Have you ever been on the phone with customer service and wanted to scream, “Put yourself in my position!”? You were asking the representative for empathy. You wanted them to imagine how they’d feel if they were on the other end of the line, feeling frustrated and helpless, because you knew they’d respond to you differently if they did. Showing empathy helps people feel heard and improves customer satisfaction. As a CIO, IT manager, or MSP owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your customer service team is trained properly. Keep reading to learn why empathy training for customer service is so important and what you can do about it.
Empathy Training for IT Customer Service
Your IT team’s ability to imagine what their end-user, internal or external customer, or coworker is experiencing is an essential skill to serve others and build positive relationships. It guides how they handle customer requests, issues, or problems. That’s why we teach empathy techniques in our Compassionate Geek IT customer service course. It’s empathy that reminds your team of the importance of solving customer problems. It’s empathy that reminds them to be polite, even when dealing with an angry customer. It’s empathy that reminds them to take good notes so they don’t have to ask a customer to repeat what they’ve already said.
Ultimately, end-users and other customers just want their problems solved. Excellent customer service, however, is more than just solving technical problems. It’s also about building good relationships with customers and coworkers, even very short-term relationships, that influence the way others feel about your employees, your department, and your company. Yes, of course their problems must be solved. But your IT professionals must also strive to be pleasant and easy to work with. That’s putting themselves in the other person’s position. That’s empathetic customer service.
Five Simple Ways to Improve Empathy in Customer Service
Mastering customer service skills is based on both technical competence and relationship-building, which is why empathy skills are important. A good IT customer service professional doesn’t need to agree with their customer all the time. They don’t even need to like them. They just need to imagine how they might feel if they were in their customer’s position. To help your team skill up in this area, here are five simple tips to share with your IT team to help them incorporate empathy training for customer service into their day-to-day work.
Accept that other people have different experiences, feelings, and reactions to situations. A customer service representative’s role is not to evaluate feelings; it’s to accept the way the other person feels and to validate their feelings, even if they disagree with them.
An empathetic listener focuses on the speaker while they are talking. They don’t mentally fast-forward through the conversation and craft their response instead of paying attention. They try to understand and remember what is said and don’t interrupt or talk over the speaker. They listen, ask relevant questions, and use body language or facial expressions that make the speaker feel respected and dignified.
Reflect on personal experiences
Everyone’s had a poor or frustrating customer service experience. Tapping into these bad experiences can help IT professionals have genuine empathy when working with angry or frustrated customers as they can identify what they would have liked to have happened in their own situation.
Find areas of common interest with the other person. Perhaps it’s family, kids, pets, hobbies, sports, or another interest, but look for common ground. Instead of focusing on areas of disagreement, focus on areas of commonality to foster genuine human connections. (Use discretion in this. For example, if the person you’re serving is obviously busy, don’t try to engage in small talk or chit-chat.)
An end-user or difficult customer may act poorly, but an IT customer service professional can choose to maintain dignity and self-respect throughout the interaction, engaging good manners, a calm voice, and not taking the other person’s bad behavior personally. Remembering it’s a choice to treat another person in a dignified and respectful manner, regardless of how they’re acting. It is about holding yourself to a higher standard and treating unhappy customers just as kindly as happy customers.
Can Empathy Be Taught?
Can you teach empathy techniques in an IT customer service course? Can empathy be taught at all? Yes! Research indicates that human brains are naturally wired for empathy. So what are you waiting for? Compassionate Geek’s IT online customer service training program is the perfect way to get empathy training for customer service. Enroll your team now so they can work together, get things done, and take care of customers.
Next Level IT Customer Service Training
Enroll your team now in Compassionate Geek IT online customer service training so they can work together, get things done, and take care of customers.