The customer service phrase "We Hear You." empathy in customer service

30 Empathy Statements for Customer Service

We all know that it’s cool to be kind. But did you also know that it’s good for business? According to the Empathy Index, a report that analyzes the level of empathy in customer service (or lack thereof) in the cultures of almost 200 companies on major financial indexes, “[t]he top 10 companies increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50 percent more earnings (defined by market capitalization).”

How’s that for competitive advantage?

Beyond delighting customers and boosting key company metrics, kindness and empathy in customer service feel good for your team, too. In fact, doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps create those feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Much like the feeling that you get after exercise, empathy also releases endorphins, a phenomenon known as a “helper’s high.”

Support people are already naturally empathetic, or they should be if you’re hiring the right candidates. That being said, nobody can be perfect all the time. We’ve compiled a few lists of empathetic phrases to help inspire your team to craft even more empathetic responses to support tickets. Here’s what they cover:

Statements to Start a Customer Service Conversation

The beginning of your conversation in the support inbox may be the very first interaction that your customer has with your team. First impressions are important!

In psychology, there’s a theory called ‘the halo effect.’ Psychology Today defines the halo effect as “a cognitive bias that occurs when an initial positive judgment about a person unconsciously colors the perception of the individual as a whole.”

To put it in layman’s terms: when you’re nice to a customer and make a kind, empathetic first impression, they’ll continue to perceive you as a kind, empathetic team. Take the extra steps to make that first paragraph of your very first response to your customer empathetic and warm, and you’ll give yourself an alley-oop for the next time they reach out.

Here are some great empathy in customer service phrases that you can use to let your customer know that you care, right from the get-go.

  • “Thanks for reaching out about this!”
  • “I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble.”
  • “I understand how that could be frustrating.”
  • “I’m happy to help!”
  • A personal, conversational greeting, ie. “Hi there Scott!” 
  • “That’s a great question.”

Here’s a great example of an empathetic paragraph using some of these:

“Hey there Scott,
Thanks so much for reaching out about this—I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble. I totally understand how that could be frustrating for you! Let’s get down to the bottom of what’s going on here. I’m happy to help.”

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Thanks for reaching out about this!

I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble.

That’s a great question.

TextExpander

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Phrases to Demonstrate Understanding

After you’ve put them at ease with an empathetic opening paragraph, it’s time to let them know that you fundamentally understand where they’re coming from. Alignment is integral to empathy in customer service because it makes the customer feel like you genuinely want to get them where they need to go.

If your customer perceives that you don’t fully understand their situation, they may be less inclined to believe that you’ve got their back. While that may not be a big deal in all support interactions, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in tricky, frustrating inquiries.

Here are a few phrases that your team can sprinkle throughout your support interactions to align with your customers and make sure they feel heard — the key to showing empathy in customer service conversations:

  • “I understand that you’re on a timeline right now!”
  • “You are totally right!”
  • “I’d be asking these same questions.”
  • “I can hear that this is important for you.”
  • “What would your best-case scenario look like?”
  • “I’ve had something like this happen before — I know how frustrating it can feel.”

Let’s imagine that you wanted to include your alignment phrases right after your opening paragraphs. Here’s what that might look like:

“I can hear that this is really important for you. You’re totally right, this would be a valuable feature for us to add. That being said, it’s not on our immediate product roadmap. With that in mind, what would your best-case scenario look like? I’m already going to talk to my team about this, but would you like to work together to find some workarounds?’”

Statements to Put Customers at Ease

After you’ve aligned with your customers to let them know you understand where they’re coming from, it’s time to use some empathetic phrases to reassure them that you’re going to help. You can already see a bit of this in the prior example paragraph: we let the customer know that we’d be talking to the team about it. However, that’s not going to work in every scenario. 

The main theme in the reassurance section is having your team take ownership of a situation and use a lot of active voice. For example: using “I” instead of “We,” specifically for this segment of your email. Here are a few example sentences you can use to put your customer at ease:

  • “I’ll work with our team here to resolve this.”
  • “I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
  • “I’m able to reproduce this — it’s not just you.”
  • “I see the problem here!”
  • “I get how this could be confusing.”
  • “That makes total sense.”

Here’s how that might look in practice:

“I don’t have a solution for that right now, but I am able to reproduce the issue that you’re describing—it’s not just you! I’m going to work with our team here to resolve this. I’ll get back to you with what they say as soon as possible. In the meantime, try XYZ features as a workaround.”

Examples to Ease Customer Frustration

Sometimes, no matter how well-crafted and empathetic your responses to customers are, they’ll still be frustrated. It’s possible that they were already angry before they reached out, or that something in your response rubbed them the wrong way. Either way, it’s up to you to defuse it and get the customer back to a good mental state.

Here are the steps for doing that:

1. Set standards for communication

If a customer is being rude, it’s important to set the right tone for communication before moving forward. Here are some phrases that might help:

  • “Let me first set some expectations around communication with our team before we move on.”
  • “Please speak with our team respectfully so we can help you get to the bottom of this.”
  • ”Our team will not provide you with service if you continue to use derogatory language.”

2. Acknowledge the issue and show you understand

Angry customers want to feel heard. In most cases, they need validation, not an explanation. Here are a few phrases you can use to de-escalate your customer’s emotions and show them that you hear them:

  • “You’re right.”
  • “I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this.”
  • “I’ll speak with the [x] team and let them know how much of an inconvenience this has been for our customers.”

With TextExpander, you never have to manually type these responses again, and you can ensure that your entire team’s messaging stays consistent. Try it out now!

See how TextExpander works

You’re right.

I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this.

I’ll speak with the [x] team and let them know how much of an inconvenience this has been for our customers.

Try TextExpander with a 30-day free trial and discover what it can do for you and your team. When you’re ready, contact our sales team to supercharge your support team. Team-based pricing starts as low as $8.33 per user per month.

3. Provide a solution

A customer might be angry as a result of catastrophic thinking, which Psychology Today defines as “ruminating about irrational, worst-case outcomes.” For example, they might be convinced that they suffered irreparable data loss when in reality their data is just (temporarily) unavailable.

In these cases, providing a solution to their problem will immediately defuse their anger (and might even make them feel silly for having gotten so angry in the first place). If you can’t provide a solution, ask questions to try to get to the bottom of their issue.

Here are some great phrases for resolving or clarifying an issue:

  • “It seems like XYZ thing happened.”
  • “Don’t worry, there’s a quick way to fix this.”
  • “Here’s how you can get it working again.”

Here’s an example of a thoughtful response to an angry customer:

Thanks so much for taking the time to write all of that out. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with this. We would appreciate respectful communication going forward to help us get to the bottom of this for you. It seems like XYZ thing happened. You’re right — we should have sent an email letting you know. I’ll make sure to speak with our team and let them know how much of an inconvenience this has been for our customers.”

Staying positive can help calm users and reassure them that their concerns are being heard. Customizing a set of positive customer service phrases in TextExpander is one way for the team to remember to stay positive in tense situations.

Closing Statements to Leave Lasting Impressions

All’s well that ends well — or so they say. It’s important to leave your conversation on a positive note. Much like the importance of the start of the interaction, the closing of your support interaction might be the last opportunity that you’ll ever have to talk to this customer. You want to bid them a fond farewell, and leave them with a good taste in their mouth. 

Here are a few phrases that your team can use in closing to convey empathy:

  • “Let me know if I’m off the mark here.”
  • “I really appreciate your patience.”
  • “Thanks again for reaching out!”
  • “Let us know if you have any other questions.”
  • “Is there anything else that I can help you with?”

Here’s an example paragraph of how to put the cherry on top of an excellent, empathetic customer support conversation:

“I really appreciate your patience as we’ve gone through all of this. If I missed something or you’ve got additional questions, let me know. Otherwise, have an excellent rest of your week!”

Empathy Scripts for Phone Calls with Customers

While the phrases above work for both chat and phone support, we wanted to provide some specific examples for call centers. 

Beginning a Conversation

Here are customer service scripts you can use to make a good impression when starting a conversation with a first-time or repeat caller:

  • Hi, this is [your name] from the [name of the department/company]. How are you doing today?
  • That’s great to hear! I’m doing really well, thank you for asking. How can I help you today?

If the customer responds negatively, you can use the phone script examples below:

  • I’m sorry to hear that. How can I help?
  • I’m really sorry about that. If you give me [details required], I’ll do my best to fix this for you.

Conveying Empathy in Customer Service and Offering a Solution

Here are the scripts you can use to apologize for an order mixup, an issue with your product, or anything else to show empathy in customer service:

Phone scripts for problems with payment, shipping, etc.:

  • It looks like XYZ happened. I’m sorry about that. Here’s what we can do: [solution].
  • Let me see if I can find out exactly what happened so we can sort this out for you.
  • I’m so sorry about the confusion. Let’s see what I can do to fix it.
Phone scripts for product issues:

  • I know this isn’t ideal. Let me talk to my manager and see what we can do to fix this ASAP. Is it ok if I call/email you back once we have a solution? I should have an answer for you by [time/date].
  • I’m sorry [product/service] isn’t working for you. Would you like to [exchange/return/switch to another plan]?

Arranging To Follow Up With Customers

Sometimes, you won’t be able to resolve your customer’s issue on one call. Here are customer service script options for arranging to follow up at a later time:

  • Hey [customer name], I just wanted to let you know that we’re still looking into how we can [solution]. Can I call you back within the next hour with an update?
  • I’m so sorry, but we’re having some technical issues here that are preventing me from [solution]. We’re already working to fix this, and things should be back to normal [date/time]. Can I call you back then to give you an update?
  • Thanks for waiting, [customer name]. We [figured out what happened/corrected your order] and it should be [sent/active again] tomorrow. 
  • Sorry, [customer name]. Can I run your request by my supervisor and get back to you in the next hour?

Wrapping Up

Here are phone script examples for thanking your customer and wrapping up your phone conversation:

  • Thank you for calling. Is there anything else I can help you with? Great, then! Have a nice day!
  • Thank you for contacting us, and please reach out again if you need anything else. Have a great day!
  • Is there anything else I can do to help? As I mentioned [desired outcome] by [date]. Feel free to contact us again if you have questions. Have a great day!
  • Again, I’m so sorry about what happened. If you have any other issues, please let us know. Have a great day!

Conclusion

Empathy is one of the few things in life where minimalism doesn’t apply. There is no “less is more” mentality here. Try to get your team to pepper in as many of these phrases as they can during their day-to-day. For additional examples, refer to our empathy statement templates.

Empathy in customer service benefits everyone. It helps your customers to feel heard about and cared for, it boosts key customer metrics and it helps your support team feel good about the work that they do every single day. Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

Full List of Phrases To Add to TextExpander

For chat and email support, why not add the 30 empathy phrases below to TextExpander? Here’s the full list:  

Beginning a Customer Service Conversation:

  • “Thanks for reaching out about this!”
  • “I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble.”
  • “I understand how that could be frustrating.”
  • “I’m happy to help!”
  • A personal, conversational greeting, ie. “Hi there Scott!” 
  • “That’s a great question.”

Aligning with Your Customer:

  • “I understand that you’re on a timeline right now!”
  • “You are totally right!”
  • “I’d be asking these same questions.”
  • “I can hear that this is important for you.”
  • “What would your best-case scenario look like?”
  • “I’ve had something like this happen before—I know how frustrating it can feel.”

Reassuring Your Customers:

  • “I’ll work with our team here to resolve this.”
  • “I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
  • “I’m able to reproduce this—it’s not just you.”
  • “I see the problem here!”
  • “I get how this could be confusing.”
  • “That makes total sense.”

Angry Customer Email Examples

  • “Let me first set some expectations around communication with our team before we move on.”
  • “We would appreciate it if you can please speak with our team respectfully so we can help you get to the bottom of this.”
  • “You’re right.”
  • “I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this.”
  • “I’ll speak with the [x] team and let them know how much of an inconvenience this has been for our customers.”
  • “It seems like XYZ thing happened.”
  • “Don’t worry, there’s a quick way to fix this.”
  • “Here’s how you can get it working again.”

See more angry customer email examples that you can integrate directly with TextExpander.

Closing a Customer Service Conversation:

  • “I really appreciate your patience.”
  • “Thanks again for reaching out!”
  • “Let us know if you have any other questions.”
  • “Is there anything else that I can help you with?

FAQ about Empathy in Customer Service

Why is empathy important in customer service?

Empathy not only delights customers but also boosts key company metrics. It helps create a positive and lasting impression, ensuring customers feel understood and valued.

How can I start a conversation with empathy?

Phrases like “Thanks for reaching out about this!” and “I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble.” can set a positive tone at the beginning of a conversation.

How do I handle an angry customer with empathy?

Start by setting standards for respectful communication. Acknowledge their issue and show understanding. Finally, provide a solution or clarify the issue.

What are some closing statements that convey empathy?

Phrases like “I really appreciate your patience” and “Thanks again for reaching out!” can help end the conversation on a positive note.

Are there specific empathy scripts for phone support?

Yes, the article provides specific examples for call centers to make a good impression when starting a conversation with a caller.

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