For decades, customer contact leaders have looked for ways to deliver “service with a smile” that customers feel through the phone. However, with chatbots and automation meeting basic customer needs, today’s agents are left with the toughest problems to solve, making service with a smile even more challenging. And while more difficult call and chat types amplify brand risk, they also create unique opportunities to deepen customer loyalty by solving complex problems with care and empathy.
Delivering empathetic conversations is a key driver of brand perception. Research from 2015 shows, “The top 10 companies in the Global Empathy Index 2015 increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50% more earnings.”
Can contact center agents learn to be empathetic just as they learn other skills such as authenticating customers correctly or conveying product benefits? The answer is yes, but, in my experience, not from passive learning methods. An in-class or e-learning passive learning curriculum where agents study content, watch videos and take tests and quizzes works well for learning how to respond to customers with accurate answers and correct information. However, I’ve observed that passive learning can be ineffective in changing human behaviors.
So, how can contact center leaders and trainers help agents learn empathy to consistently deliver personalized empathetic customer experiences? The answer is by empowering agents to master empathy not through seeing or listening, but through doing, or active learning.
Read my full Forbes article HERE
As an experienced contact center leader, Brian understands how today’s automation is leaving agents with the most demanding problems to solve. Brian is the Cofounder & CEO of Zenarate, a leader in developing top-performing customer-facing teams through AI Conversation Simulation.