20 Damn Good Ways to Express Empathy to a Customer

Nurse Treating Teenage Girl Suffering With Depression

When I hear an excellent, and genuine, expression of empathy from a company, I make a note of it. I’ll tell Siri to capture what I heard, or I’ll just type it out. I catalog ridiculously good empathy statements so that I can share them when I’m helping my clients with compassion.

In customer service workshops, like the one I delivered Friday in Columbus, I challenge my clients to use the empathy expressions I’ve heard (and felt) to inspire them to come up with their own empathic responses. Let’s make believe you’re with me now, in a training session. I share with you 20 of the best empathic expressions I’ve heard. Here they are:

  1. I realize this has to be frustrating for you.

  2. We want to get to the bottom of this just as much as you do.

  3. This is obviously a horrible time for you.

  4. I can see your point on that.

  5. I’m so disappointed to hear that your shipment hasn’t reached you.

  6. If I were in your position, I’d feel just as you do.

  7. I’d be upset, too.

  8. I realize you’re upset. I’d like to take a minute to talk about what I think has happened and then answer any questions you might have.

  9. I know you’re anxious to see this completed.

  10. I know this isn’t the same as receiving a perfect shipment in the first place. However, I hope it can give us the chance to show you a better experience.

  11. I hate to think you won’t be able to use your new duffle bag right away, and that you have to wait for the replacement.

  12. As a mother of a child with food allergies, I certainly understand your need to know all of the ingredients in our yogurt.

  13. I don’t want you to worry at all. Your flight is confirmed, and you are checked in.

  14. I cannot find the words to express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety, frustration, and inconvenience you experienced.

  15. I’m sorry you’ve had a frustrating time, but I’m glad you called so that we can look into this and see what’s happened.

  16. Thanks for taking the time to let us know. We appreciate customers who let us know when things aren’t right.

  17. This is no more acceptable to us than it is to you.

  18. I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your fitness tracker band. Rest assured, I’ll do my best to help you.

  19. Thank you for contacting support. I’m sorry to hear your tablet is not charging. I’m happy to help find a solution for you.

  20. You deserved a lot better from us, and we let you down.

Feel Their Pain, Then Respond: Putting Yourself In Your Customer’s Shoes Is How You Get to Empathy

Here’s my empathy challenge for you.

Think of routine interactions with customers where you could, and should, be expressing empathy. Now, come up with at least five empathic responses you could offer your customers.

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Myra is a favorite training partner to Fortune 500 companies with her customized, engaging, behavior-changing (and fun) customer service workshops, working with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Vera Bradley and other brands.

2 thoughts on “20 Damn Good Ways to Express Empathy to a Customer

  1. Thank you for sharing. This is really useful. Another important point to note is the tone of voice. The customer should hear/feel the empathy otherwise there could be a mismatch between the message and the intended emotion.

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