Empathy Talks

Six steps to deepening your bond with customers in challenging times.

1. Get Real

Take a hard, objective look at your customer experience.
Is it still fit for purpose in the current situation? Let’s face it: right now the answer is probably no. While time is of the essence, don’t rush this stage: what you do next could define the future of your brand.
How? Review
Assess what’s changed, and what’s still changing. Are customers interacting differently? Moving to new channels? Favouring different products and services? Is business coming from new locations or demographics?

2. Get Close

Tune into what customers and employees are saying.
Are your products and services as relevant as they could be in the current situation? Could you make it easier for customers to access them? Do your people need supporting differently to do their best work?
Listen and observe​
Monitor what’s being said on your social media and chat platforms, and in other conversations between customers and service teams. Ask for direct feedback to fuel your growing understanding of these evolving needs and attitudes. ​

3. Get Personal

Dig deep into customers’ and colleagues’ emotional reality.
What are they losing sleep over? What problems do they really want solving? By understanding their transformed worldview, you can act in ways that reflect it.
Ask the right questions​
Look beyond what traditionally defines your relationship. What are the big concerns in their personal lives? Illness? Money? Loneliness? Kids? What are their business pain-points? Think broadly about how you can help and keep checking in regularly.  ​

4. Get Critical

Ruthlessly assess your existing communications in light of what you’ve learnt.
Are they still pitched appropriately? Do they show customers that you “get” them, that you see them as real people and are geared to making their life easier?
Shift the emphasis​
Look at all the tools that drive your messaging (customer journeys, personas etc) as well as the messaging itself. If your tone is predominantly sales-and-price-focused, look for ways to shift the pendulum and demonstrate the empathy you’ve developed.

5. Get Creative

Adjust your words and actions to show real affinity with customers.
That doesn’t mean fundamentally altering your CVP or who you are as a business. It’s about renewing the expression of your brand for new and difficult times, and coming through when it matters.
Prove you understand​​
Find ways to help customers envision and plan for the future. Develop playbooks for your teams that reflect the new customer experience, sales and service channels. Above all, act and speak authentically, without seeming opportunistic.

6. Get Results

By seeing the world through your customers’ eyes and acting both creatively and sensitively, you’ll quickly stand out from the competition. As well as getting your proposition and messaging correct, that also means knowing when not to get in contact.
Be genuinely helpful​​
Remember that as circumstances change, people are engaging with more content than ever before. So make sure your communications are well timed and strong enough to be both impactful and welcome.​