Back to Blog
A happy woman talking on the phone resolving a customer service issue.
Customer Experience

The 3 F's of Customer Service: How to Connect with Customers and Build Trust

Providing exceptional customer service is key to building a loyal customer base. From startups to large corporations, ensuring that customers are satisfied with the service they receive is critical to business success. But how do you achieve this level of service? One approach that has been proven effective is the "Feel, Felt, Found" - 3 F's - approach.

In the age of digital transformation, businesses are now operating in a highly competitive landscape, where customers are empowered and have higher expectations than ever before. And with the rise of online customer support, live chats, and chatbots, it is crucial for businesses to find ways to connect with their customers on a personal level and improve the customer service experience.

Amidst the ever-changing business landscape and increasing customer demands, the "Feel, Felt, Found" approach remains a powerful tool for training customer service representatives soft skills and laying the groundwork for effective communication between businesses and their clients.

This technique involves acknowledging and empathizing with the customer's feelings, sharing a personal experience to demonstrate understanding, and highlighting a successful outcome to build trust and credibility. By mastering this technique, support teams can deliver great customer service that keeps clients happy and loyal, and a competitive edge for the business.

What is the 3 F's method in customer service?

The "Feel, Felt, Found" approach is believed to have originated in the sales industry, where it is used to connect with customers, build rapport, and overcome objections. Over time, this technique has been adopted by the customer service industry as a way to provide empathetic, effective, and more personalized service.

By acknowledging and validating the customer's concerns, sharing firsthand experiences, and providing solutions, customer service reps can establish a more personalized connection with the customer and encourage confidence. This approach has proven to be an effective way to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Tip: "Feel, Felt, Found" words are all about relating to the customer and establishing a foundation for communication. Providing your customer service staff with the communication skills that humanize the experience, and making each call or chat more personal, you can favorably improve service and customer approval. Utilizing this simple yet effective approach, businesses can build strong relationships with customers and enhance the overall customer experience.

Customers expect quick and efficient service, therefore, the "Feel, Felt, Found" approach can help customer service reps stand out by demonstrating a willingness to help, which can lead to positive word-of-mouth recommendations and increased customer retention.

The "Feel, Felt, Found" Approach plus an upgrade

The 3 F's technique is still relevant. It is a simple and useful way for customer service teams to connect with customers and provide helpful solutions. Here is how to use this strategy in today's highly competitive environment and when customers have higher expectations when it comes to providing quality service, responsiveness, and personalized attention.

A graphic with a summary of the Feel, Felt Found approach for customer service.
Connect with Your Customers: A Tiny Guide to the 'Feel, Felt, Found' Technique

Feel: Make customers feel valued and heard

The first step in improving customer service is to make customers feel valued and heard. When a customer contacts your business, it is important to establish a personal connection. The "Feel" stage is all about showing empathy and understanding. By acknowledging the customer's feelings and concerns, you can build a connection that sets the tone for the conversation.

A good approach is to frame the conversation in a way that creates an honest connection with the customer. This means focusing on their questions, needs and concerns rather than just trying to push a product or service. To do this, you can start by asking open-ended questions that allow them to express themselves and provide more information about their situation. This shows that you are genuinely interested in helping them and that you are willing to listen.

To show customers you are care about their issue you can use phrases such as:

  • "It sounds like this issue has been causing a lot of frustration…."
  • "I can hear that you are upset about…"
  • " It seems you are having trouble with… That can be really frustrating…"
  • " I can hear how frustrated you are, and I don't blame you, if I were in your situation…"

An upgrade to the "Feel" technique is to combine it with active listening skills. That is summarizing or paraphrasing what the customer has said and repeating it back to them in your own words. This shows that you are fully engaged, paying attention, and can help to ensure that you truly understand the customer's needs and concerns.

Felt: Share similar experiences

Next, move on to the "Felt" stage. Share a personal experience that demonstrates your understanding of the customer's situation. This could be a time when you experienced a similar problem or felt frustration. By sharing your own story, you create a sense of empathy and relatability that can help to build trust.

In this stage, acknowledge the customer's emotions and let them know that you recognize how they are feeling and that others have had similar experiences. This helps build empathy and establish trust, which can go a long way in resolving the issue at hand. Instead of just using cliched phrases like "I understand," try to use specific language that reflects the customer's emotions and shows that you are fully paying attention to them.

Some examples of what to say:

  • " It sounds like you're feeling frustrated with..."
  • " Many customers have felt frustrated when..."
  • " Other shoppers have felt disappointed…"
  • " Some of our clients have been in the same position…"
  • " I was confused/upset/frustrated when something similar happened to me…"

Incorporating examples of how others have been in similar situations can be incredibly useful in fostering confidence in finding a resolution.

An upgrade to this method is to additionally utilize a technique called "empathy mapping", which involves creating a visual representation of the customer's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and using this as a tool to better understand their perspective.

Found: Offer solutions that have worked for others

Finally, move on to the "Found" stage. This is where you offer a solution that worked for you or someone else in a comparable situation. By sharing a positive outcome, you can help to ease the customer's concerns and provide them with a path forward.

This can involve offering specific recommendations or simply providing guidance on next steps. The key is to focus on the customer's goals and objectives and provide actionable steps that they can take to achieve them.

Here are examples of phrases to use with the "Found technique":

  • "Many of our customers have found that using our [product/service/solution] has saved them time and money."
  • "We've had several clients who were initially hesitant about trying [possible solution], but after giving it a chance, they found it to be very helpful."
  • "One thing our customers have consistently found is that using [possible solution/product/service] has helped them tremendously."
  • "After conducting extensive research, we found that our customers value convenience and flexibility and that is why [possible solution/service/product] has helped them…"

One newer approach to the found technique is to focus on the concept of "customer delight" rather than just satisfying their needs. This means going beyond what the customer demands, for example offering an attractive discount, a free sample, or any valuable offering that the customer is not expecting, thus providing an exceptional experience that leaves them feeling happy and impressed with the service they received.

Another approach is to make use of use data analytics to track customer behavior and preferences, and then use that information to tailor the service to solve specific needs and interests.

Additionally, companies are now using social media and customer engagement online platforms to engage with customers in a more personalized and real-time way, allowing for faster problem resolution, greater customer satisfaction while gathering customer feedback.

Putting It All Together: Best Practices for Exceptional Customer Service

To be effective, the "Feel, Felt, Found" approach must be authentic and genuine. Customers can quickly detect insincerity, so it is essential to be honest and transparent in your interactions. By humanizing your customer service staff and making each call, chat, email and engagement more personal, you can improve service and customer satisfaction overall.

In today's tech-driven world, providing excellent customer service has never been more critical. By using the "Feel, Felt, Found" approach, you can build a connection with customers that is unique and more human, improving the overall experience. Remember, it is not just about solving problems; it is about making customers feel valued and heard. The next time a customer contacts your business, try using the "Feel, Felt, Found" approach to enhance their experience and build a lasting relationship.

Don't let your customers slip away. Try Velaro Live Chat into your website and start seeing the positive impact on your business.

Stay informed. Get exclusive offers and news
delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for joining our blog family!

As a subscriber, you'll get exclusive access to insights, expert tips, and more. Stay tuned for our upcoming posts.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Please try again, if the problem persists contact
We won't share your email address with third parties.

Explore more articles