Cultivating Empathy Among Your Customer Support Reps

Faith Ocampo Published on January 26, 2017

One would think that empathy would come naturally for everyone, as it’s one of the main building blocks of effective communication.

customer support rep holding red heart in call center

But in our modern world, fixation on technology and the continuously shrinking attention span are crippling our ability to understand how others feel.

This is bad news for companies—especially call centers—whose success depends on the quality of their customer relationships. That’s why countless business leaders cite empathy and great communication skills as some of the best aptitudes their staff can ever possess.

Empathic employees—those who can understand and relate to others’ feelings and experiences—are deemed to be emotionally intelligent. In customer support interactions, this trait allows agents to build rapport with clients and establish trust. It’s the most important quality that makes customers feel that a brand truly cares about them.

Embedding empathy into your organizational culture can thus help you build a customer-centric company. This is the key to building a brand that customers will remember. Here are five ways to cultivate this trait among your call center reps.

  1. Emphasize the Importance of Listening

    customer support rep responding to caller on phone

    Empathy starts with listening.

    When agents listen to customers, they give them priceless gifts—time and full attention. These are the only two things you need to make customers feel valued. Letting them freely explain their concerns shows that you want to hear their insights and understand their exact needs

    In addition, listening actively during a conversation lets support reps recommend solutions that are tailored to the customers’ unique situation. Aside from enhancing the customer experience, this also speeds up problem resolution. Overall, this results to a more efficient customer service delivery.

  2. Build Diverse Teams

    diverse customer support team in call center assisting consumers

    The idea here is to expose your employees to people who are different from them, be it in terms of culture, personality, age, or beliefs. Putting together a diverse team would compel agents to meet new people. In the process, therefore, they’ll encounter new ideas, stories, and ways of thinking. All these can encourage your staff to be more open-minded. They’ll also learn to be more sensitive to others’ needs or emotions in the long run.

  3. Make it Part of Your Customer Service Training

    diverse customer support team in meeting training

    Including emotional intelligence training as one of your training modules is another great way to instill empathy among your call center reps. You can use a variety of classroom activities to allow them to practice this skill. For instance, role-playing activities let agents emulate customer support scenarios that they might encounter. This prepares them for difficult issues or situations they’d need to solve.

    Another topic to include in your discussions is phone and email etiquette. This is particularly crucial for multilingual companies that deal with a diverse set of clients. Be sure to provide culture-specific guidelines for your agents to help them avoid misunderstandings during customer interactions.

    Lastly, train your agents on core communication skills, including:

    • speaking and writing clearly
    • listening actively
    • clarifying ideas
    • organizing messages
    • using the right tone of voice
  4. Avoid Using Scripts

    customer support rep reading script in call center

    Some call centers require their agents to follow a script so they can easily maneuver a customer conversation toward the desired direction. However, sticking to a script can hinder them from conveying empathy. Instead, agents may end up sounding robotic and monotonous, which can immediately dampen the customer experience.

    On the other hand, spontaneous conversations sound more natural. Here, agents are at liberty to choose the best phrases or statements that are most appropriate for the situation. This lets them personalize conversations and address a customer’s specific needs.

  5. Promote a Customer-First Culture

    customer support centricity depiction businessman standing on stars

    The best way to build an organizational culture that prizes your customers above anything else is to communicate your vision to your employees. Let your people know that they play a critical role in making customers happy. And of course, empower them with the tools and information they need to perform their tasks efficiently.

Open Access BPO’s stringent hiring and recruitment practices ensure that we build the right teams for our partners operations. This means finding the right people with the skills and attitude needed for the job, and then further training them to deliver the best output possible. Contact us today and let’s build a dream team of skilled talents to take your business to the next level.
 

Read More

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
Join us on facebook
Open Access BPO 22 hours ago
𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗴𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗶𝘁 𝗱𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 #𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗼𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘀𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆.

During the event, our ops and non-ops teammates put their athletic and strategic skills to the test through five different games:

• Chess
• Scrabble
• Badminton
• Volleyball
• Basketball

Congratulations to all winners, and see you all in the next Sports Fest!

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#EmployeeEngagement #WellnessAtWork
#HealthyWorkplace
Open Access BPO Yesterday
𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 #𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱'𝘀 𝗴𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁, 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝘂𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿.

To avoid poor customer service, it's important to know what mistakes your #CustomerSupport agents commit.
If you want to prevent customers from seeing your brand as apathetic.

Here are 3 qualities to steer clear of to ensure stellar #CustomerExperience: https://buff.ly/4bmLsmI

----------
Don't let bad #CX hold you back.
Partner with a customer experience expert today and start exceeding #CustomerSatisfaction: https://buff.ly/3URcMSK

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
Open Access BPO Yesterday
Providing excellent #CustomerExperience is the best way to retain customers, ensure loyalty, and acquire new ones.

Good thing there are a lot of ways to ensure a pleasant #CX such as these: https://buff.ly/3V7fpS1

----------
Give your customers the best service they deserve.
Let's plan the best ways you can do that: https://buff.ly/3ysRhjX

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerService #CSAT
#CallCenter #outsourcing
#CustomerSatisfaction
Open Access BPO Yesterday
𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗕𝗣𝗢 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗮𝘁𝗶 𝗖𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗗𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁.

The free two-day healthcare event, held on the seventh floor of the multilingual call center's Makati headquarters, provided risk assessments, counseling for employees, and free contraceptives for all attendees.

Workers from Makati City's Health Department were able to accommodate over 130 employees, providing them with general check-ups, blood glucose testing, and HIV screening.

The Health Department workers say the program will help Open Access BPO employees determine how at-risk they are of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and HIV/AIDS. Family planning lectures and counseling services were also available.

This holistic approach to wellness empowers employees to take charge of their health and well-being.

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#IdeaHubOABPO #OneForHealth
#WellnessEvent #HealthJourney
Open Access BPO 5 days ago
Open Access BPO recently kicked off our new fitness programs with a sunset yoga session: https://buff.ly/3UMe81m

‍Held on the newly launched scenic 7th-floor terrace of our Makati HQ, the session provided employees with a unique opportunity to unwind, de-stress, and connect with colleagues in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Our fitness program is set to resume this week with new Rope Flow and Zumba program.

----------
Learn more about our company culture and the many benefits we offer our employees by visiting our website today: https://buff.ly/44Rlllq

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#OneForHealth #IdeaHubOABPO
#EmployeeEngagement #WellnessAtWork
#HealthyWorkplace #MindfulnessAtWork
Open Access BPO 5 days ago
Customers today expect more! 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀, 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗼 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝘁𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵.

Don't wait for your consumer base to grow or even wither before you update your #CustomerSupport strategy.

Here are 4 signs that your #CustomerService action plans need an upgrade: https://buff.ly/3QOCVAu

----------
Provide your customers with excellent #ConsumerExperience from one of today's trusted multilingual #CX experts: https://buff.ly/3wtloHp

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerExperience
Open Access BPO