Examples of Empathy in Business
Updated: Mar 23
In a previous article we explained why it’s important to use empathy in your business, and how empathy can give you superpowers when it comes to marketing and communications strategy. Let’s now talk about some examples of empathy in business: how and where to use empathy, but most importantly, how to achieve an empathetic approach and the difference it makes in your relationship with your customers.
The impersonal interaction
We talked about the importance of getting to know your customers before making any further step in marketing and communication. The reason why we insist on that is because we businesses might think they know what customers want and how to communicate with them, but in most of the cases it’s not like that. Especially when marketing and communication happens digitally, we tend to forget that in the end it’s a person we’re talking to, and this makes the interaction with people quite impersonal. Oftentimes digital communication allows faster communication, for instance makes it easy to copy-paste a “salesy” message and send it right away to a potential customer. But is this move really working? If you tried, I’m sure you haven’t gotten the results you were expecting. People don’t like to be treated like machines, and that’s why a standard message won’t work as much as a personal one could. But how can we make our messaging more personal and empathetic?
The Personal Interaction
Think about when you go to a shop looking for the right t-shirt. After trying a few on, you realise it’s not what you were looking for and ask the sales assistant to help you. That’s the moment when you differentiate yourself from a group of people and become a singular person: you explain to the sales assistant what you’re looking for and why the t-shirts you tried didn’t work for you. Only after this first interaction with clear communication about the taste, color, shape and intention the sales assistant will be able to suggest something that might match your needs. This example better illustrates why a personal interaction helps businesses reach their audience faster and more efficiently.
As a business it’s extremely important to accept the fact that we can’t be the right place or person for everyone. Wrong messaging about what we can do or provide is not only not helping the customer and wasting your time, but it also results in a final dissatisfaction that won’t surely help your reputation. Make sure you know what you can offer to your audience and stick to it, without trying to reshape your offer just to get one more customer onboard. By accepting you’re not the right business for everyone you’ll save yourself time, effort and gain that authentic credibility that customers will surely appreciate. Offer a few things and do them the right way.
Communicate With Empathy
Once you know what your customer is trying to achieve with your product or service, you can switch the communication focus from business to customer. This means, instead of talking about you, what you do and why you’re the best choice out there, you’ll need to start talking about which problems you can solve and which needs you can satisfy. Let’s make a practical example with Yoga pants as a product:
The more specific the message the better. I’d suggest that you use some storytelling and some examples related to real life situations, which your customer can identify with. This is an empathetic communication that will build that strong empathic bond with your audience.
Do it Right the First Time
We all know that mistakes are allowed, as long as we are able to make up for them in the future and improve ourselves on the way. But if there’s a thing that can be done right from the first time, this will save us lots of time and troubles later on. There are a few steps you can take to make things right in marketing communication:
Make sure you understand what you’re offering
Understand where you can find your ideal customer
Get to know what your customers need, who they are and how you can help them
Communicate with empathy and build a strong bond with customers
Define a communication strategy and use it in all your communications
We can’t do everything by ourselves. Ask for help when you need to change your marketing or communication strategy. Either if you’re in the early stages of your business or if you’ve been active for a while and find yourself in a deadlock situation, we can help you. You can schedule a free consultation where we can suggest the next steps and the best approaches for your business going forward. In the next articles we’ll explain empathy in some practical terms for your website, content and advertising use.