Working in a frontline customer service job ain’t easy. You’re the company’s first line of defense against unhappy customers, which means that managing tense and tricky conversations often falls to you. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks available to you—using empathy statements in customer service, for example, can help to diffuse difficult situations.
There are dozens of different types of empathy statements, and depending on the situation, one may work better than another. Our list of 12 empathy statements caters to a few different scenarios you might encounter.
How do you show empathy in customer service?
To show empathy in customer service, it’s important to focus all your efforts on your customer—and on resolving their problem. This entails:
- Listening to what they have to say.
- Making sure you’ve understood their problem. You can use a statement like number 5 below to make sure you’re on the mark.
- Empathizing with their problem and communicating clearly. Let them know that you care and value their time.
- Working to solve their problem. True empathy means not only that you understand their issue, but that you’re actively trying to find a solution.
Empathy statements help you gather information, validate your customer’s feelings, and come to a resolution.
What is an example of an empathy statement?
As the name implies, empathy statements are used to communicate empathy—they show the other person that you understand their feelings and are focused on their problem. An example of an empathy statement is: “I’m sorry you had to experience that, it must have been frustrating.”
12 Examples of empathy statements in customer service
Looking to connect with customers and show that you care? These empathy statements will help you out.
For when you first connect with customers
When you first connect with a customer, the way you respond to their problem sets the tone for the rest of the interaction. So it’s a good idea to lead with empathy. Here are some empathy statements in customer service that you can consider.
1. I’m sorry you had to experience this
When to use it: When a customer shares the details of a bad experience.
Why it works: Immediately empathizing with the customer’s situation can help to diffuse it and ensure you work towards a helpful resolution.
2. I understand how frustrating this must be for you
When to use it: When a customer is visibly frustrated with an interaction or experience.
Why it works: There are many times when customers genuinely have a bad experience, so it’s helpful to acknowledge their emotions. This statement communicates that you’re not here to invalidate their experience, but to understand where they’re coming from and to help.
3. You’re right, this shouldn’t have happened
When to use it: When a customer faces a poor, unexpected experience.
Why it works: Sometimes, when a customer has a bad experience, there really isn’t any excuse for it. This statement takes ownership of the problem, which can help to diffuse an awkward encounter.
4. I understand how this could be confusing
When to use it: When a customer is confused by a situation or uncertain about an interaction.
Why it works: If customers have an interaction with your company that’s unclear or confusing, this can enhance their feelings of frustration. This statement empathizes with their response, and shows that you are here to provide clarity.
For when you’re understanding the problem and working to resolve it
When you’re working on resolving a customer’s problem, you’ll usually have to balance providing a resolution with easing the tension. Here are some empathy statements in customer service to help you out.
5. Let me know if I’ve properly understood your problem
When to use it: When you need to make sure you’re on the same page.
Why it works: When you’re working to resolve a customer’s problem, it’s important to make sure you’ve nailed down the specifics of their issue. This statement helps you confirm that you’ve hit the mark, while also communicating that you’re proactively trying to resolve the issue.
6. I understand that you’re pressed for time, I’ll do my best to provide a quick resolution
When to use it: When a customer is frustrated and expects a quick resolution.
Why it works: Impatience is a normal customer response, especially if they’re busy or expected better service. This empathy statement can make things easier by communicating that you’re aware of their tight schedule and are doing your best to help them.
7. I’m looking into your problem right now
When to use it: When a customer is distressed because of an especially poor experience.
Why it works: Sometimes, you just need to let customers know that you’re on the case and working to help them out.
8. Our team is working to resolve this as quickly as possible
When to use it: When you can’t directly resolve the customer’s problem and need to engage your fellow team members.
Why it works: There are problems that you can’t resolve directly—you might need the support of your technical or finance team, for example. This statement lets customers know that you’re working with the team concerned, and subtly indicates that this might take a bit of time.
9. I really appreciate your patience
When to use it: When a resolution is taking a while.
Why it works: This empathy statement lets customers know that you value their time. When tensions are high, it’s helpful to communicate that you don’t take their time for granted.
For when the problem is resolved
When you’ve solved the customer’s problem, it’s best to make sure that they’re content with the outcome.
10. Thanks for being so cooperative!
When to use it: When a customer cooperates to help you reach a quick resolution, for example, by framing their problem clearly and providing you with any necessary information.
Why it works: When your customers have a problem, it becomes your problem, too. The best way to resolve things is to work together. This statement acknowledges the part they played.
11. Let me know if that works for you?
When to use it: When you need to make sure a customer is satisfied with the outcome.
Why it works: This statement gives customers room to express how satisfied they are with the resolution, and whether they expect you to do more.
12. Is there anything else I can help you with?
When to use it: When it’s time to wrap things up.
Why it works: This makes sure your customers are happy with the outcome and don’t have any more pressing concerns.
P.S. you might find these 9 customer service response templates helpful for dealing with specific customer service situations, like when a customer has a poor experience. And if your customers get particularly frustrated, these 8 smart tips to deal with rude customers can be useful, too.
How to automate your empathy statements
Do you find yourself typing out the same empathy statements over and over and over again? No need to type out the full sentence each time—if you’re in customer service, a free tool like Magical can make it easy for you to express empathy in record time. Just set up any of these statements in Magical with a trigger that you can easily remember (for example, “e-1”). Apologizing has never been so easy!
Using empathy statements in customer service: the bottom line
Empathy is pretty much a prerequisite in customer service. Customers aren’t always reasonable or patient, and responding empathetically will help you understand their situation, show that you care, and keep you focused on solving their problem.
Empathy statements are a powerful tool—they help you connect with customers on a more human level, and can ensure that you retain them, rather than lose them to your competitors.