Empathy in Customer Support: What it is, Why it’s Useful, and How to Improve

Empathy is an important skill for customer support teams to possess and develop. It involves an understanding of the customer’s feelings and emotions and the ability to communicate with them in a way that meets their needs. In order for a customer service team to be successful, it needs to have team members who can demonstrate empathy in order to make customers feel comfortable and heard.


Empathy is defined as the capacity to understand and share the feelings of another. In customer service, empathy is about understanding the customer’s emotions, understanding their motivations, and being able to communicate with them in a way that is understanding. It’s about seeing the customer’s perspective and being able to relate to them on a personal level.

How are they used?

Empathy is used in customer service to build relationships with customers and maintain a positive experience. By demonstrating empathy, customer service teams can build better relationships with their customers and ensure that their customers feel understood and supported. It also helps customer service teams identify potential issues and solutions that may not be obvious. When customer service teams are empathetic, they are better able to troubleshoot customer problems and get to the root of the issue.

Why are they useful?

Empathy skills are essential in customer service because they help teams create a sense of trust with the customers and build relationships with them. By being empathetic, customer service teams are better able to identify and solve customer issues quickly and efficiently. This helps maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty, which leads to repeat business.

How can they be improved?

Empathy skills can be improved through practice, active listening, and taking the time to understand the customer’s needs and emotions. Making sure to pause and not rush the interaction will give customers time to voice their concerns and feel heard and understood. Customer service teams can also practice reflecting back to the customer what they have heard, which can help customers feel heard and validated.

Examples and Use Cases

One example of using empathy in customer service is when a customer is upset about something. In this case, the customer service agent should take the time to listen to what the customer is saying and understand their feelings. Once the issue is understood, the customer service agent should empathize with the customer’s feelings and show them that their problem is being taken seriously and that help is available.

Another example is when a customer needs help with a technical issue. Here, the customer service agent should establish a rapport with the customer by listening and understanding their needs. This can help the customer service agent identify better solutions and provide helpful advice that meets the customer’s needs.


Empathy is an essential skill for customer support teams to have and develop. It helps build better relationships with customers, identify and solve customer problems, and ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Improving empathy skills can be done through practice, active listening, and taking the time to understand the customer’s needs and emotions. With these strategies, customer service teams can ensure that customers feel heard and understood and that their issues are being addressed in a meaningful way.