Hearty Service Trainer

How to Build Empathy

How to Build Empathy - iconattitude.com

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Empathy is essential in any job involving contact with customer. It enables a relationship to be established with the customer. It also determines the level of service that will be provided for the customer, which of course at the end will relates to the level of satisfaction from the customer.

What is empathy? It is the ability of us to appreciate a situations from the customer’s point of view. In other words, it is to see things the way customer does and to imagine what the customer is feeling. Looking at things from “customer’s side” let us identify his or her needs and expectations more accurately and therefore to provide a better response.

The question, then, is how to build empathy? Since to have empathy with a customer is to “enter his/her perception” and accept it, even if you can not share it. There are two ways to gain empathy:

  1. To experience

Once we have the same experience of a situation / condition as the customer, we will be easily have empathy for him/her. And this will enable us give a better rensponse because we know how’s the feeling if we are in the same situation. For example,  when we know that waiting is always boring, then we see the importance to make the waiting room so pleasant. We can provide newspaper, tv channel that entertaining, water dispenser or even some lazy boy.

  1. To imagine

Some situation or condition may not be experienced. But imagining has the power to build empathy. For example, even we have never experienced an earthquake, flood, volcano eruption or even tsunami we will still be able to build empathy for the victims by imagining if it happens to us. We can imagine how is the feeling of being homeless, apart from family or losing our loved ones. This empathy will make us not only saying “Pity them” but also making us donate something to help them feeling better.

In a hospitality industry, an example of lack of empathy is when a professionals (staff/service officer) who ask the customer to understand, put yourself in my place  and  be patient,  just because his colleguaes are absent that day. So, build your empathy by feeling every of your experiences and acquire skill to imagine… And have different level of service that will be explained in my next articles J…

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