Messages with empathy

Customers who are emotionally connected are more than double[1] the value of highly satisfied customers, on a lifetime basis, according to Harvard Business Review (HBR). Empathy gets a lot of lip service from marketers and salespeople, but to grow our companies we need to actually show empathy for our customers with messaging that resonates over the course of the entire relationship.

Customer experience is one of the key factors to increasing the emotional connection your customers have with your brand. Consider an omni-channel experience, as HBR’s analysis shows this increases emotional connection. Messaging should be included in your channel mix as it’s a more personal form of communication and provides a means for agile engagement that addresses context in a way that more hands-off communications like email cannot.

Building Empathy Requires Insights

It’s very difficult to empathize with your customers if you don’t know much about them. Gaining insights that help you step into their shoes and see the world through their eyes is the only way to put them at the center of the customer experience. Empathy is defined as the ability to share and understand the feelings of another.

When building buyer personas, for example, it takes empathy to understand the perspective of the persona in relation to the challenges they face and objectives they aspire to achieve. Observing how a lead interacts with your brand can give you clarity about whether your content and communications are connecting with your audience in the way you want.

You’re not only looking for what they think, but how they express what’s important to them. The words they use are a good indication of words you can incorporate into your messages to create instant resonance. User reviews and open-ended survey questions are good places to start. A phone call is even better.

Infusing Marketing Messages with Empathy

Now that you’ve gotten to know your audience, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned to your messaging. Let’s say that you’re an admissions officer at a university. You’ve learned your incoming freshman class’ greatest fears include not doing as well as they did in high school and not making a solid set of friends.

In between their acceptance and arriving at campus, you create and send text messages to help new students increase their comfort levels and confidence.


Empathy Increases the Effectiveness of Sales Messaging

Empathy is also important for closing the deal. Let’s say you’re a real estate agent with lots of younger, first-time home buyers. Buying a home is a major decision and financial commitment. There are lots of things your buyers need to consider.

So instead of pushing them to make an offer, creating a messaging strategy that helps them build confidence in their decision and find an acceptable comfort level can do wonders.


Build Stronger Connections by Applying Empathy to Support Messages

Customer service agents who feel their clients’ pain and let them vent before replying, get them to calm down faster. They think about the consequences of the issue on their client’s business and apply that concern to helping them get to faster resolution of the issue.

A financial software company discovered during quality assurance testing that their application wasn’t as intuitive as they’d intended it to be. The first customers to use it confirmed their suspicions. They immediately created a course as a series of videos that walked customers through each step and helped to orient them quickly about how to use the interface.


They sent out messages to every customer to invite them to use the course-before they became frustrated enough to call customer service, or worse, stop using the software. They also knew their customers were very busy so they kept the videos short, showing them how to do one task in two or three minutes.

The company saw that most clients watched multiple videos in the series. They also replied instantly with high ratings in the survey they received by message, as soon as the course ended. Clients wanted tips on how to get more out of Finopia, in the same format-short, easily digestible messages.

Future Finance Software sent bi-weekly tips by message and saw a marked increase in usage and customer satisfaction. Messaging has become a critical tool for building strong connections with their customers which has also reduced churn.

The Bottom Line

Tapping into what motivates your buyers is critical to establishing an emotional connection. Using a communication channel that they prefer, like messaging, further reinforces your thoughtfulness. More customers will think that you ‘get’ them. Isn’t that what every company wants?

[1] An Emotional Connection Matters More than Customer Satisfaction

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