Aligning with empathy when confronted by an angry customer is a skill everyone should master. However, it’s not always easy to think of new ways to say ‘whoops’.
There also seems to be a disconnect with the empathy our customers want, and the empathy they’re given by customer experience (CX) professionals.
Our scripts are sure to assist your Customer Care & Community Care efforts quell fears and reduce anxiety. Use this copy & paste verbiage and feel free to comment with your own!
Empathy Is Essential
First of all, empathy is all about emotions. And CX is all about people. If you know how your customer feels, you can offer better support to them.
Freshdesk research pointed out that 52% of consumers stopped buying from a company due to their communication style, with 17% quoting ‘insensitivity’ as the primary reason they turned away. So, unless you’re ready to potentially lose half of your customers because of a lack of empathy, you’d better find ways to incorporate understanding into your customer experience management program.
Furthermore, companies that encourage employees to use empathy when handling customer requests can increase loyalty and satisfaction. It makes sense because if you want your customers to feel a strong emotional connection to your brand, you have to elicit those positive feelings!
The benefits of empathy are clear. You know you’re gaining those positive feelings for your brand when:
- Your customers feel heard
- Their issues are taken seriously
- The customer care agent is doing everything they can to help them
Simply put, aligning with empathy is the best way for you to show your customers that you truly care. Even though you may not be able to solve the customer’s problem right away, showing empathy makes customers feel like they have a voice. It shows they’re valued by your brand.
Build Empathy Into Your Digital Customers’ Journey
If you don’t already, build out your digital customer journey (DCJ). Next, consider what touchpoints you have at each stage of your journey (here are 19 you should consider).
If helps, here’s a look at our DCJ:
You should gather customer feedback at these touchpoints. Then, adapt your messaging depending on what the customer wants. By doing so, your customers will feel heard and that you appreciate their opinion and feelings.
Why Isn’t Empathy Easy?
Aligning with empathy seems easy, right? You’d think that. But, each of us have likely had an experience with customer support where they weren’t exactly excited to help us.
Some brand guidelines shy away from “the customer is always right.” Furthermore, some community managers or support agents feel if they use empathy they’re admitting that something was done incorrectly.
Perhaps, as our report on how the pandemic is changing Customer Care showed, people are just burnt out. When you’re overwhelmed it can be hard to be empathetic towards others.
There are other reasons, too. Look for empathy “gaps” like:
- Tone & Voice alignment. If there’s a mismatch between the customer care agent and your customer, it won’t feel authentic. For example, if the brand representative is too formal when the customer is using an informal tone.
- Response times are lagging. Don’t let slow response times kill your CX! And make sure you apologize if things take longer than expected.
- Apathy. Apathy is the enemy of empathy! If customers feel like they’re being dissuaded from contacting support, you are probably losing business.
- Going in circles. If customer issues are constantly getting punted to other departments or teams, and the customer feels like they’re going in circles, watch out!
Finally, not everyone is a rock star who oozes empathy. In any case, try on our scripts for size!
Steal Our Community Care Formula
At B Squared, we use A Cubed. 😉
One of our Customer Care tools is a simple formula for responding with empathy. Additionally, you could say this is a great formula for aligning with empathy with angry customers, too.
Here’s the formula …
Acknowledge + Align + Assurance
- Acknowledge: Use empathy and acknowledge their issue. INCLUDES acknowledging any frustration.
- Align: Align yourself with the community member or customer. Put yourself in their shoes (again, empathy!) and let them know you understand. If it’s a big deal to them, it should be a big deal to you.
- Provide Assurance: Keep communication lines open if you can’t solve their issue with the first interaction.
For starters, this formula puts an emphasis on aligning with empathy; you’ve heard what they are saying and it’s valid.
Secondly, providing stellar Customer & community Care means more money. That’s right! Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience.
Aligning With Empathy: 10 Scripts To Copy & Paste
Aligning with empathy won’t be as easy as copy and pasting. However, these scripts will definitely help.
- I would be frustrated/upset too.
- [Doing X thing] is complicated! Don’t worry, I can walk you through it.
- I can imagine how annoying [insert their pain point here] would be.
- That’s disappointing. It’s especially frustrating when [insert customer’s efforts so far] don’t work.
- We want to understand what went wrong as much as you do.
- I can see how that made you [insert/mirror the feeling word they used].
- This [situation] is unacceptable to us, too.
- If I were in your shoes, I’d be as [insert/mirror the feeling word they used] as you are.
- As a [product/service user] myself, I completely understand where you’re coming from!
- If I was in your situation, I’d be asking the same questions you are.
But wait! There’s more!
5 Short & Sweet Ways To Align with Empathy
Additionally, we’ve got shorter scripts covered below.
- Well, that’s not good.
- Oh no!
- That’s not what we like to see/hear!
- So sorry we let you down.
- Yikes! We hate that you feel that way.
10 More Copy & Paste Scripts For Assurance Statements
Lastly, if you need help with the last part of our formula try these on for size.
- I’m happy to assist you!
- Let me take care of that for you right away.
- What can I do to help?
- I can definitely solve this for you.
- I don’t know the answer offhand, but I will find out!
- I’ll keep you updated. Look for a response by [time frame].
- We appreciate your business!
- I see you’ve been a longtime customer, THANK YOU.
- I’ll have this solved by [time frame].
- We’ll make sure we get this right.
Finally, it takes sincerity to master aligning with empathy. And because you’re here, I’m guessing you have that quality.
Share these scripts with your customer care agents, support agents, and community managers. They will go a long way with easing them into aligning with empathy and keeping your community members and/or customers feeling loyal towards your brand.
And, if you want to test your social media customer care team on how they’re doing, consider signing up for our Social Media Mystery Shop.
Furthermore, be sure to share your own scripts below!
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