Sponsored Content from SWBC: Transforming Your Contact Center for Customer Delight

By Janet Loriot, EVP Operations

Despite our highly digitized world, where business transacts with a click, a touch, a swipe, or a voice command, the human touch remains indispensable. There’s no doubt technology is revolutionizing the way credit unions interact with their members, making it ever so important to remember one thing: On the other side of every screen, every keyboard, every phone is a real person with real emotions.

Janet Loriot

This is where empathy in your contact center takes center stage.

In this article, we’ll uncover the importance of empathy in a modern contact center, providing practical tips that will empower your live agents to prioritize humanity in member interactions.

Understanding Human Connection
Empathy is the ability to not only understand someone else’s feelings, but also the ability to share those feelings. Essentially, it’s putting yourself in someone’s shoes, viewing the world through their eyes and from their situation. Empathy differs from sympathy, which is merely the practice of recognizing someone’s feelings and wanting to help them. Sympathy potentially creates separation, as it inherently suggests that one person is receiving the help and the other is the helper.

The Business Case for Member Empathy
Empathy is more than a soft skill; it’s a strategic imperative for credit unions looking to build strong, lasting member relationships. Empathy is the bridge connecting your agents to the members they serve, going beyond scripted responses and canned solutions in a way that transforms member transactions into meaningful engagements.

It could also impact your credit union’s bottom line in the following ways:
Member Loyalty and Retention
Empathy fosters trust and emotional connections. When members feel heard and understood, they are more likely to remain loyal to your credit union.
Reduced Churn
High churn rates can be detrimental to your credit union. Empathetic agents are better equipped to address Member issues, reducing the risk of losing valuable members.
Enhanced Reputation
Empathy creates positive experiences, which are shared through word-of-mouth or online reviews. Happy members become brand ambassadors, bolstering your reputation.
Increase Sales
Empathetic contact center agents can identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities more effectively. They understand members’ needs and can suggest products or services that genuinely add value.
Cost Savings
By resolving issues efficiently and effectively, empathetic agents reduce the need for follow-up calls and escalations, ultimately impacting operational costs.
Employee Satisfaction
Empathy isn’t just for members; it’s equally important for your contact center teams. Agents who feel valued and supported in their roles are more likely to stay engaged and perform at their best.

4 Ways to Implement Empathy in Your Contact Center

  1. Empathy Training

Provide a baseline for comprehensive empathy training. Role-playing exercises and real-life scenarios can be particularly helpful in guiding your initiative.

  1. Personalize Member Interactions

Empower your agents to use member data to personalize interactions. Knowing a member’s history and preferences allows agents to provide tailored solutions and recommendations.

  1. Active Listening

Emphasize the importance of active listening. Agents should ask clarifying questions, repeat key points, and provide regular updates to show members they are truly engaged.

  1. Feedback Loops

Create feedback loops where agents can share member stories and insight with the broader team to help build a collective understanding of member needs and pain points.

Try This with Your Contact Center Teams
Equip your agents with a repertoire of empathy statements that validate the member’s feelings. Here are some you can try:
• “I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience you’ve experience.”
• “I understand how frustrating this must be. Let’s work together to find a solution.”
• “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Your feedback is valuable in helping us improve.”
• “I appreciate your patience while we work through this.”

Elevating Member Interactions
By investing in empathy training, fostering an empathetic work culture, and providing agents with the right tools for success, your credit union can take a competitive lead in financial services. Remember, the path to member delight is paved with empathy, and it’s a journey worth making.
SWBC’s Total Contact Center Solutions can be a great companion on that journey, with dedicated contact center agents that can uphold your credit union’s mission of service and reflect your core values, creating a seamless transition from your dedicated teams to a shared team that handles call overflow. If you’re ready for a strategic advantage over other credit unions, visit our website to learn more about how we can help.

(Sponsored content includes material submitted independently of the Mortgage Bankers Association and MBA NewsLink and does not connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. For more information about sponsored content opportunities, contact Bill Farmakis at bill@jlfarmakis.com or 203/834-8832.)