The customer care industry runs on empathy. From day one, employees should be trained on how to empathize with the customers they interact with. Being able to understand what it feels like when a customer’s windshield is cracked, or how frustrating it is when their furnace breaks down on a below-zero day makes for a better customer service experience. Empathy belongs in more than just customer care centers, though. In short, empathy is the key to growing your business.

What is Empathy?

In order to be able to show a customer empathy, you have to know what empathy is. Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is going through, and to be able to relate to them. It’s walking in another person’s shoes for a mile or two. When dealing with a customer who is upset, empathy would make you pause and think how you would feel if the situation was reversed.

Why is Empathy Important?

More often than not, if the word “business” were to be described the answer would have to do with money and making more money. However, business is much more than making money. In order to make money, there must be consumers who want your product or service. According to Help Scout, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor customer service. Empathy helps you and your team relate to the needs of your customers, understand the perceptions of your verbal and nonverbal communication, and motivate them to buy your product or service.


How to Develop Empathy in your Team:

Empathy isn’t an easy skill to teach, especially if you are working with people who don’t realize the importance of it.  Here are three ways to develop empathy in your team:

Spend Some Time in the Customer’s Shoes

Have your employee’s mystery shop in your industry by role-playing a customer in a common scenario and calling competitors for a solution. They should then share their findings with the team. For instance, if you’re in the auto glass industry, have your techs call competitors about their broken windshield that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Tell them to record in a notebook the service they received over the phone. Their comments should consist of observations like if it was frustrating or friendly,  if they were able to get an appointment when they needed it and what were common responses they noticed.

Research your Customer Base

Research your industry and customer base. Send out surveys asking customers what they like and dislike in your industry. Ask them what they hope to gain by using your service and what about your service causes problems for them. Then, record everything you’ve learned on an empathy map to chart what works for your customers and what doesn’t. See an Example of an Empathy Map Below:

Create a list of questions for your team to think about while they are solving the customer’s problem.

To keep your team focused on customers, come up with a short list of questions to help them empathize. Here are a few to start with:

  • How is my customer feeling?
  • How would I feel if I were in her shoes?
  • How would I want the problem resolved?
  • What will make this customer happy?

Having empathy for your customers is a small way to improve your customer service skills, but it leaves a huge impact on your client base. Comment below ↓ to share how your business has implemented empathy into your employee training!