As many people do, I am subscribed to various industry related mailers and often delete these before I get the chance to read them.  One that recently arrived in my inbox really struck a chord with me, it was titled “The importance of empathy in customer service”.

I have recently been reviewing how we can make our customer service at SK Chase even better.  I have always enjoyed interactions with customers and feel that we do this really well at SK Chase.  Those of us in the service team are what I would term as “People Pleasers”, and in that, I mean that we enjoy setting others free and take pleasure and enjoyment from doing so.

I was reflecting on a recent situation when I was recently staying in a hotel and encountered a series of unfortunate situations that caused me to seek and feed back to the management the shortcomings in service that I felt I had experienced.  Each little incident, and they individually were little, could and should have been resolved on the spot.  It appeared to me however, that as the staff members were not entirely sure of what to do, they either ignored the situation or gave me ill-advised information.

I was all set and prepared to get the “Mock Shock” face that complaint handlers often present you with and advise that this is not their normal standard and that they will look into procedures to ensure this never happens again.  What I experienced next completely restored my faith in customer service: the Manager admitted that they had made several judgement errors and had created a series of events that in turn upset me and wasted my time.

A simple phrase such as, “I’d be upset too if that happened to me,” was all that was needed to convey that they understood and were being open and honest with me.  The hotel admitted that they had missed several opportunities to correct a situation, and that through lack of communication between staff and training, they had really dropped the ball on this occasion.  I could tell that they really meant what they were saying and genuinely wanted me to leave happy.

This approach really resonated with me, as it is so aligned with the way in which we work with our customers and their buyers.

Our company values, which are true, fair and courageous really support all that we do in our approach to service.  With that in mind, I feel that whilst we will always strive to do better, we will also continue to treat all of our customers with truth, fairness and courage.

I’m a firm believer that empathy absorbs emotion after having been on the receiving end.