customer service transformation plan for this company.
My one goal for the Reps today is to equip them with skill, confidence, and desire to convey empathy and genuine concern to customers over the phone. We will listen to phone calls, engage in exercises, role-plays, and discussions to accomplish this goal. I will give them feedback and they’ll set goals for personal improvement. One of the skills we’ll practice is how to acknowledge customer concern. That is, how to make the customer feel heard, respected and understood when they share a problem or complaint. Here are some example phrases I will share in today’s training:
7 Phrases That Convey Empathy to Customers
- “I can understand how frustrating it is when your Widget breaks down.”
- “I realize how complicated it is to…”
- “I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to…”
- “I know how confusing it must be when…”
- “I’m so sorry to hear that…”
- “I hate that you had to make this call today.”
- “I’m glad you called today so that we can take care of this right away.”
So often when a customer voices a complaint, we go right into information gathering. We ask the customer for her name, date code, invoice number, date of purchase, and perhaps a half dozen other questions. The problem with this approach is it sounds like an interview or worse, an interrogation. You can drastically improve the customer experience by taking a few seconds to build rapport by simply expressing genuine empathy.
Before jumping into problem solving and before asking any questions, take a moment to acknowledge concern through genuine empathy. When you do, you’ll put the customer at ease, establish rapport and improve the perception of your personal customer experience. Now, off to my customer service training….
Interested in working with me to improve your employees’ ability to convey empathy and concern? We need to talk. Take a look at my Empathy Training outline or simply Visit my website and take a look around. Then call my Assistant, Jamal, and we’ll see if I’m a good fit for you.
How to Get Customer Service Reps to Express Empathy
Myra Golden’s Empathy Training web seminar
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My Keynote at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on “Super Bowl Customer Experience”
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What a Myra Golden Training is Like
Customer Service eLearning by Myra Golden
Our flagship program is comprised of 6 online customer service training modules with video, interactivity, downloadable handouts, and quizzes. Customers have the option of enjoying our interactive online training on our Learning Management System (LMS) or through SCORM modules for their own LMS. Learn more