Faking Empathy Is Now a Huge Risk for UK Companies

A happy apple facing a sad apple hidden behind a smiling face on paper

A new study from Genesys highlights the scale of the challenge UK companies now face when it comes to engaging with customers via digital means.

With the increased rate at which organizations are using digital platforms to interact with people since the pandemic first struck, a third (32 percent) of UK consumers now state customer service representatives’ concerns sound ‘fake’.

The study also concludes that 31 percent of UK consumers believe customer service quality has worsened since Britain’s first lockdown, a perspective influenced no doubt by huge numbers of staff being furloughed against a backdrop of increased customer interaction, leading to unsatisfactory experiences with brands in many cases.

With companies set to emerge from current restrictions in only a matter of weeks, the battle to build trust and loyalty requires a radical rethink of the way technology can be used to enhance customer experiences today.

With over two-thirds (68 percent) of Britons now stating a brand is only as good as its customer service, businesses must act quickly to scale empathetic experiences that build both a foundation of goodwill and long-lasting emotional bonds with the communities they serve via digital means.

Findings from the study also show that despite voice remaining the most frequent channel for interacting with customer representatives (used by 64 percent of UK consumers), live webchat is now used by nearly half of Britons (46 percent), and chatbots by over one in four (28 percent).

When it comes to what it takes to make a customer experience go from mediocre to phenomenal today:

  • A third (34 percent) of respondents believe it’s when a business remembers you and anticipates why you are contacting them
  • A fifth (22 percent) state it’s when a member of the staff makes it clear they’re empathetic to what really matters to you

With over one in four (27 percent) UK consumers stating customer service representatives aren’t ‘personable’, it’s clear more can be done to enhance this important aspect of engagement in companies.

With the human connection still so crucial to customer success, technologies which help brands accumulate and organize information across sales, marketing and service have become vital for enabling employees to listen, predict, learn and act with empathy when engaging with customers across a range of channels.

“While brands are always looking to improve how they interact with customers, they need to look beyond efficient resolution of problems as the primary measure of effectiveness,” comments Helen Briggs, senior vice president and general manager – EMEA at Genesys.

“When consumers were asked to rank important aspects of customer service in our study, empathy trumped speed. People want to feel heard and know that their issues are being taken care of – they don’t simply want to be read a script.

“Trust and loyalty are essential for building and maintaining successful businesses today, and while it may sound obvious, helping staff show empathy now plays a critical role in that process.”

“The past year has shown that providing empathic customer experiences is more important than ever before,” says Claire Carroll, head of sales and service at Co-Op Group.

“Consumers needed to hear a caring voice at the end of the phone during the height of the pandemic. Putting empathy at the core of our service, we were able to treat customers as individuals and listen to their exact needs, especially when dealing with questions relating to sensitive issues such as bereavement.”

Briggs concludes, “Empathy can only be delivered effectively when companies combine the right people with the right technology, powered by artificial intelligence. When orchestrated cohesively across every channel, businesses have the power to really differentiate themselves, driving deeper connections with customers and becoming loyalty leaders in our increasingly digital economy.”

The Connected Customer Experience report from Genesys examined how the COVID-19 pandemic affected people’s health, happiness and social and professional interactions.

For more information about Genesys - visit the Genesys Website

About Genesys

Genesys Every year, Genesys orchestrates billions of remarkable customer experiences for organisations in more than 100 countries. Through the power of our cloud, digital and AI technologies, organisations can realise Experience as a Service, our vision for empathetic customer experiences at scale. With Genesys, organisations have the power to deliver proactive, predictive, and hyper personalised experiences to deepen their customer connection across every marketing, sales, and service moment on any channel, while also improving employee productivity and engagement.

Find out more about Genesys

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Genesys

Published On: 9th Jul 2021 - Last modified: 16th May 2024
Read more about - Contact Centre News, ,

Follow Us on LinkedIn

Recommended Articles

dog rests gently on his master's shoulder while looking the view
An Action Plan for Customer Empathy
Hands Holding Yellow and White Speech Bubbles Customer Service Empathy Statements
Empathy Statements for Customer Service With Examples
The concept word Empathy on wooden cubes.
How to Develop Empathy as a Skill in Your Frontline Teams
Dog and human sharing empathetic connection
26 Great Techniques for Showing Real Empathy in Customer Service