There are good reasons to have empathy. Not just in doing business, but in all aspects of life. Sometimes it's hard to see things as others see them. I am still working on this at times. It's impossible to fully understand the extent of what someone else is going through, because there are so many things we keep hidden. We have gotten really good at hiding our feelings and bad experiences, and presenting only what we want people to see.
That's why it's so important to be compassionate if another person actually does open up to you, and tell you something. In my job, I have heard so many heartbreaking stories of every day people. Things I'm pretty sure they didn't share with too many others. But they chose to share with me because they trusted me. That's huge. For someone to trust you with a very personal piece of information, and something that has hurt them very deeply. It means they are thinking of you as a friend.
It also means it's time to take off the business hat, and just be a human talking to another human. I've been told not to touch people, that it's not a necessary part of the job. That it's too personal. It could cause a lawsuit, etc. That's just not acceptable to me. If someone is hurting, my natural instinct is to care enough to try to comfort them. And the instinct to reach out to another person who is hurting should be rewarded, not criticized. We all need to be loved and cared about. And there are times when you need to throw out that stupid rule book, and just be a person caring about another person.