It’s easy to get wrapped up in chasing new leads and securing more sales. However, closing sales and meeting KPIs aren’t enough to secure long-term customer loyalty. Customers need to feel heard and validated when they contact customer service. Companies that cultivate empathetic relationships with their customers will achieve sustainable success.
How to Lead with Empathy
Customer expectations shift often, and the pandemic put a spotlight on virtual communication. More customers are shopping online from a variety of devices, and they expect companies to meet them on their preferred platform. Text doesn’t convey tone, so businesses need to take additional steps to provide the empathetic communication customers expect.
- Talk like a regular person. Whether a customer contacts support via the phone, email, or messaging, the responding agent needs to reply like a human. Using canned greetings and replies comes across as robotic and cold. It also makes the customer feel like another box to check. For example, companies can take a more relaxed approach to email communications. Instead of signing emails with Regards or Sincerely, opt for a more empathetic approach such as We’ll talk soon! or Looking forward to hearing more.
- Engage in more small talk. Repeat customers or long-term clients appreciate it when a company remembers details about them. Asking about their recent vacation or how an ailing family member is doing shows that the customer isn’t just another file among many. For new clients, companies can include additional fields on intake forms. Some examples include the customer’s favorite novel or a text box for a fun fact about the customer. These fields provide opportunities to learn more about the customer. They provide talking points for customer service agents.
- Restate the problem. Customers usually contact support because they’re experiencing an issue with a product or service. They’re likely already frustrated, and feeling misunderstood will only increase their irritation. Begin with a statement such as “Thank you for explaining the situation to me. I want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly before we continue.” Then provide a summary of the customer’s problem and their feelings about it. Restating the customer’s problem shows the agent is actively listening and cares about the customer’s needs.
- Ask how the company can do better. Establishing trust and loyalty requires more than listening. Companies need to find out what their customer’s pain points are to provide exceptional service. Asking customers about their experiences with the company can provide insight into areas that need improvement and where the company excels. It also shows the customer that the company cares about their experience and wants to make it as stress-free as possible.
Empathy requires authenticity when communicating with customers. Whether the customer calls, texts, or emails, empathetic responses build trust and customer loyalty. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about expanding and improving your communication channels.