Empathy: The New Way to Connect With Your Customers

Over the past 15 years, digital marketing has exploded. With the expansion of social media, many businesses have had to change the way they interact and engage with their customers. Nowadays, people are looking to build a loyal relationship with the brands they love. To foster this relationship, successful businesses are turning towards empathy.

Empathy has recently become a widespread topic in popular media. When looking to apply empathy to your customer relationships, don’t mistake it with sympathy. Whereas sympathy is a feeling of compassion towards another (often misconstrued as pity), empathy is the act of putting yourself into another person’s thoughts, feelings, circumstances, and personality to better understand and meet their specific needs. When cultivating customer relationships, empathy will always win.

What does this customer empathy look like? Google Chrome used empathy perfectly in their Dear Sophie ad to connect with parents. In this video, Google Chrome creates an emotional connection with parents, as it conveys the bittersweet moments of watching children grow up and the desire to preserve memories. Through this commercial, Google was able to connect with their users on a deeper level than product features and updates. The key is to take time to identify with your customers, understand their dreams and concerns, and find a way to provide them with the best service possible based on this understanding.

When you empathize with your customers, everyone wins. You will win your target customers’ loyalty and create a lasting relationship with them as you gain a better understanding of their needs and wants. By actively listening and engaging with customers, companies will see a greater ROI all around. In turn, customers will feel that their needs are important and validated by your brand experience.

What steps can you take to cultivate this empathy for your customers? Creating an empathy map is a popular exercise designed to help you and your team brainstorm and find ways to better connect with your customers. In this exercise, you will look at four different aspects of customer experience: thinking, seeing, doing, and feeling. An empathy map will help you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, both in and outside of their experience with your company. Consider both positive experiences and pain points in each of these four categories.

As you implement this brainstorming session, gather key stakeholders to participate. You may want to consider printing out a copy of the empathy map for every member of the team or collaborating on a large whiteboard. Ask open-ended questions such as, “What are our customers’ daily habits and rituals?” “How do they feel after using our product?” and “What are they doing to change their lives?” and record each answer. After the brainstorming session, debrief as a group and compile a list of actionable insights. You’ll likely find that everything from product development to end-user experience can be improved by approaching your customers with empathy.

This is a guest post and has been provided by Bryan Phelps of InMoment (formerly Mindshare).

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Adrian Swinscoe – View the original post

Published On: 26th Aug 2015 - Last modified: 25th Oct 2017
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