How to build empathy with your customers

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Empathy is a term that’s more commonly associated with Product and UX/UI/CX teams than with marketing. It’s bizarre when you think about it - market research was something marketers typically carried out, not designers.

Yet somewhere along the way the scale tipped and now - between managing campaigns, generating leads, tracking conversions, and leveraging partnerships - customer research fell to the bottom of the pile.

The unfortunate news is that we are not our customer, which means we’re making assumptions about what they want and what they value. This can then lead to completely mismatched messaging, campaigns and strategies.

Inject a little customer empathy and you can change that.

Investing time in having genuine conversations with your customers and building an understanding of their problems will help you look beyond the functional to the emotional. This builds a more genuine and human connection. And hey, maybe even more revenue as well.

 

1 / Contextualise and personalise

Segmentation is a given, but customers need to also know why you’re communicating with them in the way that you do. Every customer is different, so run user tests with your messaging and learn from the quantitative as well as the qualitative.

 

2 / Go undercover

If you have a physical presence (like a retail store), do some mystery shopping a la Undercover Boss and see what it’s like from the other side. Or consider asking someone you know, or paying a pro.

 

3 / Monitor the socials

There are loads of platforms out there now that make social monitoring ultra easy so if you’re not already doing it, get on it now. Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck, Hubspot and the list goes on. Set up streams to monitor your a) your social accounts, b) hashtags related to your product and business, and c) keywords related to your product and business.

 

4 / Listen in

If people in your business regularly talk to customers on the phone, shadow at least 10 calls. Better yet, if your company records them, then find a mix of positive and negative ones to learn what they love and where there are pain points.

 

5 / Communicate internally

If you’re lucky enough to be working with design, product and/or customer service teams, share customer communication frequently. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Then fix the ugly.


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