As a business owner, it’s in your best interests to establish and maintain a good business relationship with your client base.
One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that your call center’s representatives are consistently showing and expressing empathy to customers in every situation that calls for it.
No surprise there. After all, the last thing frustrated callers want to do is talk to someone who obviously couldn’t care less.
Remember, in every customer interaction; the end goal is to always give the customer a positive experience. Showing empathy is a big part of that equation.
Do you want your contact center to show a high level of empathy towards your customers? As a business owner, here are proven techniques you can adopt.
1. Train agents to listen actively
Active listening is a critical skill every customer service rep should have at her disposal.
It goes beyond paying attention to the caller’s words. Rather, it requires that the rep responds in a manner that creates a mutual understanding between her and the customer.
When agents are trained extensively on how to listen correctly, customers are more likely to feel happier at the end of every call.
It’s been proven that this can positively impact customer satisfaction scores and retention.
2. Apologize and make customers feel that they are understood
If callers are feeling frustrated and angry, a rep’s first logical response is to apologize.
It doesn’t stop there, of course. More importantly, agents also have to tell customers that they understand where they’re coming from.
Some phrases to communicate this effectively include…
“I can see why you’re feeling frustrated about…”
“I’d be upset too if the same thing happened to me…”
“I understand why this is extremely upsetting for you….”
Keep in mind, though, that agents have to stop themselves from dwelling on the issue.
Once a mutual understanding has been established, reps should take ownership of the call and focus on resolving the issue, which brings us to the next item on this list.
3. Show sense of urgency
Sometimes, it may feel like customers are calling just to vent out their frustrations.
That may be partly true at times, but ultimately, what they want is for your customer service personnel to address their issues and make the situation better.
After expressing an apology and making the customer feel that they’re understood, agents have to roll up their sleeves and get on with resolving the issue right then and there.
In short, customers have to feel that customer service is treating their issues with a sense of urgency.
Agents can use statements that go along the lines of, “Let’s get this taken care of right now,” or “We’ll get this straightened out for you.”
4. Train agents to stay calm and be polite
Talking with irate callers comes with the territory when you’re working behind the phone lines in a call center.
That said, agents have to keep calm and be polite even when the customer is making it difficult for them to do so.
When the customer is venting out, the best course of action is to listen. Once the storm is over, chances are the customer will feel calmer and will be more willing to listen and cooperate.
(Bear in mind, however, that a line has to be drawn somewhere when it comes to rude customers. In such cases where the customer is using profanity and is being impossible, an agent has to firmly remind her that such behavior will not be tolerated.)
When a brand shows and expresses empathy on a regular basis, customers are more likely to get the impression that they are valued and that they matter.
If you want loyal customers, you have to take the necessary steps to show how human your brand is.