empathy customer experience

The Secret to a Successful Customer Experience: Empathy

Have you ever had an over-the-phone customer experience that just wowed you? You know, the kind where you’re smiling by the end of the call, you feel like the person on the other end of the line actually heard you, and the person taking the call was friendly, supportive, and understanding regardless of what you were calling for? As a small business owner, wouldn’t you want your customers to have that kind of experience every time? I’ll let you in on a little secret--you can have that kind of customer experience every time and it starts with empathy. 

But what is empathy and how can it have an impact on customer communications?

Empathy is the ability to discern someone else’s emotions and in turn, be able to see something from someone else’s perspective (i.e. what that person is feeling or thinking). Empathizing with someone helps us to more fully understand their needs and is critical to providing excellent customer service. 

Empathy is the Key to Outstanding Customer Experiences

The role of empathy in customer communications can’t be underestimated. Empathy, if employed correctly, improve a customer's outlook after almost any kind of call, even if their issue hasn’t been resolved. You might be thinking that being the friendly, empathetic person on the other end of the phone when your customers call is unrealistic--you don’t have time to inquire after every customer’s day. Maybe the solution for excellent customer communication is to turn it over to the experts. 

Ruby is the Expert

Ruby's virtual receptionists support small businesses and their customers.The virtual receptionists at Ruby have built a successful business by employing empathy in customer service. 

“How a customer feels they’re being treated can be as impactful as any action taken to alleviate their frustration.” 

In fact, they’re so good at what they do that more than 10,000 small business owners trust Ruby with their most important asset: their customers. Ruby’s virtual receptionists serve as the face of these small businesses from answering and transferring calls live to taking messages, engaging with website visitors, and more.  You can focus on running your business, while Ruby handles customer service. 

The Ruby team embodies and embraces the role of empathy in customer communications. They specifically train their employees to make empathy part of every customer experience. “We come to work every day excited by the opportunity to make someone’s day, to make someone feel heard, and to give our customers more freedom to focus on their business.”

Lead with Empathy

If there is one thing that Ruby receptionists have mastered, it’s starting every phone call with empathy. They don’t just do it to be nice (although that’s definitely one of the reasons!), but they do it for the impact it can have on their client’s businesses. “Ruby receptionists are trained on the value of the phone call for small business and are dedicated to the creation of real, meaningful connections–it’s not just answering the phone.” The virtual receptionists at Ruby are specifically trained on empathy and are equipped with a skill set that enables and empowers them to handle any kind of caller, even the ones that might be having the worst day of their life. 

Ruby really cares, and it’s one of the reasons small businesses trust them with customer communications. Megan of NW Benefit Strategies says, “Ruby is humans caring about humans when I thought I was only hiring someone to answer my phones.” 

Having the first point of contact for your business express empathy can make or break that caller’s customer experience. Empathy doesn’t hurt your business’s bottom line either. The small act of showing a bit of empathy can increase customer retention and maybe even bring in a few word-of-mouth referrals. 

How to Employ Empathy for an Excellent Experience 

Empathy goes a long way in a small business and it’s really a team effort. Ruby is the obvious choice to represent the front end of your business. But, there are some conversations with customers that only you can have. Emulate Ruby’s use of empathy at first contact and carry it over into every conversation for the ultimate customer experience. 

The next time you find yourself on the other end of the phone with a customer, try taking a few pages out of the Ruby playbook to show your customers a little empathy:

Listen- express interest in your customer’s issues and let them know they are being heard. They are calling to tell you what’s wrong, let them do just that.

Recognize their frustration- sometimes just validating their feelings with the simplest “wow, that is so frustrating!” can go a long way. 

Look for common interests- building a relationship, even during a quick phone call, can allow for more empathy on both sides of the line. Have a caller from Iowa? Maybe you have an aunt that lives there—share that! Now you have something in common and have built a human connection. 

Let them know how you can help- don’t tell a customer what you can’t do for them, tell them what you can do. Even if you aren’t the person qualified to solve their problem, what you can do is find the right person or department that can help.

Offer a solution- if you are in a position to resolve their issue, offer a solution and keep your word. Don’t promise things you can’t follow through on, you’ll just end up with an even more agitated customer. 

Follow up- keep track of your customers and follow up to ensure their issues have been resolved. If their issue was successfully resolved over the phone, follow up with a thank-you note.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more about letting one of Ruby’s award-winning receptionists be your empathy ambassador and help you deliver an amazing customer experience. 

SmartHustle readers get $50 off their first three months with Ruby. Visit Ruby to get started with code: SMARTHUSTLE.