Technology is now deeply woven into how customer experience (CX) is delivered. So it would be fair to assume that the human touch is missing. 59% of consumers feel companies have lost touch with the human element of CX. They are sacrificing personal interaction for the sake of efficiency and productivity.
However, technology and empathy don’t have to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. In fact, the right technology has the power to liberate agents from the repetitive work that software can handle. They can then focus on building rapport, showing compassion, and bringing customers joy.
Why? Because these empathetic relationships translate into loyal customers and a better bottom line. 87% of consumers are willing to buy more products if they have an exceptional CX. 81% will then go on to recommend your company.
Empathy starts with understanding your customers
Building a more empathetic approach to CX starts by understanding the journeys your customers take. Whether they’re looking for information or buying a product, customer journey mapping can help you clarify where your customers go; and their emotional state along the way.
Customer journey mapping may sound intimidating, but it’s surprisingly simple to get started. Just navigate common processes as if you’re the customer.
- Where do you look first?
- How do you move from one channel to another?
- Crucially, what do you think and feel at each touchpoint?
Once you understand the pathways your customers go down, you can spot the opportunities for agents to really make moments special. Anywhere your customers interact with another human being, is a chance to show empathy, build rapport, and solidify a relationship.
Technology and advanced metrics tracking
We all know how frustrating it can be for a customer to repeat their problem or question. But tracking a question across interactions is just part of what your agents need to thrive.
With the right technology, you can track advanced metrics – including those associated with customer empathy. When you can analyse the sentiment of written and voice interactions, your agents always know what kind of emotional state a customer is in upon contact.
Even where more customers are using self-service options, agents are key to delivering empathy. They hear the more complex issues that self-service hasn’t resolved. In a platform like CXone, real-time interaction guidance gives every agent a sense of customer sentiment, emotional needs, and tips on how to build rapport. Your agents can recognise opportunities for empathy as soon as they appear – not weeks later as part of a feedback session after call monitoring.
Using empathy to focus your CX improvements
Successful businesses make constant improvements to their CX. Not based exclusively on performance and efficiency, but what their customers want and need. An agent telling a customer they understand and empathise is good. But proactively improving what you do to avoid the issue from reoccurring is better – for your customers, agents and contact centre alike.
Structured surveys and unstructured data (like social media comments) are all fantastic ways to see what would make the experience better for your customers. Good customer survey software can help you capture feedback across multiple channels, where you’re gauging customer satisfaction by recording NPS.
Like all CX, empathy is an ongoing process. You can’t understand your customers today and assume they’ll stay the same forever. But with the right technology, agents equipped with understanding, and your processes continually improving, you can get closer to your customers at every interaction.