Customer Empathy Statements

How to Show Empathy in Customer Service

When it comes to building a legendary customer service organization, it’s not just about fixing problems or answering questions—it’s about making genuine connections with your customers as you deliver value for them. A key aspect of building rapport and relationships involves customer service empathy statements.

Customer empathy statements are a game-changer in building long-lasting customer relationships. Empathy, the ability to understand and share others’ feelings, plays an important role in customer service conversations—especially over email and chat as there is no tone to hear in a voice.

Empathy statements in customer service are more than just a bunch of scripted lines to solve a problem. They’re the secret ingredient that conveys your genuine understanding, compassion, and heartfelt concern for the customer’s situation—which is often in a negative state. It’s about going beyond those robotic, generic responses and showing that you genuinely care about the person behind the inquiry or problem. When you use empathy statements, you create an emotional connection that can diffuse tension, build trust, and leave a lasting positive impact on your customers that will turn them into brand ambassadors.

We’ll dig deep into the impact of customer empathy statements and equip you with five free examples that you can put into action immediately to level up your customer interactions and build a more authentic brand.

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.

Sam Walton

Why is empathy critical for customer service agents?

Having empathy isn’t just a quality of “rockstar” customer service agents; it’s an absolute must. Customer service agents act as the face of a company, representing it in frontline interactions with customers. When they approach customer interactions with empathy, it conveys a genuine sense of care and understanding.

Based on a survey by PWC, brand loyalty isn’t invincible in the face of subpar experiences. In the U.S., 59% of consumers will sever ties with a company after a series of disappointing experiences, and 17% will do so after a single negative experience. Even when it comes to brands they love, 32% of all customers would completely halt their use of a company after just one bad experience. Getting this right is critical. Let’s take a closer look at why empathy is crucial for customer service agents.

It’s not sympathy

Empathy should not be confused with sympathy. While sympathy involves acknowledging and feeling sorry for someone’s pain or difficulties, empathy goes beyond that. It involves truly understanding and sharing the customer’s feelings and experiences. By practicing empathy, customer service agents can connect with customers on a deeper level, resulting in more meaningful and effective interactions.

It humanizes the company

Empathy plays a significant role in humanizing a company which is so important in 2023. It shows that behind the products or services, there are real people who genuinely care about their customers and deliver value in whatever service or product they offer. When agents approach customers with empathy, it breaks down barriers and creates a connection that goes beyond a transactional relationship. Customers feel valued and understood, which fosters trust and loyalty towards your company which in return creates lifelong customers.

Leaving a lasting impression

Customer service interactions that lack empathy can leave customers feeling frustrated, unheard, and unimportant. To be frank, you might as well deploy a fully automated chatbot instead. On the other hand, when agents approach customers with real empathy, it can completely transform a negative situation into a positive one. Empathy plays a key role in making a positive final impression of the interaction by validating the customer’s emotions, demonstrating that their concerns matter, and showing a genuine willingness to find a resolution for them.

Benefits of using empathy statements in digital communication

Benefits of customer empathy statements

In a world where a bad support ticket or email communication can go viral on social media, tensions can flare up quickly, so every interaction matters. A single misunderstood message or a perceived delay in response can escalate a situation. When used correctly, empathy statements act as a soothing balm, diffusing tension, and reassuring customers. They say, “We’re here with you. We understand, and we’ll work through this together.” This reassurance can often turn a potentially volatile situation into a manageable one.

Plain and simple, empathy statements are the game-changer for digital conversations. They reintroduce the human touch in digital communication, forming a bridge that connects us to the heart of our customers’ concerns and desired outcomes. The art of using empathy statements isn’t just about talking to customers; it’s about making them feel heard, understood, and valued.

The early days of providing support over email and chat were about quick responses, often overlooking the emotional aspect. But as the digital landscape evolved, so did our understanding of its potential and pitfalls. Early on, customer interactions were more transactional and lacked the warmth of a personal conversation. Over time, we realized that digital communication can and should deliver more than just information. It’s about fostering a relationship built on trust and understanding. Think about how much more emotion you can put in a text message or WhatsApp chat today vs. ten years ago. A lot has changed during that time.

Trust is the key ingredient in every relationship, especially in the digital world. This is the arena where empathy statements truly come into their own. They’re the architects, building bridges of rapport and trust with customers in an environment often viewed as sterile and distant. Empathy statements stand as a testament that behind the pixelated screen is a real person who respects, understands, and cherishes the emotions of the customers. This sense of understanding acts as a crucial pillar, fortifying trust and in turn, elevating the overall customer experience.

Key techniques for effective empathy statements in customer service

Focusing on active listening and crafting responses with empathy is no longer an optional skill set; it’s an indispensable part of building an award-winning customer service experience.

Active listening is the cornerstone of effective empathy statements. It’s about more than just hearing the customer’s words; it’s about understanding their emotions, needs, and concerns. Active listening in customer service involves reading beyond the words and discerning the sentiment behind them. It means pausing, reflecting, and responding in a way that shows the customer you are fully present and engaged in their issue and not looking to close the ticket out as fast as possible to meet your quota.

Tip for managers: Focus of the quality of resolution vs the number of tickets closed by an agent.

The crafting of responses is where the magic happens. Empathy extends beyond merely recognizing the customer’s issue; it’s about expressing your comprehension and mirroring their emotions. Instead of a standard “I understand your problem,” an empathetic response would involve, “I can see how this situation could be causing you frustration, and I would be frustrated as well if I were in your situation”.

The phrasing of the latter options demonstrates that you’re not merely aware of the issue but also totally understand their frustration. This subtle change in wording can dramatically influence the customer’s experience.

As the landscape of customer service shifts towards a more personalized customer experience, perfecting these strategies is crucial. It’s no longer solely about rectifying an issue; it’s about ensuring the customer feels acknowledged, comprehended, and valued.

5 examples of customer service empathy statements you can use today

TextExpander is an incredible tool for customer service agents. It allows teams to build libraries of prebuilt Snippets that can be shared amongst the team to customer empathy statements preloaded and ready to go. Especially for new agents, preloading these snippets can save countless hours of worrying about phrasing and more time focused on solving problems. We’ve built 5 great customer empathy statements that you can try out below!

See how TextExpander works

I can see how this situation has caused some inconvenience for you. Please accept my sincere apologies. Let’s work on resolving this for you as soon as possible.

I completely understand why you’d be upset by this. It’s a valid concern and I am going to address it right away for you. I won’t leave you until it’s handled.

I completely understand your frustration, and it’s completely valid. I assure you, we’re on it, and we’ll do our best to turn this around for you extremely fast.

Your time is your most valuable asset, so we apologize for the issue. Let’s dive into this and find a solution right away.

It sounds like you’ve had a tough time getting this set up. I’m here to help and together, we’ll get this sorted out. Your satisfaction is my priority from this point on

Wrap up

Empathy statements aren’t a mere add-on—they’re an indispensable aspect of customer service. They act as the evidence that behind each response is a human who understands, resonates with, and appreciates the emotions of the customers. They’re the catalyst that propels customer satisfaction to new heights, transforming transactions into impactful connections. As we chart the course of customer service’s future, empathy statements will become standard practice rather than a rarity. This evolution will be instrumental in transitioning the industry from a solution-oriented center to a brand-nurturing platform.

Frequently Asked Questions on Customer Empathy Statements

Q: Could you define what empathy statements are in the context of customer service and customer success?

A: Empathy statements are articulations that communicate comprehension, establish rapport, and show you understand the needs of your customers. They act as a connective thread, bridging regular transactions into impactful exchanges, demonstrating that there’s a considerate human behind every response vs. an AI chatbot.

Q: What’s the significance of empathy statements in customer service?

A: Using customer empathy statements are important in customer service as they enhance the depth of customer satisfaction and build ambassadors. They convert the customer experience from mere problem-solving to a comprehensive process that makes customers feel acknowledged, understood, and valued. They’re not an add-on; they’re an indispensable facet of constructing trust and nurturing substantial customer relationships.

Q: What’s an example of correct phrasing for customer empathy statements?

A: An empathy statement might sound something like this: “I recognize that this situation has been a source of discomfort for you. Please accept my sincere apologies. We’re tackling this head-on and will do our utmost to rectify things.”

Q: Can empathy statements be utilized in digital communication?

A: Absolutely! Empathy statements are not restricted to in-person conversations. They can, and indeed should, be integrated into digital communication. They help to bridge the emotional divide, injecting a touch of human warmth into the digital domain. A tool like TextExpander is critical for training customer service agents on using customer empathy statements.