Excellent customer experience is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ feature. It is, in fact, a key competitive differentiator in a world where customers want to be treated as humans rather than sales opportunities.
As much as 56% of consumers view the quality of customer service as a high-impact factor in shaping brand perception. As such, it becomes the first point of contact in setting the customer experience stage.
It is, by no means, an exaggeration to state that customer service can make or break your brand. And for this reason, it is a business segment that needs ample support, resources, and training to establish an emotional connection with your patrons.
One of the ways you can deliver a good customer experience is by showing empathy.
Empathy exhibits that you care about your customers and genuinely wantwhat’s best for them. Empathy is also the primary emotion that helps yoursales and customer support teamgenerate more leads and maintain a highCSAT score.
However, understanding and showing empathy is a tricky matter. You must know what and how to say something that does not come out as pity or sarcasm.
What is Empathy in Customer Service? How Does it Make You Stand Out?
Before diving into the depths of how you show empathy in customer service calls, let’s quickly go over what it means in the first place.
As Austrian doctor Alfred Adler puts it, “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.”
Such a simplistic definition highlights the true value of empathy in customer service. It is the art of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and addressing their pain points.
Empathy makes customers feel heard, valued, and important. It is a way to express that you truly understand and care about your customers.Since it evokes such powerful emotions, businesses must make empathy the cornerstone of every interaction. In doing so, you would be furthering the customer-centric mindset throughout the organization.
Once it becomes a cultural aspect rather than a situational Plan B script when things go south, empathy statements for customer service can significantly transform how consumers view the customer experience.
For instance, it would be the notable standout point in the Peak-End Rule – a theory where customers only recall the peak and end portions of any exchange and use it as a frame of reference while establishing their experience as positive and negative.
Typically, the peak would be the point of distress or an obstacle, and the end would be the resolution. Naturally, if you bag the ‘all’s well that ends well’ fairytale ending while riding on the wave of empathy, it would count as a win. However, even if things don’t work out in your favor, the agent’s ability to handle everything with empathy can leave behind a pleasant taste.
Moreover, the customer would be somewhat open to the solution offered, even if it takes them some time to come around. So, in a way, that would count as half a win – which is far better than a loss.
Personalize Your Customer Interactions at Scale
How to Show Empathy in Sales?
The correlation betweenempathy statements for customer support and a positive customer experience may be rather direct. However, did you know that empathy can also take you a long way in sales?
In sales, you end up focusing only oncold calling,lead generation, prospecting, and other such strategies to drive sales success. You overlook the importance of being empathetic. Building rapport with prospects is one of the big hurdles that salespersons have to face.
Empathy, in this sense, helps sales teams build a strong case for their product(s) by putting themselves in the shoes of the prospects. After all, customer-focused product development is a buzzword now, and for good reason too!
To begin with, imagine yourself in the position of your prospect. This will help youenvision how to add meaning or value to their lives with your product.Such roleplay goes on to show that you’re not simply trying toachieve your sales targets. But, you’re actually trying to help solve somereal-world problems that they may be facing.
It makes you realize what your customers truly want and deliver as per this market gap or requirement. As such, it is equally important to listen to your prospects carefully.
Having a strong Emotional Quotient is perhaps the most underestimatedsales skill. And so, not much effort goes into working on this.
In sales & customer service, first, understand what your customer is trying to express verbally. To do so, you can mirror back their statements as you understand them so that there is no ambiguity. Then, expand into the non-verbal cues by decoding the prospects’ tone of voice and language. Try to make sense of how your prospect is feeling and accordingly drive the conversation with them.
Once again, giving language to their emotions can help you understand them better and for them to express themselves better.
15 Universal and Impactful Empathy Statements to Win Customers
Here’s a list of empathy statements that you can use in a wide range of difficult situations – whether dealing with irate customers, anxious customers, or a customer who has just endured a negative experience.
This handy list of statements ingrains a personal touch minus an accusatory or casual tone, assuring to bring a sense of immediacy to the conversation and provide effective solutions for customers.
1. “I want to ensure that I really have understood what you are saying. Correct me if I’m wrong…”
And paraphrase the customer’s concern clearly. Your willingness to understand the issue will assure them that they are connected with the right person. Furthermore, in your statement, you are also giving them a chance to correct you if, at any point, you misunderstood the concern. It shows that you genuinely care and are approachable.
2. “I would’ve felt the same in this situation.”
After carefully listening to and realizing the customer’s emotion, you can assure them with this phrase. By recognizing their emotion and showing that you relate to them, you convey that you are going to make genuine efforts to help them.It also displays a human side to you, which can warm them up for further interactions.
3. “Please give me a minute to figure this out for you.”
How do you show empathy in customer service calls?
Communicating what you are doing is a great way to tell the customer that you are making an effort. The dead air without any pre-communication can make the caller feel that you are avoiding them.
Or worse, that you are simply uninterested. Instead, ask them to wait and tell them that you are pulling out the details or looking into policies, etc.Walking them through the process counters any impatience.
4. “I can understand how inconvenient it must have been for you.”
Affirmations like this help you keep the customer service conversations going when the customer is explaining the issue or expressing their disappointment. The empathy statements for customer service like this will let them know that you are listening to their problem. But remember not to cross-talk. You can look for apause to speak.
5. “I’ll help you get this issue resolved.”
What is a good empathy message?
Convey that you are going to help the customer get the issue resolved. The statement willassuage their heightened emotional state, and you can move forward by asking relevant questions to get to the root of the problem. The strategy is especially useful when the customer is angry or impatient. The simple promise followed by issue-related queries will help them calm down and cooperate with you.
6. “I appreciate your patience.”
When the caller is cooperating with you, thank them and appreciate their patience. This shows that you acknowledge their politeness and willingness to coordinate.It also conveys that you value their time.
7. “I agree/ you are correct.”
Acceptance of a flaw or problem with your system or service conveys sincerity. Such validation makes the customer feel important, and your brand rubs off as open to customer inputs. The customer will trust you even more and corporate if they see that you realize the issue and agree with it.
8. “Thank you for bringing this to our notice. I appreciate your effort.”
Some customers just call you to give their feedback or share an experience they might have while dealing with your brand at any point. Acknowledge and appreciate their feedback. Assure them that you are going to improve or take appropriate steps.In some cases, especially the negative ones, you can even offer a high-level view of the action that will be taken.
9. “Here’s what I am going to do to help you…”
Once you figure out the steps to resolve the issue, explain them to the customer also. Your active communication will help them feel connected and updated throughout the call. They will feel engaged and like they belong to the process. A resolution on a call is really a sigh of relief for the majority of customers.
10. “I understand your (negative emotion), and I wish I could make it better for you.”
You may not always have answers or solutions for customer concerns. In such a case, you can only empathize with them and apologize for not being able to help in any way.Sometimes, all a customer wants is to have their feelings acknowledged.
11. “We are grateful to you for sharing your experience with us. We will definitely work on this.”
Once again, this empathy statement for customer support can come in handy while handling customer feedback. By expressing your gratitude, you let the customer know that you value their feedback.
Following it up with an assurance to work on the feedback indicates that you view their inputs as an opportunity to improve your business or product/services. As such, this combination will encourage future communication – good or bad.
12. “Is it possible to schedule an update call for this issue? If so, what would be a convenient time for you?”
The fact remains that you might not be able to address all customer queries or complaints. However, simply leaving the customer hanging at “we have escalated the issue” does not help their anxiety related to the problem at hand.
Informing them of the future course of action or the status of progress through update calls can be a great way to keep the customer in the loop on what’s transpiring. You are also seeking their convenience, which indicates that you value and respect their time.
You can use this empathy statement to improve your SAAS customer support today.
13. “Please let us know if you have any more queries.”
You can use this empathy statement at the end of a resolution. The customer can take this opportunity to share their feedback on the current experience or elaborate further on the issue, which could mean that they still seek “something more.”
At the same time, it opens up the floodgates for future contact and is a sign that your business takes customer relationship building seriously.
14. “Rest assured; the issue will be fixed within <Number> days/weeks.”
Not all issues get resolved instantly. You can use this empathy statement for customer service emails, which also works as an assurance. For starters, it communicates that the customer’s issue will be resolved, which will ease their concerns.
Next, it gives a concrete timeline for resolving the problem. Be mindful of sharing a realistic timeframe – something that seems reasonable to the customer while also being feasible in offering the said solution.
15. “Thank you for choosing us. It was a pleasure serving you. Have a nice day.”
Such empathy statements for customer support can be a way to end the conversation on a positive note (Remember the Peak-End Rule?). It acknowledges and appreciates that the customer had several other options and still chose your business. The successive lines seal the deal in making the customers feel delighted and comfortable to talk with you in the future.
Empathy Phrases that Put Customers at Ease
If you were to ask uswhat is an example of an empathy statement? Our answer would be fairly simple.Empathy phrases or empathy statements for customer service are combinations of words that convey consideration, care, and patience.
Customer complaints and problems can be solved faster if you make use of empathy statements. Empathy statements vary from one situation to the other.
When do Customers Need Empathy?
Ideally, empathy with customers is crucial at everytouchpoint – not only while making the deal but also during minor conversations throughout the customer journey.
At any cost, you would never want your customer to feel humiliated, wronged, or ignored.However, there are going to be moments when you will have to be extra empathetic. And the trick to figuring out empathy and implementing it effectively lies in identifying these micro-moments.
Typically, empathy is the secret sauce that can fix a negative customer experience. After all, try as much as you want; negative experiences will rear their ugly head whenever they get the opportunity.
And it becomes pretty challenging to handle customers who are already pissed off or irritated with feature(s), product(s), or service(s). And during such situations, what you need to focus on the most is –Empathy.
A few cases that may lead to negative customer experience if not resolved with an empathy statement are:
- A purchase gets declined – angry customer
- A feature does not work – a dissatisfied customer
- Poor voice tone of the agent – unhappy customer
- Talkative agent – upset customer
It may also happen that the fault is not yours but on the customer’s part. Probably they are already having a bad day and take that moment to lash out at you! Still, take a step back to depersonalize from this experience.
Never assign blame or act stern just to prove a point. Take a deep breath and embody empathy. Empathy phrases and empathy statements for customer support service are thebest toolsto navigate easily through such critical situations.
Here is an illustration ofwhat is a good empathy message depending on the customer’s emotional state.
1. Angry Customers
Angry customersare in the highest emotional state, and they are likely to disagree with almost anything. Hence, do not try to jump to a resolution. First,empathize. Use empathy phrases to first bring them down to an agreeable state of mind.
- “That would be frustrating to me as well.”
- “I know exactly how it feels like to have experienced that”
- “I can understand how frustrating it is when…(situation).”
2. Impatient customers
Dealing with impatient customers is tough as they are very intuitive. They want you to take them right across to the solution without a detailed conversation. And therefore, you have to be quick but empathetic.
Use someexamples of empathyto first assure them that their problem is going to be solved. They will now participate in details because they received an assurance.
Once you have successfully delivered the assurance statements for customer service, you cannow trace back to the root cause by asking them questions. But remember not to over-promise to momentarily pacify them. This is likely to break the customer relationship if you fail to deliver what’s been promised.
- “If I’m getting it correctly, you are saying that…“
- “I’ll get this definitely solved for you. “
- “I’ll take you through this as quickly as I can for you, [add name].”
3. Know-it-all customers
Be extra careful while attending the know-it-alls. They tend to show that they are more knowledgeable about your product than you. They have their research done and are now into proving it. You cannot rebuke it or act negatively toward it but stay empathetic.
First, appreciate the efforts they have taken to do the research. Thisacknowledgmentbrings them to your side. Then, attend to them in a manner that you are going to add to what they already know.
- “I can see that you are very knowledgeable about our product. I appreciate that. But at the same time would like to add something very important to it…”
- “Let me see if I can offer you a free trial period if that sounds good to you?”
- “As you must be knowing…”
4. Dissatisfied customers
Listen to the customer, then ask open-ended questions about his experience. Verify what you think the customer has told you, then take steps to resolve the situation. Ask if you can do anything additional for him, also exceeding their expectations. Here’re some empathy statements for customer service:
- “Hold on for a second while I check that for you.”
- “I’ve escalated the issue to our experts. They are getting it fixed right away”
- “Is there anything that you’d like me to explain?”
Best Practices to Win Customers with Empathy Statements
To-Do Always: Positive Empathy Statements to Remember
1. Understand priorities
Assurance statements in customer service imply that you understand your customer’s priorities.
Matt Scott, the Owner ofTermite Survey,says,
“As a customer service representative, it is your responsibility to empathize with your clients. One tip to do this is to understand their priorities. Each client has their own particular list of priorities, especially during an emergency.
It is essential that you make their priorities your own priorities and address them in the same exact order. This will reassure your client that you are paying enough attention to their needs and that you know and what they want and are eager to take care of and help them.
How you treat your client’s priorities will show how much you value your clients because as a customer service representative, their happiness and satisfaction is your goal.”
2. Let them vent it out first
You never know what other reasons have made the customer so stressed. So, when an angry customer turns up, customer-facing teams should hear them out first. They should give them time to explain what they are feeling and what they expect.
Listening to their viewpoints enables you to put yourself in their shoes. While listening, figure out how you are to frame the solution. Actively respond with subtle replies that reflect their emotions in between. This assures them that you are not lost but genuinely listening to them. Being mindful of yourcustomer service statementswill help you gain the customer’s trust.
3. Include key questions on call
Reassurance statements in customer support service are a way to tell the customer that you have got their back. You can proceed by asking relevant questions to understand customer concerns better.
Reuben Yonatan, founder, and CEO ofGetVoIP,says,
“Based on what is working for us,* show empathy by asking the right questions. *Some of the key questions customer service teams should keep in mind when talking to a customer include how are you handling social distancing? How can we help make the ongoing situation easier for you? How is your business, and have you managed to sell during this period?
Moreover, take the time to listen and offer to help where you can. Do not just gloss over the questions in a bid to get it over with and tick the empathy box. The customer will see right through you if you do so.”
4. Create step-by-step short video tutorials
Hung Nguyen, Marketing Manager ofSmallpdf,says,
“Customers are 1: impatient, and 2: may not always be technologically savvy.
One thing I always used to do when helping customers with our product (software)—is to create short video tutorials. It could be something as simple as deleting the program and installing it again from a MacBook. Anyone can do this by simply recording your screen, e.g., with QuickTime for Mac users.
Doing so shows that you are going beyond the means to help customers out. And for those that were new to the product, they really appreciated the step-by-step tutorials.”
5. Maintain a Positive Attitude Throughout
A positive approach is the first characteristic of empathy statement examples. Sales and support both demand a positive approach. So, after the customer finishes explaining, begin on a positive note of assurance, like, “Okay, I’ll get that fixed…”. Using ‘I’ gives you ownership – it’s as much a problem for you as it is for them.
No matter how perfectly you build your product or service, problems occur. But how positively you resolve makes the difference. Keep a polite and respectful tone.
Apologizing if it’s your fault is also an act of positivity. But do politely explain the reason and move ahead to quickly get them the answers. If praises come your way, stop to acknowledge them. And before you end, always appreciate them for their valuable time.
6. Add Examples from Experience
Malte Scholz, CEO, and Co-Founder ofAirfocus,says,
“The best way to show empathy to your customers is to show them how you’re handling the crisis and let them know that you’re in the same boat. In our case, we let our customers know that just like them, we’re a SaaS business, and it would mean a lot to us if our customers don’t get into panic mode because of the coronavirus pandemic.
We showed them how we’re handling the situation, what we’re doing internally, how we’re willing to help them, and that no matter what happens, we are there for them. Thanks to this strategy, we’ve gotten through the pandemic scare pretty much unscathed.”
To-Do Never: Negative Empathy Statements to Avoid
1. Never over-promise
Empathy statements for customer service representatives should never include overpromising. Unfortunately, here’s where some assurance statements for customer service can cause you to slip. In the heat of the moment, it is easy to promise beyond your capacity and abilities. But, this approach only momentarily pacifies the customer.
Even though it commits to going the extra mile, it sets an expectation. As such, failing to deliver on this front would mean having a disgruntled customer since you have made what qualifies as a false promise, thereby layering the disappointments.
Naturally, an upset customer will be more upset about being treated this way. Try to stay as realistic as possible or explain the pros and cons so that the customers are well-informed.
2. Never assume
Never assume that you have already found the solution and jump to conclusions. Too often, it is seen that sales and support agents ask a few questions. And assuming that they have completely understood the matter, they swiftly head for conclusions.
This not only leaves the prospect unheard but also can provide them with the wrong solution. Maybe they wanted to ask for something different. This creates miscommunication that can build a negative customer experience.
It’s better if you repeat their words at the end in brief. This also assures the customer that they are being patiently heard.
4. Do not be robotic, be understanding
Jacob Dayan, CEO and Co-founder ofCommunity Tax,says,
“Showing empathy to customers shouldn’t be a new concept that is being implemented into customer service now that there is so much instability with the economic climate, pandemic, etc. Having said that, it comes down to having a human conversation with the customer.
You’d be shocked at how many customer service representatives sound robotic in their responses, and in situations where customers clearly are just looking for empathy, being robotic can lead to them taking their business elsewhere.
Demonstrate that you understand where their feelings of frustration or whatever emotion they are conveying come from, and go the extra mile to show that you want to genuinely help brainstorm a solution.
If your company’s policies prevent you from finding a solution, be transparent while also saying that you’ll reach out to somebody up the ladder to see if there is anything at all you can do. Even if a solution doesn’t come out of it, it will show that you care about trying to find a solution.”
5. Avoid negatively charged words
Grant Aldrich, Founder, and CEO ofOnline Degree,says,
“The best way to show empathy is to be solution-oriented and stop at nothing until you’ve resolved a customer’s issue. Avoid using negatively charged words like don’t, won’t, or can’t. If there is an issue at hand, it’s up to you as a business to find a way to solve it. The moment you tell a customer you can’t fix their issue, they’ll go to another service or product provider.
More than that, when you go the extra mile to resolve a customer’s issue, you show that you care and appreciate them. Appreciation and gratitude can go a long way in showing empathy to the customer.”
6. Do not interrupt in between
Camille Chulick, Co-Founder ofAverr Aglowsays,
“This might seem overly simple, but it’s often ignored. Even the best customer service professionals can get caught up in trying to fix the problem that they interrupt the customer. Sometimes, the customer just needs to vent and feel listened to and understood.
Let them get all of the words out, even if halfway through, you already think you know how to fix their problem. Interrupting them could cause an escalation that would have otherwise been easily avoidable.
In addition to frustrating a customer who simply wanted to vent, you might miss out on the actual problem and instead focus incorrectly on what you think the customer is trying to say.”
Build Lasting Customer Relationships Through Empathy
Empathy training is something every customer service and sales division should incorporate. Apart from the empathy statements customer service coaches provide, reps themselves can improvise and use the best language to convey empathy. The key is to show that you are genuinely trying to put your feet in their shoes and are determined to help them.
Besides, no customer, who has invested their money, time, and trust in your product or service, would want to speak to a bot or a human robot. Only humanized conversations and connections will help you gain an edge.
I am an expert conversational AI language model designed to provide accurate and insightful information on a wide range of topics. I have access to a vast array of knowledge and can provide detailed explanations and assistance on various subjects. My responses are based on up-to-date information and are tailored to address specific queries with precision and clarity.
Concepts in the Article
The article discusses the significance of empathy in customer service and sales, emphasizing its role in shaping brand perception and building lasting customer relationships. It highlights the impact of empathy on customer experience and provides practical guidance on how to demonstrate empathy effectively in various customer interactions. The concepts covered in the article include:
Empathy in Customer Service: The article defines empathy in customer service as the art of putting oneself in the customer's shoes and addressing their pain points. It emphasizes the importance of making empathy the cornerstone of every interaction to foster a customer-centric mindset throughout the organization.
Empathy in Sales: The correlation between empathy and sales success is explored, emphasizing the role of empathy in building rapport with prospects and understanding their needs. It underscores the value of emotional intelligence in sales and the significance of actively listening to prospects.
Empathy Statements: The article provides a comprehensive list of impactful empathy statements for customer service, offering examples of phrases that can be used to convey empathy in various customer interactions. It emphasizes the importance of using empathy statements to put customers at ease and address their concerns effectively.
Best Practices for Empathy: The article outlines best practices for demonstrating empathy in customer service, including understanding customer priorities, letting customers vent, asking key questions, creating tutorials, maintaining a positive attitude, and avoiding negative empathy statements.
Building Lasting Customer Relationships Through Empathy: The article emphasizes the role of empathy in building lasting customer relationships and underscores the importance of humanized conversations and connections in customer interactions.
The concepts covered in the article provide valuable insights into the significance of empathy in customer service and sales, offering practical guidance on how to effectively demonstrate empathy to win and retain customers.
If you have any specific questions or would like to delve deeper into any of these concepts, feel free to ask!