- James Lord
A little empathy goes a long way...
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
We've all been there at one time or another. It doesn't matter how good you or your team is, at some point, you'll let your customers down. We can all think of stories from even some of our most beloved companies where they've exposed our data, bugs in their software crashed their site, or some other unforeseeable event caused them to provide lackluster service, even if only for a few hours or days.
Some of the worst companies I've worked with (and for) simply ignore it when this happens. They work quickly to try to solve the problem, but they try to hide the fact that a mistake occurred. They act as if everything is normal - when we (the customer) know that is far from the truth
What I've found is a little empathy can go a long way. If I've been on hold for 45 minutes, I prefer when the person who eventually answers says something like, "Thank you so much for waiting patiently. I know your time is important and we seem to be jammed with calls today. I'm glad you got through. How can I help you?" Instead, many companies ignore the fact that we're frustrated and upset. They ignore the fact that their customers are waiting an hour to get through to them. They simply answer, "Thank you for calling, how can I help you today?"
Don't be afraid to be real. Be genuine. Say "I'm sorry" where appropriate. Everybody makes mistakes or has a bad day from time to time. And most of us will calm down and appreciate it when someone simply admits they're having an off-day instead of pretending like everything is sunshine and rainbows.