Empathy is an important trait—in life, obviously—but also in business. Here, we’ll be giving you a quick rundown of what customer empathy is, how you can use it to improve your business, and some examples of businesses that are doing it well.
What Is Customer Empathy?
Customer empathy is all about getting inside the heads of your customers to better understand how they think, feel, and behave.
By understanding what your customers are thinking and feeling, you can provide them with the best possible experience and ensure that they remain a customer well into the future.
Why Is Practicing Customer Empathy Important?
There are tons of reasons why customer empathy is important for both for startups and established companies:
- It allows you to provide better customer service. Customer empathy enables you to see things from the customer’s perspective, which allows you to provide them with the best possible service.
- It strengthens the customer-brand relationship. When customers feel like they are being understood and their needs are being met, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.
- It can help you increase sales. By understanding the needs and desires of your customers, you can more effectively sell them products and services that they will actually want to buy.
- It can help you reduce churn. If customers feel like they are being understood and their needs are being met, they are less likely to churn.
Does Customer Empathy Make a Difference?
You don’t need to take our word that customer empathy is important. A study from PwC recently found that 59% of consumers felt that companies had neglected the human element of their customer experience. That’s a customer empathy problem!
Businesses with good customer empathy see their customers as real people with lives, likes and dislikes, and emotions. Using customer empathy, you can see how your product or service fits into their life and adapts to their real life, job, home, family, and environment.
How Can You Practice Customer Empathy?
There are a few different ways that you can practice customer empathy, including:
1. Involve Customer-Facing Employees
Your front-line employees are the ones who are interacting with customers on a daily basis. As such, they are in a unique position to provide insights into the customer experience. Encourage them to share feedback with you on a regular basis so that you can get a better understanding of what customers are thinking and feeling.
It also helps to train customer-facing employees with customer empathy in mind. Part of that process might involve introducing empathetic statements and language, such as:
- “Can I confirm I’ve understood what you’re saying?”
- “Thank you for reaching out to us about this. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us regarding this issue and will do our best to resolve it as quickly as possible.”
- “I’m sorry you’re experiencing X. It sounds really [stressful/exhausting/annoying]!”
2. Conduct Customer Research
If you want to get a deep understanding of your customers, you need to conduct customer research. There are a few different ways to do this, including customer surveys, interviews, focus groups, and user testing.
3. Create Forums for Feedback
Make it easy for customers to provide feedback by creating forums for them to do so. This could be in the form of an online survey, a physical comment card, or even an actual forum!
4. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
In order to really understand your customers, you need to walk a mile in their shoes. This means putting yourself in their position and seeing things from their perspective. Try to experience your product or service from their point of view and think about how they would interact with it.
5. Keep track of the right proxy metrics
While empathy is quantifiable, there are metrics that you can track to make sure that your customers feel heard. Some examples include:
- Surveys like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).
- Churn rate: A high figure could indicate that your customer is having some issues with what you have to offer.
- Bounce rate: A high bounce rate may reveal some issues with your product. For example, your website might not be accessible for your target audience.
Make Customer Empathy a Priority
Customer empathy is important for any business that wants to create a great customer experience. By understanding your customers and seeing things from their perspective, you can create a customer experience that is tailored to their needs and wants.
If you’re struggling to put customer empathy into practice, it might be time to find a mentor! At Growth Mentor, we connect founders and executives just like you with experienced mentors who can help you grow your business.
Click here to get started today!