10 Effective Empathy Statements for Customer Service

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Inci Rodoplu
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I’ve only seen it in the movies, but I believe that, when trying to explain themselves, some people also say, “Do you feel me?” in real life. In the movies, the scene usually reflects anxiety, frustration, and even desperation. The subject doesn’t only want their words to be heard. They desperately try to transfer the emotion and make the audience “almost” experience the heartbreak. Some screenwriters fill the gap with faltering speeches, while others end the expectant silence with body language, like a pat on the back or a hug. These kinds of responses usually work in real life as well but never in social media customer service, where you depend merely on written words. This is where empathy statements for customer service come into play. Thanks to them, you can convey to the customer that you fully understand the cause of concern and are trying to help.

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Why Do We Need to Show Empathy?

Here, we explained that the customers are not always right and can even be a pain in the neck. But unless they are ill-intentioned, they all need help. Disappointment with a product or service makes people agitated, and customer support agents need to acknowledge this fact in order to open the way for healthy communication. 

Besides, empathy in customer service is good for us. It is good for our ears because words can calm customers and stop their angry screams – or “ALL CAPS REMARKS!!!!” that cause arrhythmia. It is good for our nerves because understanding relieves tension. It is helpful for our motivation because beginning to solve a problem makes us feel better about our jobs. 

How Do You Express Empathy Professionally?

There are many examples of empathy statements, but in the end, they all need to convey the meaning that you care sincerely. Empathy is a warm, soft, cuddly feeling. But when expressing empathy professionally, you need to tone the sympathy down a notch.

When expressing empathy professionally, you need to tone the sympathy down a notch. Remember that people need your help, not your pity.

Although an empathetic response usually refers to an understanding, the tone of voice for customer support needs to be more professional rather than affectionate. Remember that the customer doesn’t actually need you to feel sorry at all. In fact, they need their problem solved as soon as possible by a trustworthy person who knows what they are doing.

As another important side note, showing empathy doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the customer. Sometimes you need to convey that you understand the customer’s emotional response while explaining how utterly wrong they are at the same time. 

10 Empathy Statements for Your Customers

These examples are only opening empathy statements and may have different variations depending on your appetite for playing with words. They can be continued by asking for further information, a quick fix to the problem, or an invitation to direct messages, especially when it looks like you’ll be facing difficult customers.

  1. I’m sorry about your negative experience. 

That’s a simple one. Totally empathetic and professional. An easy way to break the ice and start the conversation because it acknowledges the concern involves mutual feelings and doesn’t put too much pressure on the customer support agent. 

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  1. That’s not what we like to hear!

This one is a variation of the first with a lighter tone of voice. The sentence can be interpreted as genuine concern about the mishap, a warning against foul language, and mutual disappointment. On the other hand, the plural pronoun reflects the presence of a team that is willing to help.

  1. I understand your concern.

This may be the best empathy statement for you if you want to adopt a more formal tone. While involving no feelings, it sounds reassuring with its logic. But it needs to be used wisely, like when you really understand the concern. A statement like “I understand” should mean that you can start working on a solution immediately and provide a definitive answer soon.

Some empathy statements don't involve any kinds of feelings, but they provide reassurance that you'll do your best to find an effective solution.
  1. If I understand correctly…

Sometimes customer problems can be complex or entirely surprising. You may need help understanding it. It is best to paraphrase it your way, ask some questions to clarify and let the customer fill in the blanks. 

  1. I appreciate your patience.

If you are using a multichannel customer support tool like Juphy, you might not experience this, but sometimes customers wait for a long time to receive a response. Depending on your industry, if your first response takes more than 24 hours, you should consider apologizing for being late.

  1. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.

If something goes wrong with your product or service, and a customer notifies you kindly, it’s only natural to thank them in a warm yet professional tone. Customer appreciation is excellent for strengthening relationships and building customer loyalty. This sentence also hints that you take the problem seriously and are willing to work on a solution.

  1. Thank you, we appreciate your feedback.

Like the previous item, this empathy statement appreciates the customer for taking the time to make something better. But this one fits better with positive criticism than complaints.

The power of knowing how to thank customers on social media will improve your customer loyalty, brand awareness, and other important metrics. Read more for the best “Thank You” messages.

How to Thank Customers on Social Media Best Templates
  1. I can imagine what you must be going through.

Probably the most empathetic statement on the list, this sentence is used when the customer is really going through a hard time. It shows that you relate with the customer and sincerely try to help.

  1. That sounds challenging.

This empathy statement can be useful when responding to questions about product use, such as “I’m pressing the button, but it doesn’t work.” It means you’ve put yourself in the customer’s shoes and warmly said, “It is harder than it looks to operate this product.”

  1. You are right.

This sentence is a validation and needs to be used when the customer is completely right about a complaint. It means that whatever happened is the brand’s fault and that you are on the customer’s side. If you think the problem may be due to a user error, acknowledge the feeling instead of validating the complaint’s legitimacy.

5 Don’ts of Empathetic Statements for customers

Parallel to Empathy Statements: How Do You Apologize to a Customer?

As the ancient thinker Elton John put it beautifully, sometimes “sorry seems to be the hardest word.” Actually, it may not be the hardest one, but the fact that it shouldn’t be used lightly doesn’t change. If you need to apologize to a customer, take a look at the first two items of the “Don’t list” again and do it in a way that doesn’t disturb the power balance much. Being “truly, terribly sorry!” can look fake or give the impression that you would do absolutely anything for customer satisfaction. If you’re not ready to do that, mind that your apology is not overpromising. 

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Author

  • Ä°nci Rodoplu believes that products of imagination make life a little more interesting and have chosen writing as a profession because words are the most effortless form of making sense of the world.