Empathy – A Valuable Tool in Customer Services

Have you ever called customer service to file a complaint or get your queries resolved but ended up getting frustrated with the communication as the executive could just not put themselves in your shoes and perceive your concerns with your lens? Unfortunately, we all have witnessed such situations. And one cannot deny the fact that bad customer service is such a turn-off. 

But why does it happen? Why do the customers and clients have to be at the receiving end of bad customer care service so many times? The foremost factor that leads to such dissatisfied customers is the lack of empathy in the customer care executives. They aren’t able to find your shoes in which they can step into. 

It is essential to realize that empathy is not a commodity that one can procure or purchase in a marketplace. Nor it is a token that the companies can hand over to their employees. Empathy is a skill. It is an extension of one’s emotional intelligence. But do we mean by that six-letter word?

Empathy can be defined as the ability of an entity to comprehend the kernel of another entity’s mental state through their means of expression and share one’s emotional expression with others effectively. In short, it means that can you feel what I can feel when I tell you what I think. That’s what empathy entails. And many companies fail to realize the importance of nurturing it in their employees. 

Undeniably, one can say that empathy is a strength. It is a tool that facilitates better communication. Being empathetic helps one to have a more profound sense of the emotional self of not only oneself but also of others. It helps one in developing helping behaviours and building better and more harmonious social relationships. All in all, empathy arms you, accouter one in being a thoughtful individual in the truest sense of the word. And companies and businesses can cash on empathy to better their customer service, build more loyal customers, retain them for a more extended period and become more reliable. 

An Empathetic Response in Customer Service

As per a recent research statistic, businesses lose $62 billion annually thanks to poor customer service in the US alone. No company can undermine the significance and utility of good customer service. Compromising can lead to bad customer relations, hindering the company’s growth and dwindling company value and brand. Poor customer service can cause losses in a company which is the last thing a company would want. Customer service works as one of the central pillars on which the company bases itself. Erosion in that can be disastrous.

To work towards the betterment of customer service, one of the essential tools a company can deploy is fostering empathy. 

  1. As per a study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital in 2012, it was found that empathy plays a primordial role in creating emotionally better bonds between patients and physicians. Empathetic customer service can be a boon to the company as it allows the company to entertain distressed customers better and respond to them positively. Showcasing and applying empathy tells the customers that a company genuinely cares about them.
  2. Empathetic response helps the customer care executive deal with a customer better when going through an emotional upheaval. It helps diffuse the situation, calm the customer down, and entertain their concerns with utmost emotional sensitivity. Lack of empathy in such cases can make the company come across as indifferent to customers. 
  3. Empathy in customer care allows the company to treat the customers well, which helps in facilitating loyalty. This leads to better customer retention and continued business for a company.  
  4. An empathetic approach also allows the company to form up relevant questions and understand the customers’ practical needs, emotional needs, and the options that would be the best to help the customers in a given situation. 

Time and again, statistics have revealed that 47 percent of customers cease buying from a company if the customer service experience is poor and that 76 percent of customers believe that taking their business somewhere else is easy today. Herein, empathy can work as a lifeboat for companies to avoid such situations.