In a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR-AS) in 2021, 72% of CX executives said that they “understand what it is like to be one of [their] customers.” However, the same survey also showed that only 35% of customers feel that brands genuinely understand them!
This shows a gap in empathy, which can be hugely detrimental to a call center’s success.
The Value of Empathy in Call Centers
Have you ever felt that a robot was responding to your call when you dialed customer service? This can often turn out to be a clear indicator of a lack of empathy. It’s annoying to deal with an organization that doesn’t appear to give much thought to your problems or requirements.
In the field of customer service, empathy refers to an agent’s capacity to identify with a customer’s state of mind.
And the direct outcome of empathy? Exceptional customer experience built on a bedrock of trust and rapport. Agents who are empathetic are able to reassure their clients better and work with them to find solutions to their problems.
But it is not enough to feel empathy; as a call center agent, you also need to be able to demonstrate empathy in your interactions.
10 Empathy Statement Examples to Add to Your Call Center Interactions
Fortunately, empathy is a skill that agents can learn and practice. Empathy statements like the following show that agents empathize with a situation and are working their hardest to solve the customer’s issues:
1. I understand how ‘a’ is holding you back from ‘b.’
A frequently heard reply from customer service agents when a consumer expresses dissatisfaction is “I understand.” But that doesn’t prove that you truly grasp the problem at hand. Instead, be a little more expansive – and emphasize how the customer’s issue is hindering them from achieving their goals.
2. I fully agree with what you’re saying.
An agent’s best response to an upset client may be to acknowledge their sentiments. After all, whether we’re feeling upset or outraged, hearing that we’re in the right usually makes us feel better.
3. Let us work this out together.
Customers will feel relieved and more confident in your ability to solve the problem if you use terms like “we” and “us” often. The consumer is given the opportunity to play a role in the troubleshooting process and can offer more information.
4. If I’m understanding correctly…
The only way to really empathize with a consumer is to genuinely comprehend the specifics of their problem. To make sure you’re both on the same page, you might use this phrase to reaffirm their concerns.
5. I’m so sorry you had to go through this.
Saying “I’m sorry” to a client isn’t the same as admitting you did anything wrong. It demonstrates your sincere desire to fix what’s broken and mend the relationship. It shows that you empathize with their situation and are ready to provide assistance.
6. I appreciate your patience in waiting.
Waiting for you to take care of the issue is frustrating for a consumer who’s already disturbed or anxious. By making this comment, you’re indicating that you respect your customers’ time and patience.
7. I am happy you reached out about this.
Your consumers’ efforts, no matter how small, deserve your appreciation. One such effort is the customer’s decision to get in touch with the support team to remedy the problem instead of posting a negative review online.
8. Thank you, I appreciate that feedback.
Customers must have a free space for opining on any aspect of your business, brand, service, or product. And it may get ugly at times. Allow the individual to finish expressing themselves and then thank them for their input instead of arguing with them.
Bear in mind that the consumer isn’t angry with you, the agent, but rather with whatever it is that’s causing them distress or unhappiness.
9. I hear you, and I want you to succeed.
It’s easy for one to feel that it’s the agent versus the client when things don’t go as planned. The stress or anxiety in such scenarios must be de-escalated. This statement reminds the customer that you and they are fighting this battle together, with a clear intent on your side to resolve the problem.
10. We will get your issue resolved positively.
Customers are more likely to stay with you once you’ve assured them you’ll find a solution to their problem. The use of “we” conveys to the client that their concern has been elevated to the attention of the team as a whole.
In Closing: Simple Tips for Showing Empathy
In addition to using these statements, agents can:
- Use first-person pronouns like “I” to show that you care about the person you’re talking to.
- Swap inactive words with active ones – e.g., “I will send…” instead of “This will be sent…”
- Don’t forget that the agent’s primary responsibility is to help customers, not prove them wrong.
- Be very cautious while interacting across a language barrier; consider using emojis to show empathy.
- Keep biases in check, such as an older person not being able to navigate an app.
Feeling and demonstrating empathy allows call center agents to get to the bottom of customer issues, reduce time-to-resolution, and provide a great experience in the process.
That’s what makes it an invaluable skill for any agent, across support channels.