Customer Service

Empathy in customer care: The key to building authentic connections

In today’s competitive landscape, most people will agree that the quality of customer service has the potential to directly impact the organisation’s bottom line. But how do you ensure that you deliver exceptional customer service at all times? The secret ingredient that influences how your consumers perceive your brand and turns a satisfactory customer service experience into an extraordinary one is “empathy”.

Empathy in customer service is the ability to put oneself in the consumer’s shoes. It entails not just understanding the customer’s concern but also acknowledging and validating their emotions and experiences. When customer service representatives demonstrate empathy, they are not just going through problem-solving; they are actually attempting to connect with clients personally and emotionally.

The more empathetic your customer service team is, the better your chances of resolving customer problems, influencing their purchase decisions, retaining them for life, and, more importantly, turning them into advocates of your brand, which in turn will lead to an increase in revenue.

The significance of empathy in customer service

The importance of empathy in customer service shouldn’t be underestimated. Here are all the reasons empathy needs to be a standard for customer service:

Fosters trust and loyalty

Customers want to feel valued, respected, understood, and cared for. When they perceive empathy in their interactions, they are more likely to develop a strong bond with the brand and remain loyal over the long term.

Diffuses tense situations

Customer service, by default, deals with problems and conflicts. An empathetic approach helps pacify agitated customers and de-escalate tensions. Making customers feel heard and respected can turn a potentially negative encounter into a positive one.

Transforms unhappy customers into brand advocates

When customers experience empathy, they receive a sense of vindication along with the solution to their problem. This will lead to not only customer loyalty but also customers recommending it to friends and family.

The transformative potential of empathy

In a competitive marketplace, empathy sets a brand apart. If a customer receives a damaged product and calls the customer service helpline. Most customer service executives will offer a hasty replacement. However, an agent trained to display empathy would take the time to:

  • Apologise sincerely for the inconvenience
  • Acknowledge the customer’s frustration and disappointment
  • Express  genuine concern for the customer’s experience
  • If they are authorised, they will offer some additional benefits like a gift voucher or discount on the next purchase

The customer not only receives a resolution but also feels valued and appreciated, highlighting the transformative power of empathy. Customers will always choose a company that consistently provides empathetic customer service over one that doesn’t. Obviously, the second approach will convert that disgruntled customer into a loyal advocate of your brand forever.

Empathetic responses are also vital in some other scenarios like:

  • Billing errors
  • Service interruptions or delays
  • Product quality issues
  • Cancellation or returns
  • Tech support
  • Complaint escalations

Empathising with customers in these situations can help ease their negative emotions and pave the way for effective problem resolution.

Cultivating a customer service culture rich in empathy

Empathy in customer service can be improved with focused effort. Here are a few ideas to communicate with empathy:


Agent training programmes should emphasise educating employees on how to identify and comprehend emotions as well as how to react empathetically.


Agents can practice empathy in a safe setting by using role-playing games and real-world situations.

Create a conducive environment

It is essential to foster an atmosphere that supports the expression of empathy without fear of reprimand.

Reward empathetic behaviour

Recognising and rewarding empathetic behaviours can motivate the team to consistently exhibit empathy.

To effectively show empathy, customer service agents should:

  • Maintain a calm and attentive tone
  • Practise active listening
  • Use the customer’s name to personalise the interaction
  • Avoid interrupting the customer
  • Exhibit patience, as some customers may need more time to express their concerns
  • Avoid assumptions
  • Some statements agents can use to convey empathy and validate customer’s emotions are:
    • “I understand how you feel.”
    • “I’m here to help.”
    • “I’m sorry you’re going through this.”
    • “That must have been frustrating.”

You could opt for outsourcing and get exceptional customer care that fosters positive word-of-mouth, strengthens brand reputation, and ultimately helps businesses outshine their competitors. In a world where products and services can be similar, empathy becomes a unique selling proposition.

*For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like living organisms, will be imperative for business excellence. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing precisely that - equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterpriseis building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Empathy is the cornerstone of building authentic connections with customers in customer service. It fosters trust, diffuses tense situations, and turns dissatisfied customers into advocates. We can help your business stand out in the competitive landscape and create lasting relationships with customers based on trust, understanding, and genuine care.

Reach out to learn more about how our customer care services evolve, that can empower you across the lifecycle of your clients.

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