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Empathetic Statements



I am designing a course for our customer service correspondence team based off shore. I am looking for examples of different empathetic statements that they could use when responding to customers. Ideally I would like varying levels of different statements so they could choose relevant ones based on the customer query. Does anyone have anything like this that they could share?



11 Responses

  1. Am I being cynical or what?

    My first reaction to this request is that if someone is picking an "empathetic" phrase off a menu type list, it kinda suggests that they don’t really empathise but are just going through the motions…… a customer one thing that REALLY hacks me off is someone using empathetic words that are delivered in a way that suggests that they aren’t actually empathising



  2. Rus – Missed the point

    Rus you seem to have completely missed the point with this exercise. I’m not suggesting that a list is taken away and phrases copied out. This is a starter exercise to get the delegates thinking about different levels of empathy and how to relate this to different situations.

  3. Suggested phrasing

    Fiona hi


    With our overseas CC we used the acronym LAPACT





    Ask Questioms



    And teams built useful everyday phrasing around these building a are natural conversational cycle.  As you have said it ‘s not about scripting, but creating good habits for a mutually effective telephonic communication, same as you would in an email or wirtten correspondence, you’d respond with familar phrasing.




  4. I’m with Rus

    As I’m currently in a long running saga with a certain ISP off shored customer service I have to say that this discussion immediately caught my eye (for all the wrong reasons)! 

    Fiona – your initial request was for examples of statements the staff could copy, that may not be what you meant based on your second post, but that is too commonly the issue.  I’ve never experienced an off shored solution that DOESN’T do this. 

    The danger of giving staff a list in any training situation is that they often DO copy it back in the work place (been there too often).  But there is a wider issue with your training situation – to have empathy you have to understand an individual’s position and relate to it.  If the staff don’t have the cultural or linguistic skills to interpret what the customer is saying, or understand their position, and ultimately don’t resolve their issue, then whatever statements they use will be frustrating to the recipient. 

    Rather than giving them a list of empathetic statements to springboard their own ideas from, would it be possible to do an exercise looking at real life situations that they experience, get them to show empathy, and then create appropriate statements.  You could then lead this into their work situation to get them to think about the customer and what they are experiencing in different situations.  This would possibly take longer from a preparation and delivery perspective but may pay dividends in quality of service.

    I don’t envy you, but wish you every success!

  5. empathy

    Hi Fiona

    Sorry but I am in the Russ camp! Empathy and rapport go hand in hand so if you are designing a starter course is may be a good idea to think about both.

    If you have a list of phrases, have the delegates think about what empathy is and rapport , what its like to have a conversation with out them and then have them think of some phrases themselves.

    Good luck!


  6. steps in empathic communication


    Hi Fiona,
    I agree with the points raised by Rus and Stephw2w
    I am not quite sure what you mean by varying levels of empathetic statements, but you could explore some of the different steps in empathic communication that I use for health professionals, remembering that  not all the steps are necessary, as it depends on the situation.
    1         Active listening
    2         Identify their  concerns or feelings – pick up verbal and non verbal clues
    3         Clarification  – to check you fully understand their feelings or concerns
    4         State your perception of their feelings (and intensity of feelings) or concerns & check your understanding is accurate.
    5         Legitimize the feeling       
    They also need to understand / identify the different strengths or levels of feelings that are expressed by the customer, in order to acknowledge the intensity of the feeling at the appropriate level. This is even more difficult when English is not the first language.
    It is not an easy task that you have, but I wish you luck with it.
  7. Thanks

    Hi All

    Thanks for all the posts, this has really helped me tailor the angle in which to approach the training and given me some good ideas. Much appreciated

  8. Hmmm

    The Rus Slater Empathy Camp – sounds ‘interesting’.

    Will Steve Robson be running a fun icebreaker for all the attendees on the first day? 🙂

  9. Icebreaker

    Ok in your groups I want you all to stand on 1 leg and pretend you are a tree.

    Oh what fun we will have… 🙂


  10. Empathic listening….

    Excuse the delayed answer, I have just read the article.

    I beg to differ with you. Fiona’s question is valid and it is always wise to have few phrases in mind. During our interaction with individuals requiring extra empathy and care, we need to be ready, honest, genuine and most importantly, it must be reflected in our body language.

    I believe, more empathy from your end towards Fiona’s query would have been more thoughful and appreciated.



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