Two fundamental agent characteristics separate average customer experiences from exceptional ones: accountability for customer needs and authenticity or empathy. Especially during a global pandemic, it’s critical for healthcare providers to deliver an excellent customer experience.
Unfortunately, our research suggests that agents are met with more pain, trauma, and fear than they have been trained to respond to. According to the 2020 Customer Voices Report, empathetic and authentic agent expressions have actually decreased, with agents averaging a 78% on “demonstrates perspective” compared to the 90% benchmark.
This decrease in empathy scores is not due to agents caring less. They are simply not prepared for the heavy topics (e.g. joblessness, bankruptcy, illness) that meet them on the other end of customer interactions.
Empathy is a critical component to helping solve the new challenges customers face. It creates tremendous value for your customers, and in turn for your organization. When it exists, it drives brand value and creates a deeper connection with those customers. In its absence, that brand value becomes a brand detractor, eating away at your reputation.
Service and empathetic problem-solving play a large role in brand perception. As circumstances change for many Americans, call center workforces will continue to field calls about lack of housing, food, or finances. If agents aren’t properly equipped to display empathy, it can result in unhappy customers, an increase in required resources, and loss of revenue.
As leaders, we must provide agents with the tools and support they need to effectively and empathetically respond to customers. Investing in empathy training and coaching will equip your team to deliver.
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Healthcare leaders can no longer afford to ignore the clues customers are dropping throughout their day-to-day conversations. Learn what matters most to healthcare consumers so you can take action within your own organization.