As mentioned above, customers want a friend or ally to assist them whenever they need service or support. While being friendly and engaging is a definite step in the right direction, it’s not all that you need to build rapport and trust with a frustrated or irate customer.
To really connect with your customer, you need to empathize with your customer and the issue at hand; show your customer that you can relate to their experience.
Empathizing with your customer shows that you respect the dilemma or problem that he/she is experiencing, and are eager to help find a solution.
Say, for instance, your customer informs you that he/she is experiencing a problem with a product purchased from your brand or company. You could go straight to asking what the issue is, and how you can help.
However, a much better approach is to first empathize with a statement like this:
“I can understand how frustrating it must be for your product to not work properly. I will do everything in my power to get this resolved for you as soon as possible.”
By simply adding the “I understand” sentence, you’ve shown your customer that you empathize with their concern, and really care.
Don’t underestimate the power of acknowledging and relating to the customer’s emotion when handling customer concerns. Customers expect it from great customer service operators. It helps them feel like you can relate to their pain or inconvenience, so you’re likely to be more eager to find a solution for them.