Think back to a time in your life when you were facing a particular problem and a friend or family member took the time to listen to your perspective and work with you to find a solution. It’s a great feeling when someone displays empathy toward you—one that fosters feelings of trust and loyalty for that person.
It’s for these reasons that empathy is one of the most important traits a contact center agent can display. By taking the time to think through a particular problem and understand the customer’s perspective on an issue, agents can provide more positive quality of customer care.
Here are some other benefits that will result from your agents practicing empathy:
Empowered customers: You never want the customer to walk away from the conversation feeling poorly about the interaction or as if he or she was not heard. By taking the time to understand the customer’s perspective, the agent will instill a feeling of confidence in the customer and the belief that the company is, indeed, on his or her side.
Fewer conflicts: One of the most important jobs of a customer care agent is to diffuse a situation before it escalates into a larger issue, like a social media disaster. By giving indicators that he or she is listening and a sense of compassion, the agent can help reduce the likelihood that the problem will grow into a larger issue.
Reduced customer churn: Customers can easily lose patience and deflect to competitors if they feel they are being given impersonal treatment in the contact center. By displaying empathy and attempting to understand where the customer is coming from, an agent can help reduce churn.
So, make sure your contact center agents take brief moments during their conversations to try and understand the customers’ point of view. You can never know where someone is coming from, so demonstrating empathy might just change their day.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.