Customer Service: Try Six Seconds of Empathy
Here’s one way to de-stress an irate customer: Use the six-second empathy tactic.
Utilizing empathy entails demonstrating with words that you understand what the customer is saying and how he or she is feeling. It’s a statement that’s calming, comforting, positive and specific.
A good empathetic statement said sincerely takes your contact center rep only six seconds to say. Here are some to try:
¥ “I understand how frustrating it is not to get the information when you want it.”
¥ “I understand how easy it is to get impatient with that product (or service).”
¥ “It sounds like you’re very upset. I see you need our full cooperation.”
A sincerely empathetic statement can defuse a hostile customer. It also gives the rep enough time to think of appropriate response that will satisfy the customer while staying within the boundaries of your company’s policy.
Mimi Donaldson is co-author of the forthcoming book “Bless Your Stress: It Means You’re Still Alive” (Spring 2006). She previously worked as a human resources trainer for Northrop Aircraft, Rockwell International and The Walt Disney Co. Visit: http://www.mimidonaldson.com, or call (310) 577-0229.