Customer Support Empathy Significance

First of all what is empathy anyway? Empathy is ability to understand other people problems and to put yourselves in their position.
Why it’s important for mankind? It’s important because people because of work,obligations and very fast way of living forgot to communicate and to listen.Sometimes it would be enough for you just to have someone to listen to you even if that person can’t help you anyway.People had enough of automatic reply messages!!!
When you withdraw money at an ATM you will receive message THANK YOU
When you buy something online you will receive message THANK YOU
When you pay bill for cell phone you will receive SMS or E-mail THANK YOU

And it’s OK to receive automatic reply message for that type of service because you don’t expect that someone will call you to say THANK YOU,but some companies are smart and they will make you feel special by adding your name on the beginning of message,and than it will sound completely different and more personal,that will make you feel more special.
In human nature is important to feel that you are important and that you are individual.
One example how smart company make their clients happy:
Every year on my mother birthday she receives message from her mobile operator “HAPPY BIRTHDAY GORDANA,TELENOR WISHES YOU ALL THE BEST and for this month you will have 50 minutes , 50 SMS and 300 mb internet traffic free of charge.” With her package its about 10% more traffic for calls,sms and internet but it’s FREE and that make her feel special!!!Maybe that will cost them 3 Euro’s but she is their customer for last 10 years and she never thought to change mobile operator,and one of the reasons is their relationship with customers.Also she is always telling to everyone that TELENOR sent her a greetings and Gift for birthday,good mouth to mouth marketing isn’t it?
OK so far we have realized that it’s not a problem for us to accept automatic message when everything works OK,but if we have some problem and we have to contact customer support to solve that problem we do expect real person on the other side which is capable to solve our problem.
Most of people use customer support service after they have tried everything they can.So mostly they are desperate,angry or disappointed with something ,and it’s your companies fault.
Statistics shows that only 1-3% of customers asks for support,is it too much for companies to have good support for only 1-3% of customers.

First step if you are working in customer support and you have received ticket is to understand customer,even if he is angry and his tone is unpleasant he needs your understanding and your attention.Be aware that customer is always right and don’t try to explain that is his fault,and never tell to costumer to read carefully User Guide because he probably already did it or he don’t want to read user guide that’s why he is paying your service and he expects help from you and solution from you.I hope that you have understood now basic principles YOU ARE EXPERT AND YOU ARE PAID TO DELIVER QUALITY CUSTOMER SUPPORT,AND NOT TO JUDGE CUSTOMERS!!!
Being in their shoes is easy because you have to think like this:
customer,service,empathy
SCENARIO 1
You are an expert in Car Industry,you are best car dealer in your country but you are dummy for computers,computer network and you are paying every month IT Company to maintain your network,hardware and software.One morning in your office you are trying to send important e-mail with order for car parts that you need for tomorrow,and you are receiving message MESSAGE FAILED check you internet connection!!! And you have internet connection because your browser is opened and functional but e-mail client is not responding ??? Remember you are dummy for computers and you are in panic because you have to send that e-mail as soon as possible.What is your next step?
You will try to figure out what is wrong? NOUP
You will copy your message and run to somebody else’s computer to do that? MAYBE BUT IF IT’S NOT WORKING FROM YOUR COMPUTER MAYBE SERVER IS A PROBLEM AND EVERYBODY IN YOUR COMPANY HAVE A SAME PROBLEM.
You will call IT Company responsible for your computers and network and ask them for help? YES that’s the real answer and that’s the best way
Because you are in panic and you need solution what do you expect from customer support?
1.Quick Response,not to wait on the line 10 minutes.
2.Professional support from person on the other side of the line.
3.You expect that person from customer support understand situation you are in and quick fix of the problem if it’s possible.
4.You don’t expect arrogant person.You don’t expect to be humiliated because of your ignorance and because you are dummy for computers.

Good Customer would analyze message that you are receiving from e-mail client and according to that support would try to walk you through possible steps that would solve your problem if they can’t do it remotely.At the end if everything goes well they will thank you for calling them and they would be happy that they have helped you out.That’s good Customer Support.

SCENARIO 2 (crappy support that I have experienced)

I have WI-FI internet connection,and I have AIR-GRID antenna on the rooftop.Also I have signed two years contract with provider “BAD DECISION” ,they have worst costumer support that I have experienced in my life.
Most of us will skip reading 4 pages contract for internet provider,because it’s not some very expensive service,and second you expect to have good connection and why not to sign contract BUT read contracts carefully!!!
I have sent e-mail to customer support because my internet speed was 10 times worse than it should be.
After few seconds I have received automatic reply message: Dear Aleksandar we have received your complaint,your ticket number is #2435671,first free agent will contact you soon.

And that day nobody have sent me nothing according to my e-mail.
Tomorrow I have sent them new e-mail and I have used my ticket number to avoid writing new e-mail from scratch with the same problem.
And that day nobody have sent me nothing according to my e-mail.
Tomorrow I have sent them new e-mail and I have used my ticket number to avoid writing new e-mail from scratch with the same problem.
And that day nobody have sent me nothing according to my e-mail.
Then I have pissed off and tomorrow I have send them very unpleasant e-mail and I have added my ticket number again.
That day I have received reply that they have obligation to answer on compliant in 8 days and that I have to read contract because it’s written there,and that I am pissed off with no reason because I have signed contract.
Then I was pissed off even more and I have told them that I don’t want to pay any bill’s until they enable full internet speed because I am losing too much time because of slow internet and time is money.
Another answer even worse than previous one.They have told me that I have to pay bill even if I don’t have internet connection because contract says that they are not responsible for internet flow and internet speed can varies according to number of users on one base station.
Then I was really really pissed off even more and I have asked them why they don’t do upgrades on base station to achieve better internet flow and technical possibilities and happier customers because they will lose them all with this kind of service and support.
Final answer was!!! Customers don’t have right to decide what is better for their company and they will work as they were before.If I have problem with that I can go to court and sue them if I have basis for charges,which I don’t have because I have signed contract.

So I am now prisoner of internet provider until my contract end’s and I would never ever advice people to use their service and I will never ever use their service when contract expires.
Is it good for their bussines? DON’T THINK SO, they ain’t gona last as a company with that attitude.
I would accept everything they have told me without argue and hard words if there was somebody in Customer Support to tell me everything this way.

Hi Aleksandar,
I have tested your internet connection and I have found out that you are right about experiencing issues with internet speed.I have also checked our base station and we have discovered that in some periods too much users connects to that base station and that is why you have internet speed issues. Also I have discovered that according to your position there is four more base stations that you can use and they are less loaded than your current base station.I will walk you through changing your base station.

STEP 1: Open your browser and type in ***.***.*.**
STEP 2: In field username type ***** , in field password type **********
STEP 3: Click on wireless tab and you will see the name of you base station and arrow for dropdown menu,click on dropdown menu and choose from list base station *******,than click change and apply.

When you finish this steps you will be redirected to less loaded base station.
Also please let me know when you finish this.I would like to know is connection getting any better and let me know so I can also check your parameters.
Thank You for using our services.
Is there anything else that I can help you with?

Bojan Popovic
Customer Support at ********

With message like this I would be more than happy even if my connection doesn’t get any better but I would have faith that it will be better because they care for customers and I would have faith that they will replace equipment on base station or upgrade it or something like that.

P.S. Real Scenario is >
I have changed by myself base station and now its really working better but not because somebody from customer support told me to do so,it’s because I have discovered how to do that.Only thing that customer support did is to make me angry and to show me that their company doesn’t care.And even now when I have good connection I will return equipment after my contract end’s and if anybody asks me about them I will only say NOOOO they are crapp!!!

So back to empathy!!! You should realize by now why is empathy so important.It’s important to show people that they are not alone with their problems,there is somebody who understands problem and someone who is eager to solve it for you or to help you to find solution.
If you are expert in some field and you are working in customer support,never underestimate your client and never put yourself above him,your customer knows that he doesn’t know,that’s why he have contacted Customer Support,he don’t need you to tell him that he don’t’t know,he need’s you to help him and to make him feel comfortable using your product.Also it’s essential to have kind approach and not to scare away your client because he will contact you again if he need’s something and after every time you have helped him he will be more happy using your product and more familiar to it and he will say only the best about you and your company.

poor service good product
poor service good product

I hope that I have helped you with this article 

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