Tag: Empathy Training

What’s Your Customer’s Panic Question?

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After three weeks in the hospital, we got the news that Dad would be released and that he would go to a rehab center eight miles away. Mom called me frantic, “He’s so weak, I have no idea how I’ll get your dad into the car to take him to rehab.”

In my customer service workshops, I improve the customer experience by challenging employees to consider, “What else does my customer need to know?” And then meeting that need without the customer having to wonder, fret, or even ask.

If you’re a hospital case manager, and you’re telling a 71-year-old spouse that her husband needs to check in to rehab tomorrow, what questions might the wife have? The name and address of the rehab facility, indeed. An estimate of how long rehab will last, sure. She’d also need to know how she’s going to transport her husband to the facility.

It turns out Mom had been stewing in fear of how she’d get Dad to rehab for several hours before she called me. She knew Dad couldn’t walk – he could scarcely stand at that point, which is why he was going into rehab – to learn to walk again. “Mom, the rehab center will send a van to transport Dad from the hospital to their facility. All you’ll have to do is make sure Dad’s bag is packed and ready.” On the phone I sensed mom’s anxiety fall off her, like a sack of onions.

Answer Your Customer’s Most Pressing Questions Before They Panic

The “Feel, Felt, Found” Method for Empathy

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Today I’m going to show you how to use the Feel, Felt, Found method to express empathy to your customers. What’s great about the Feel, Felt, Found Method is it gives you the perfect response when you can’t give the customer exactly what they want. It helps you to be more relatable, and to foster a sense of connection with customers.

The Feel, Felt, Found method is easy to use.

First, you let the customer know you can relate to how they feel.

Then, you explain to your customer that you’ve had other customers who have felt the same way. This helps your customer to realize two things: first, that you get how they are feeling and also, that they aren’t alone. Other customers have been where they are.

And finally, you tell the customer what you, or other customers, have found to work in this situation. This is where you offer empathy and a possible solution, all in one.

The basic model for Feel, Felt, Found is:

4 Things Customer Service Agents Can Do to Convey Empathy to Customers

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In this article I show you what empathy is using an experience with my teenage daughter, and then I deliver 4 tactical ideas you can apply right now to express empathy: Put yourself in your customer’s place, Sense the Situation From the Customer’s Perspective, Discuss What’s Upsetting the Customer, and Coming Up with Ways to Fix the Problem

My daughter and I were in New York. We’d spent the day sight-seeing, and back at the hotel, my daughter’s iPhone showed all of her photos as blurry – not just the photos she’d taken that day, but every picture on her phone.

To my 17-year old daughter, a problem with photos and her phone camera is catastrophic. It would have been easy for me to dismiss this as, “There are bigger things in life for you to worry about.” And that was my real temptation. But I could see she was distraught over this.

Empathy is putting yourself in another person’s place. Sensing their situation, from their perspective. It’s also discussing the things that are upsetting to the person, maybe coming up with ideas to get them out of the situation they’re in.

So, instead of dismissing my daughter’s photo problem as no big deal (because to me, it wasn’t a big deal), I chose empathy.

This is How You Communicate Empathy to Customers

4 Attributes of Empathy

There are four attributes of empathy, and I teach each of these characteristics in my Empathy eLearning course. One of the characteristics is communicate your understanding.

When your customer is upset, or frustrated, you could communicate your understanding this way:

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard For Getting Customer Service Reps to Convey Empathy

Smiling Telephone Operator

Two years ago I was working with a company to help their customer service representatives convey empathy to customers. The intended outcome of the training was for employees to speak to customers with care, concern, and compassion.

Achieving empathy in the customer experience is a bit like walking a tightrope. Too much empathy can result in longer talk times and inappropriate sharing between customer service representatives and clients. Not enough understanding and reps can sound cold and uncaring.

You have to find the right balance in empathy. Or else you fall off the rope, and the customer experience is negatively impacted.

I asked my client how she saw appropriate empathy in her company. And here’s what she said.