We Are in the Same Storm, Not the Same Boat: Empathy versus Sympathy

We Are in the Same Storm, Not the Same Boat: Empathy versus Sympathy

April 20, 2020

Last week, we discussed that while everyone is affected by Covid-19, not everyone is immediately financially impacted by this pandemic. What does that really mean to our customers and how that does that impact the way we collect?

Well, it highlights the difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry or pity for someone’s hardship or plight. Empathy is putting yourself in their shoes. Empathy is where we identify the emotion involved. Now, walking in their shoes doesn’t mean you have a pity party with them; it means you have an appreciation for the hardship.  A collector focused on sympathy may think, “Well, if that was me, I couldn’t pay either.” That is an example of getting in the boat with them versus empathy: helping them row the boat to the shore.

If you think of collections more like providing financial solutions, then we will have a better appreciation for how to help the customer. We help them best when we rely on our past experience helping others successfully come through the storm. We should have solutions to help them resolve their delinquency. We should truly help them and helping is not always just giving an extension.

For more detailed information about specific Collection skills and phrases. And tools to help Bridge with a customer to have a more impactful, empathetic, solution oriented conversation: email us at info@cbswebsite.com