How to Show Empathy to Customers

show empathy and fellow-feelingEmpathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another person.  It is basically showing fellow-feeling and putting  yourself in the shoes of another person.

When your customer contacts you about an issue, they are usually interested in two things. They want acknowledgment from you that understand why they’ve contacted you, and the want to know what action you will take to resolve their concerns.

You, on the other hand, have the opportunity to demonstrate that you care about each customer as an individual when you show empathy to your customers.  A simple, but effective way to do this is to listen carefully.  Listening is a skill that has to be developed because many of us tend to either wander mentally when someone is speaking to us, or we are busy formulating an answer without giving careful attention to what the person who’s talking to us is really saying.

After allowing your customer to state their concern and you’ve taken the time to listen, how you respond sets the tone for the remainder of the conversation.  Often, the feel, felt, found method can be a very effective way to show empathy to customers.

“I understand…”, or “ I can relate to how you feel…”

“I felt the same way,” or “I talk with customers who feel the same way…”

“What I found was…” or “what they found when …”

It’s important to be sincere in your voice and body language.  Equally important is not to tell your customer you understand exactly how they feel in situations where you’re not likely to have any similar experiences as this will be interpreted as being insincere, and a feeble attempt to placate the customer.

It’s important to know how to show empathy to customers to increase their confidence in your ability to resolve their concerns and provide superior customer satisfaction.  Empathy also meets a basic need most customers have:  The need to know you care.

What are some other ways you would recommend how to show empathy to customers?


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