Every company needs strong customer service to set them apart from its competitors. After all, customers are more loyal to businesses that treat them with respect, kindness and that support their needs.
Customer service in a contact center is especially important. Most call center agents are familiar with the rage of angry customers, frustrated with long wait times, and other problems. Customers calling a contact center want:
- Quick resolution.
- Human interaction.
- Quick connection to an agent.
- Knowledgeable, friendly agents.
- Multiple communication channels.
These days, customers value empathy in their customer service agents. That’s why it’s so important for contact center agents to channel empathy when they’re providing customer support. Luckily, there are many empathy statements, words and phrases agents can use for customer engagement.
Demonstrate active listening and understanding.
Active listening is essential for good customer service. Keep your focus completely on the customer, and don’t interrupt. Take in what they are telling you, and respond thoughtfully. Being an active listener builds trust and connection between agent and customer. Here are some phrases that demonstrate empathy in an agent’s effort to understand their customer:
“I see. Please, go on.”
Short phrases of encouragement like this show your customer that you’re listening to their concerns, and would like to learn more.
“If I understand correctly, you’re saying…”
Take time to check in and make sure you’re understanding your customer’s concerns. Paraphrase when they pause and ask clarifying questions if necessary. This shows the customer that you’re making an effort to understand them.
DID YOU KNOW?
An empathetic approach in your customer support can lead to increased sales and strong customer loyalty.
“I understand how that could be frustrating. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this.”
When supporting customers, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you’d feel if you were going through their issue. This phrase validates the customer’s feelings and concerns. Additionally, it demonstrates to the customer that you’ve listened to their concerns and understand where they’re coming from.
Demonstrate respect and reassurance.
It’s important for customers to feel reassured and respected during any customer experience. Here are a few statements that reassure customers and show customers that you respect them:
“You’re absolutely right, sir/ma’am.”
The customer is always right might seem like a dated phrase. But, it’s not meant to be taken literally. Of course, an angry customer complaining about wait times and an agent’s incompetence isn’t always right. Regardless, contact center agents should assure and comfort customers along the customer experience journey.
The customer might be incorrect about one fact or another, but their feelings of dissatisfaction are still there. Agents should try to show empathy, respect, and understanding to the customer’s plight. But, don’t overdo it. If you say this phrase more than once or twice, you might come off as patronizing.
“Thanks so much for your patience as we sort this out.”
The customer could be doing other things with their time – they can hang up or just go with another company. Thanking them for waiting demonstrates gratitude for their business.
Time is precious to both your agents and your customers. During high volume periods, Voice Call-Backs are a great way to eliminate hold time while easing pressure off your contact center.
“I will resolve this issue for you.”
Notice the active voice in this statement. The agent using this empathetic statement is assuring that he or she will take action to solve their problem. Instead of verbally indicating that the task will be delegated, i.e. my team will, my manager will, etc., the agent is strongly asserting him or herself as the problem solver.
Even if an agent’s team does most of the work, it’s the agent who is coordinating it for the customer.
“I appreciate you bringing this to our attention.”
Customer complaints are always an opportunity to improve, be it operationally or through customer service. When a customer shares feedback, they are giving a contact center a chance to rectify the issue and prevent it from happening with future customers. Acknowledging that shows respect towards your customers.
Nobody wants to deal with an angry customer. But, it’s possible to diffuse the situation and bring a customer back into better spirits. Use these empathy statements in your call center to demonstrate empathy towards customers, and to keep them loyal to your company.