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Preferential treatment



Customer service reps are often taught to be empathic, to put themselves in the customer's shoes. But research suggests empathy isn't the skill you're looking for.
"Preferential treatments
It's easier to empathize with people who are likable or similar to you, also called the in-group, out-group effect. A brain scan experimentmeasured the empathy levels of participants — European soccer fans — who were shown other fans undergoing simulated torture.

The scan showed the brain areas for empathy lightening up... as long as the victims wore the shirt of their club. But when the victims wore the shirts of rival teams, no empathy was detected.

Other studies also confirmed our trouble of empathizing with people we deem different or unattractive. That's obviously not ideal for customer service, in which you get in touch with a wide variety of people."
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