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Does the empathy make any difference in communication?

06.11.2013

ARE WE ABLE TO PUT OURSELVES IN THE SHOES OF CUSTOMER?

To achieve customers demand, employees need to excel, among other things, at empathy. They need to develop a pervasive ability to see things from the viewpoint of the customer. This may sound fairly simple, however the capacity to put oneself in the shoes of someone else is a difficult skill to master.

In general customer situations can be viewed from three perspectives:

  1. the point of view of the company
  2. the point of view of the individual serving the customer
  3. the point of view of the customer

 

In our research we came across a good illustration of this point.

A businessman staying over the night at the hotel was robbed in the city. He came back to the hotel searching for a help at the reception. He was approached by a receptionist who´s first concern was to secure the customer´s hotel bill, which was not settled. If the receptionist had taken the customer´s predicament or state of mind into account, he may have first tried to show understanding and offer help to solve the situation. However, it is likely that the staff member had been trained to manage the customer from the organisation´s point of view. From his narrow view, the only thing mattered in his situation was to look after the interests of the hotel.

Even though we need to empathize with the customer, also we need to respond appropriately to his needs. This involves putting yourself in his shoes and seeing the world as he sees it. And once it is apparent to us, we need to respond by providing what is necessary on time and the expected cost.

To sum up, empathy is an important social skill that significantly affects the quality of our relationships with the customers. It helps to listen carefully, clarify our´s understanding and show in words or action that we understand the customer´s world.

 

 

 

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