Why “I Know How You Feel” is Semi Useless

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.

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Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers. You can see her 9 books here. For more information, log on to Nancy Friedman's website www.nancyfriedman.com or call (314) 291-1012. Oh yeah you can email her at nancyf@telephonedoctor.com. Nancy is a recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award - St. Louis Small Business Monthly