Why you should invest in empathy

In our heavily data-driven business world, it’s essential to sometimes look past the spreadsheets and the Google Analytics reports and remember the importance of empathising with the customer.

Empathy has power when it comes to creating - and delivering on - a customer-centric culture and organisation.

Empathy, in this context, is an organisation’s ability to put itself in their customer’s shoes in order to understand and respond to their needs, both now and in the future.

Delve beyond the data

Of course, some of this shoe sharing is about measuring and analysing metrics: getting the hard numbers to gauge what your customers are doing (or not doing) and to measure where we are.

Numbers are immensely important to managers and organisations - especially that number on the bottom line - but data is not the be-all and end-all; it’s empathy that adds insight and dimension to these facts, figures, and trends.

By investing in empathy, you’ll soon boost those bottom-line numbers with higher conversion rates, customer retention, increased engagement, and consumer satisfaction.

Become a ‘copter company’

Have you heard the term ‘helicopter parent’? Helicopter parents, so named for their tendency to hover over their children, pay extremely close attention to their children’s experiences and problems. Companies would do well to take some cues from helicopter parents and focus on the everyday experiences and problems of their customers.

You can start by asking these questions:

  • What problems or pain points do your customers face every day?
  • What are their successes?
  • What do they value?
  • What motivates them?
  • What do they want?
  • What do they need?
  • What do they need that they don’t yet know they need?

By answering these questions, you can gain an appreciative understanding of your customers and get insights into what their drivers and psyche are. If you then couple these insights with research and statistics, you’ll be able to develop new, better strategies for working with them.

The effect of truly empathising with your customers will be that you come to understand them better than anybody else does, which can only mean good things for both of you. So put on your customers’ shoes, lace ‘em up, and walk - or better still, run - towards customer-centricity.

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