A Little Customer Empathy Goes a Long Way

July 17, 2014 Marijah Adams Cleek

Humans are inherently emotional creatures, which means all customers are inherently emotional. Unless your customers are rocks. In which case, you don’t need to worry about meeting their emotional needs. But for the rest of us who are serving emotionally fueled human beings, let’s talk about customer empathy.

Empathy can get you a long way in the eyes of your customers.

Around the ages of 5-7, there is an exponential change in our brains. We go from not being able to identify with others’ feelings to having a fairly firm grasp on what those closest to us are experiencing. We, for the first time, are able to empathize with others, and from this point on, we expect to be met with empathy

It’s not any different when it comes to our product or brand relationships.

Will Your Product Hug Me?

What people buy is directly related to how they feel. Providing customers with sincere empathy is the fuel that drives them to conversion. “Empathy is a story of human relationship between brands and people,” according to Mobile Youth.

So it’s your job, as a marketer, business owner, or sales person, to take your product, whatever it is you’re dealing in, and make it hug all over the customers you’re trying to reach. (Not literally. You could get in trouble for that. But you know what I mean.)

Identify with them, and let them know it.  Show them they are important. They will return the favor by letting everyone know how amazing your brand, product, or service are.

That’s the truest measure of success.

Empathetically hug your customers.

But How?

1. Hit them in their feelers. Dove® recently released a slew of commercials that target women’s insecurities. But not in a mean way. Instead of making their average customer feel inadequate, they made them feel remarkable.


2. Make them a part of something bigger. Buying food does not make you a part of something bigger. Dining in a restaurant might, if the restaurant is full, but that’s still iffy. Making someone aware of a bigger problem, say an entire healthy food movement, makes people feel like a part of something more important. Chipotle hit the nail on the head when they released their story-commercial “The Scarecrow.” They pulled on their customers’ heartstrings and initiated them into the gang. Because of that, “The Scarecrow” is considered by some to be the best marketing move by a company in the history of ever.


3. Give them some undivided attention.  Solid one-on-one attention is hard to come by these days. We’re spread thinner now than ever, and we’re inundated with brands trying ruthlessly to gain every bit of our attention. But most of those brands are just screaming at us instead of investing in a dialog with us. Engage your customers by giving them exclusive attention, and they will love you for it.


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