Customer service mastery remains the primary
differentiator between successful and unsuccessful service organizations—Tony
Elumelu, 2010
Empathy is the capacity to feel what the other person feels. It is
about identifying with the feelings thoughts and attitudes of another person.
It is about putting yourself in another person’s shoes and knowing where it
Empathy is not sympathy. It is not about sympathising with the
customer without resolving whatever issues that may have been raised. It is
about trying to understand the customer’s need and then offering the best
solution that meets that need in a timely manner. It is about walking a mile in
your customer’s shoes so that you will know where it pinches and then help
patch it at the exact spot.
Empathy is one of the core values that UBA as an institution
subscribes to and it is built on around the concept of customer service. So in
UBA, we say “We always put ourselves in the position of our customers.” We
emphasize the fact that “What is good for me, is also good for the customer” or
another way of saying “treat the customer as you would want to be treated”
Empathy in UBA arises from the understanding that we are all
customers. We either being served or we are serving others. The transition
between being a servant and a master is very fluid. No one carries one role
forever. The role is easily interchanged in everything we do every day.
As servants in the banking hall, empathy is the golden rule. Our disposition
or attitudes must not drive the customer into the hands of a competitor.
Empathy in the banking hall is the capacity to understand a situation from the
perspective of the customer. You must see or feel it the way the customer sees
or feels it. It is when you see it through the customer’s eyes that you now
feel obliged to meet and even exceed the customer’s expectation.
Empathy, no matter your current disposition or frame of mind should be
held utmost.
Empathy is key to customer service.
What you don’t feel, you don’t acknowledge. What you don’t acknowledge
eventually walks away, most likely into the waiting hands of eager competitors.
 A business with a high level of empathy will have the
capacity to generate repeat business and build a loyal breed of customers who
will be go to the top of the mountain to promote the business to other
To have empathy, you must develop a strong ability to listen to what
your customer is saying at every point in time. You must be able to interpret
both verbal and non-verbal communication. Listening creates the room for
Patience is also important in building empathy. You must learn to be
very patient with a customer, who in most cases is in a hurry for a solution to
a challenge he or she is experiencing. You need the patience to listen to the
customer’s verbal and non-verbal communication, so as to properly interpret the
situation and provide an appropriate solution.
Relationship building is also critical in having empathy for a customer.
Where you have a rapport with a customer, it is easier to walk in the
customer’s shoes and provide an appropriate solution to the customer’s needs.
UBA has empathy as a core value because it is one of the poles on which
the bank has built the financial institution. It is a culture all new employees
must imbibe.
Quoting Maya Angelou, “I know we all have empathy; we just may not have
enough courage to display it…… “
So on your next day on the job…remember to go all out and be the rainbow
in someone’s cloud.


By Azeez Moshood


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