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Session 505: Doing What Doesn't Come Naturally: Why IT Support Pros Must Know How to Express Empathy

Leslie O'Flahavan  (Principal, E-WRITE)

Date: Wednesday, November 10

Time: 11:35am - 12:35pm

Pass Type: 2-day Training + Standard Conference, 3-day Training + Standard Conference, Premium Conference, Standard Conference - Get your pass now!

Track: Pursuing Service Excellence

Session Type: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Most people don't think "How empathetic!" when they think of technical support. In fact, the engineers, technical experts, SMEs, and other professionals who work in support can be overtly hostile to the mere idea of expressing empathy. When asked to write customer communications that show empathy, they balk and reply, "Just how much 'marshmallow' do you want me to add to this service update, Jim?"

But a lack of empathy in communications with customers or colleagues can cost dearly. Being seen as unconcerned or oblivious damages support's reputation, makes cooperation with other teams more difficult and less productive, and encourages customers to distrust or disregard support's communications. The inability to express empathy also dovetails with the worst stereotypes about people who work in technical support: they're better with machines, software, and code than they are with real, live humans.

In this hands-on session, participants will learn why IT support professionals – from senior leaders to team members – must learn to express empathy with their customers and with each other. They'll learn how to use empathetic statements even if the current culture of their organization dismisses or even mocks empathy. They'll learn to recognize the benefits of an empathetic culture and how to use those benefits to motivate their team members to grow.