Value empathy: Answering the phone on support
March 7, 2011
Empathizing with customers and clients is one of the most important things you can do to offer the best service possible. Stepping into their shoes allows you to see from a completely different paradigm. When you send an email with a lot of feedback or generally bad news, what will it be like for them when they get it? Is the timing right? It’s best to understand their point of view, not just yours. Doing that upfront thinking will save you a lot of headaches.
What’s something we understand about our customers? They are busy (I’m sure your clients are too). They’re running a business, usually by themselves, and their time is both limited and precious (they’re also precious themselves). So if they have a problem, they want it solved quickly. They do not have time for hold music or waiting for an email reply the next day. Therefore, they can call us. And when they call, the phone is answered right away, and we get them an answer as quickly as possible. This allows them to get back to their business.
Secondly, the phone is such an underrated tool these days. Getting on the phone allows us to understand our customers, better than every other medium other then meeting them in person (we wish we could meet them all!) The phone is so great because you can get into a great dynamic conversation, being able to solve the real problem by asking why, not assuming because of a lack of understanding in an email. It’s also faster than a 15 email long thread. And, we learn so much about them, their business and what they need to be successful.
By stepping into your customers shoes, you can serve them that much better.