How companies fail to achieve empathic customer relationships (and what can you learn from their mistakes)
“Designing an emotionally aware organisation is increasingly becoming a topic at the top of the board room agendas,” says Need to See It Publishing (NTSI). They say Gartner found “companies that deploy empathy significantly outperform those that don’t, in terms of sales and profit” and Forrester reports “consumers are gravitating toward the brands that prioritise people over profits”.
Showing you understand your customer helps open the door to the start of a great relationship, but it takes work to achieve it. Companies can fail immediately by simply not making the effort.
When you recognise how vital empathy is to customer service and acknowledge ways to support your teams to achieve it, your customers can come to depend on your superior service.
Nurture empathy across all your teams
Many companies will simply rely on their team members who naturally show strong empathic traits, but when that person is suddenly unavailable, where does that leave you when there’s a difficult customer situation to deal with?
Journalist Helena Posniak writes for E&T: “Everyone – apart from some psychopaths – can learn to empathise, say neuroscientists. In fact, some primates demonstrate empathy, and even young babies show basic levels of empathy”.
Companies increase their chances of building empathetic customer relationships across the board by knowing how empathy works and teaching their teams to actively practice it.
Use AI as a bridge not a barrier
With so many customer service tasks now being handled online, whether it’s through traditional digital channels like email or more time-efficient channels like live chat, it’s become easier for companies to dehumanise customer care practices, but technology shouldn’t become a barrier to communication. It’s another channel for open communication to bring you closer to your customers.
“If it feels strange to outsource a kinder, gentler response to a machine,” says Zendesk, “rest assured. According to our research, 71 percent of customers already believe that AI will help to make customer experiences more empathetic. The trick is knowing when and where to use artificial empathy to elevate, not degrade the experiences you deliver.”
Using a next-gen AI assistant is an opportunity to hear from people more often, at any time of the night or day, about anything they want, using any channel.