Customers come to us because they have a problem — sometimes, a very serious one. They’re feeling angry, frustrated or afraid even before they've spoken to you. That’s why it’s so important to demonstrate empathy from start to finish. Showing customers that you can imagine what they’re going through puts them at ease and builds trust. And it only takes a few simple gestures:
- Demonstrate that you understand the question.
- Show the customer that you appreciate why they’re upset. This is as simple as saying “I understand how frustrating this can be” or “I’m sorry, I know this must be a difficult time.”
- Where appropriate, engage with the customer (after all, you’re both human!). If they attach a photo of their cat, comment on how cute he or she is. If they make a joke, acknowledge it. But follow their lead — if the customer doesn't seem interested in engagement, don’t force it.
- Be polite — even when the customer isn't. Remember, you’re the Expert.
- Be cautious with humor. Not everyone thinks the same things are funny. Your joke might fall flat, or worse, come off as insensitive or even offensive.