Being able to effectively demonstrate empathy is rooted in your ability to understand your customers. However, empathetic language is often used without a strong understanding of the customer’s needs or the ability to offer impactful support. At the start of the pandemic, messaging that said “we’re here for you” was plastered across almost every communication and advertisement. The brands that were able to follow through by providing tangible support seized an important opportunity to build trust with their customers. Those that neglected their customers after promising support severed countless relationships.
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective, feelings and situation from their point of view, instead of your own. It is critical to building and strengthening customer relationships, just as it is with personal relationships. Enterprises that are skilled in empathy can truly understand their customer’s perspective, improving their ability to offer relevant solutions. To unlock the true power of empathy, you need to consistently deliver personalized messaging, interactions and offers. When delivered effectively, engaging with empathy builds trust, increases satisfaction and drives positive outcomes – creating a win-win for your company and the customer.
Why engage with empathy
Strong relationships are the key to increasing customer lifetime value, which starts with empathy. By showing your customers you understand, you can soften the strong emotions that come with difficult circumstances, such as product or service adjustments. When done well, you can turn a seemingly negative experience into a positive one. Empathy connects customers to your brand, especially when they feel you are invested in their success.
Empathy is personal. Using it effectively requires a constant pulse on your customer’s evolving needs, behaviors and preferences – and an ability to meet them.
Here’s how you can start to gain a deeper understanding of your customers:
- Review research on what is driving changing behaviors, needs and preferences
- Create the opportunity for open feedback through surveys and outreach responses
- Conduct sentiment analysis based on responses to your outreaches
- Analyze and extract insights based on patterns in customer behavior
With the right systems in place, you’ll be able to gather and analyze insights from every interaction and leverage them to optimize engagement at scale. It is possible to develop and execute digital engagement strategies as unique as your customers.
Here’s how you can more effectively engage your customers with empathy:
Accompany empathy with relevant solutions
There’s no better way to connect with your customers than by showing them you understand them. By personalizing every interaction to ensure your customers get what they need, your customers are more likely to take positive action on their situation.
To effectively build trust, empathy must always be paired with a solution or offering that meets the unique needs of the customer.
Customer insights can help guide your digital engagement strategies but messaging and offers should always be tested for effectiveness to ensure they are appropriate for different groups of customers and suit the context.
Don’t set expectations that you can’t meet
While empathy can be very effective, it can also be perceived as disingenuous when used too liberally, within the wrong context or without a solution to the problem.
Before you use empathetic messaging, consider whether you will be able to offer a relevant solution that helps your customers navigate the problem.
Empathy sets the expectation that the provider will be highly supportive, which means that it leads to a breach of trust if the support offered does not align with the expectations or needs of the customer.
Create an empathetic customer experience
Engaging your customers with empathy is about more than the messages you send, it’s about every interaction.
Constructing interactions that are simple, easy to understand and empowering helps your customers feel more confident in their ability to navigate their situation, while strengthening their relationship with your brand.
Creating consistent, personalized and efficient customer communication can be achieved through behavior-based digital engagement. To accomplish this at scale, you need the Symend platform.
With insights that capture the complexity of your customers, you can create high impact digital engagement strategies that engage with empathy.
Check out Symend’s post-COVID report to learn more about how the behaviors, needs and preferences of consumers are changing.