To any business owner, customer service is the number one priority. But how do you put the finger on what exactly that means? And more importantly, how do you ensure that your employees understand what it takes to provide good service? This guide will better understand empathy in business and explain how it can help customers and companies build long-lasting relationships.
It will also discuss some tips for creating sustainable practices for your company and executive leadership team members so you can develop products with customers in mind and assist them through their problems rather than just around them. So read on.
How Can Empathy Help a Business?
Understanding your customers is one of the most important ways to build a sustainable business. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s a skill that can be learned and practiced, but more importantly, it’s a mindset that enables you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
According to the Zendesk report, CX Trends 2022, 54 percent of customers feel that customer service is an afterthought for most companies they buy from. It’s not just about being nice. Empathy is also about being effective.
It will help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers because it allows you to understand their needs truly, wants, and desires. The result? Better business decisions that meet customer needs.
Understanding What Empathy Is (And Isn’t)
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Empathy is not sympathy, which is feeling sorry for someone; empathy is not compassion, which is feeling bad for someone; and although these words are often used interchangeably, they each mean something different.
The critical difference between them lies in the kind of emotion involved. Sympathy stems from fear or pity, while compassion stems from love. On the other hand, empathy helps you relate to others’ feelings because it allows you to imagine what life would be like if you were in their position. It allows you to step into their shoes and see things from their perspective instead of your own.
How Companies Can Start Connecting With Customers Through Empathy
Empathy is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they are going through. Empathy allows you to focus on your customers’ needs, wants, and problems instead of your own. The more you can relate with them, the more likely they will be to trust you and come back again when they need something else from your company.
A Khoros survey found that 68 percent of customers say they will spend more money with a brand that understands them and treats them like individuals. Here are some tips on how businesses can start connecting with customers through empathy:
Craft a Sustainability Plan for Your Executives
Sustainability is the way of the future. It’s no longer just a buzzword but an actual approach to business that’s good for the planet and your bottom line. Sustainability isn’t just about the environment. It’s about everyone involved in getting your products out there and into your customers’ hands.
That means that when crafting a sustainability plan, you need to think about everyone who will be affected by your decisions. From the people who work with you on product development and distribution to those who work in factories that produce materials for your company’s products, all the way down to consumers, everyone who can be impacted.
Sustainability plans also help build trust with customers by showing that you’re committed to protecting the environment and being a positive influence on society. Your business will be seen as socially responsible if it has a strong sustainability plan, which leads to increased sales.
Assist Customers Through Their Problems, Not Just Around Them
When a customer needs help, they want to be heard. They want you to listen to what they’re saying and understand their problem. They’re also looking for your assistance in solving the problem. In a study by HubSpot, 93% of customers said they are willing to do repeated business with companies that focus on delivering excellent customer service.
A common mistake businesses make when customers face problems is only providing a workaround or refund for the issue, but that doesn’t solve anything. If you can do more than just point them in the right direction, there’s no reason not to. It will help your business build trust with customers, who may be more likely and willing to purchase from you again in the future.
Never Stop Listening to Your Audience
Listening is an essential part of the process. You can’t build trust if you don’t understand your audience and their needs, preferences, goals, and motivations. Your customers will feel like they are being heard if you ask them questions about themselves or their lives and then listen to what they say.
What should you listen for? What kind of product do your customers want? Are they looking for something specific in terms of style or design? Do they want a product that saves time or money? Or are there other types of information that would help make the product better for them?
You can learn a lot from what people say about your brand or product online, which is why social listening is so important to marketing. Social Media Today reports that almost 61% of businesses now use social listening systems that monitor keyword mentions.
Listening takes place throughout this entire process. It’s not just confined to one conversation at one time. Customers are constantly changing their minds about what they need from brands, so it’s essential to keep up with these changes and any other information that could impact your product’s success with consumers.
BrightLocal’s “Local Consumer Review Survey 2022” found that 67% of consumers will leave a review for a positive experience, while 40% will leave one for a negative experience. As a brand owner, it’s crucial to have a strategy for responding to consumer reviews.
Empathy is critical in building customer relationships because it allows you to understand their needs and motivations better. It’s up to businesses to make or break their customer experience.
When companies develop empathy toward their customers and understand their needs, they’re more likely to create better products and services. By fostering relationships with your audience in an empathetic way, you’ll be able to build long-lasting customer loyalty that will help your business succeed over time.