“Empathy” – the word, has only been in existence for around a hundred years. It was coined in 1909 by psychologists and academics that spent a bunch of time theorizing about the idea of knowing what another person is thinking or feeling. We spend a bunch of time theorizing how important empathy is in customer service and we spend a bunch of time making sure our people have an understanding about how important it is to demonstrate empathy on calls.
Our “Quality Star” program recognizes and rewards Agents. Last month for example, Yvonne B. and Pat C. earned recognition and some cash for getting empathy right. Consistently in their conversations with customers, they use words that express appreciation, understanding, excitement, sympathy and warmth. But it’s their delivery that really matters. It’s how they lean forward in their chairs and into the conversation. And it’s about the amount of times they use the comforting words – “we’re here to help you”.
Customers that called in and talked to our Agents like Yvonne and Pat are more likely to be brand loyal because of the empathetic approach they take. To our knowledge, there isn’t much research on the actual value of empathy in the context of loyalty but we do know that because of self-service and an over abundance of available information, the contact center role is forever changed. The customer’s expectation has been raised to getting through to someone who’s empathetic and who’s also able to resolve their issues – IN ONE CALL.
We have blogged about the wonder of travel and our heartfelt appreciation for being in the space. We’ve blogged about it a ton. Travel and vacations tend to represent dreams and celebrations and personal renewal and bucket lists. But travel sometimes becomes necessary when a personal tragedy occurs. And sometimes tragedy even occurs to people while they are on vacation. So knowing all this and conveying the importance to our people to be sensitive and alert is a critical component of our training culture. The insight and abilities of empathy comes from within the hearts of our Agents. Our Learning and Development team doesn’t necessarily train people to be empathetic. But they do in fact remind our Agents to “Listen carefully, respond thoughtfully and believe that something wondrous can come of every customer conversation”. We’re Here To Help You.