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IT Customer Service Empathy: The Right Mindset

customer service empathy

Customer service empathy is one of the five principles of IT customer service success. It means putting yourself in the position of the person you’re serving, whether an end-user, another type of customer, or a coworker. To develop a successful IT service strategy, you need leadership that can bring culture change. It requires all IT team members to have the right mindset to embrace a vision of empathy in technology services.

In fact, customer service empathy is the thread that runs through everything we do and teach at Compassionate Geek!

However, for many workers, the idea of providing customer service is not exciting.  They equate customer service with being compliant, weak, and subservient. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Today, businesses need advanced technology more than ever.  That means internal IT is not the only game to tackle in town. Businesses and companies look for more responsive and faster MSPs who can offer competent and affordable services. 

Customer service creates a high-performing IT culture that is competent, easy-to-work-with, and secures the company’s future. IT customer service doesn’t appear out of thin air. Your team needs to have the right attitude and mindset to help businesses glue together their entire IT organization. 

Here are some ways to improve customer service empathy and develop the right mindset for IT service.

Understand What Customer Service Empathy Includes

Remember that optimal customer service starts with understanding the concerns and goals of clients.  This job requires you, as an IT professional, to fully engage with clients and understand their pain points. You must show a willingness to address the problem with concern and respect.  

As an IT customer service agent you must:

  • Listen to your customers and coworkers
  • Be sincere
  • Know how to address issues courteously and promptly
  • Understand the needs of clients
  • Go out of your way to solve an issue
  • Know how to work with and solve issues quickly and permanently

In other words, IT customer service agents must have an approach that can help them satisfy the people they serve.

Make a “We” Mindset

Technical service is a team sport where a run-batted-in is way more important than showing all-star IT skills. Depending on a single player’s performance reduces the team’s chance of success.

This is where the “We” mentality comes into play. The IT company must work as a unified team.  As technology is ever-changing and complex, IT people need to work as a cross-functional and cohesive team to serve their end-users, other customers, and each other. That means having customer service empathy for your teammates as well as your customers.

Develop a Love for Complaints

As odd as it may sound, as an IT professional, tune your mindset to “Accept, Listen, and Love” complaints. Hear complaints as a form of research to understand how end-users work with the systems you design and support. When you listen carefully to complaints, you also gain valuable insights into the needs of your end-users and other customers.

Complaints are a valuable form of interaction and communication with the people you serve. See complaints as a learning opportunity to get things right. Avoid acting defensively. Remember the words of Elon Musk, “Critical feedback is much appreciated.”

Respond to complaints constructively by:

  • Thanking the person for contacting you
  • Collecting information about the event
  • Apologizing for the mistake
  • Asking how to help

Customer Service Empathy Works!

When you put yourself in the position of your end-user, other customer, or coworker, you begin to understand their unique needs, frustrations, and even their fears. Customer service empathy doesn’t mean you make yourself subservient, compliant, or weak. It means you truly try to imagine how you would feel if you in the position of the other person and tailor a caring, compassionate response based on that insight.

Want more? Check out our on-demand customer service training for IT professionals, based on my books The Compassionate Geek and The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success.

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