By Nancy Friedman. Customer Service Keynote Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training.
If I could I would eliminate that phrase from Customer Service and other folks who try to help others.
Watch this one minute Video Blog and see for yourself.
There is no way one person can understand the feelings of others.
You can sympathize – you can say: “I’ve never had that experience” – you can say “that has got to be very frustrating” You can say “I can’t imagine what you’re feeling”. You can say: “I’ve had that experience myself and I found it very frustrating”. But you should not say” : I understand how you feel.”
I was dealing with a customer service support person – who was pretty good over all – however, it stopped with the comment: “I understand how you feel”. This from someone who has been well trained on the product – and working with it day in and day out for years….. to someone who is experiencing it for the first time with much anxiety. There was NO WAY she could have understood how I felt. And I resented that statement a lot.
Avoid it if you can. It’ll serve you much better.