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You should be concerned!

In fact, every other brand trying to maximize empathy in its marketing or customer experience efforts should be wary of these alarming numbers: 

64% of US customers and 59% of all customers feel companies have lost touch with the human part of customer experience, according to a PwC survey.

Understanding the underlying wants and emotions of customers is known as customer empathy. Putting things in their perspective goes beyond recognizing and meeting their tactical needs and further contextualizes the situation. 

CX leaders use customer empathy to design solutions that assist customers in completing a task and integrate with their complete lifestyle. Although the human touch is still important, new technological tools are tantalizing and occasionally required.  

What is Customer Empathy? 

Understanding your customers' demands, concerns, and aspirations requires you to put yourself in their shoes and experience what they experience. Customer empathy offers the chance to forge a relationship with the customer and creates an emotional link that allows for the exchange of needs, wants, and experiences.

When working on a product or service, your initial objective is typically to understand who the consumer is. It's important to be curious about your customers and comprehend their attitudes toward the goods. To determine their true requirements, you need also make an effort to comprehend the emotions that underlie their input.

3 Types of Customer Empathy

Cognitive, compassionate, and emotional empathy are the three different forms of empathy that humans can display. 

Cognitive Empathy

Knowing how your customer feels and what they could be thinking implies cognitive empathy. It enables you to understand the customer's feelings if you put yourself in their position. But relying solely on cognitive empathy creates gaps between you and your customers. You must empathize with your customers to establish a genuine connection.

Emotional Empathy 

Further, emotional empathy includes recognizing the feelings of the customers. It entails recognizing hints in phone conversations and email tones. Those who are adept at emotional empathy can recognize information-conveying body language signals. Quickly recognizing these signals demonstrates a solid command of emotional empathy. 

Compassionate Empathy 

On the other hand, it's compassionate empathy when you are sensitive to the customer's requirements and act with compassion. With this level of sympathy, you not only comprehend their plight and identify with them but also have a propensity to find a solution. It empowers you to take action without being paralyzed by emotion or rushing to solve a problem.

Why Does Your Business Need a Customer Empathy Road Map?

Your business should create empathy road maps to understand your users and the larger target audience because

  • The revelations from the road map will strengthen your value proposition definition and improve your strategy for mapping out the customer journey.
  • The road map will enable you to create marketing campaigns, product development plans, sales presentations, and overall business strategies that are more effective.
  • This kind of CX study identifies areas for service development and improvement.

Customer empathy maps are a fantastic collaborative tool that can obtain a deeper knowledge of the many personas and ideal customers that product teams aim to attract. They also serve as a visual reminder of your users' attitudes as they interact with your product or service. In the end, empathy map activities assist you in seeing things from your consumers' perspectives.

Customer Empathy - Best Practices

"We need to have a lot of empathy for the customer. Not everybody is close to the customer. The consumer insights need to create that empathy. We can do storytelling and analyze personas to develop empathy." - Jorge Calvachi, Director of Insights, La-Z-Boy Incorporated, in Clootrack's Global CX Report.

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Here are 11 best practices business leaders should adopt for bringing customer empathy into the mix:

1. Make Support Accessible 

40% of customers want to connect with brands using their chosen channels. Moreover, 93% of customers wish to spend more with businesses that provide them the chance to contact customer support in their preferred way.

To access support, customers shouldn't need to climb a ladder. By making it easy for customers to receive assistance through the channels of their choice, a business can demonstrate empathy for its customers.

2. Offer Prompt Resolutions

Making consumers wait longer than expected for assistance is not compassionate, especially because 71% of customers say speedy resolutions are the top sign of good customer service.

A knowledge base can guarantee that customers can quickly find solutions to straightforward queries. Similarly, a chatbot can assist agents by answering routine, simple questions and gathering general customer data.

3. Consider Customer Feedback 

Asking your customers is the finest technique to know what they want. Consumers who complained about a bad customer experience online were disregarded in 79% of cases.

It can be quite helpful to grasp your audience's viewpoint, spot changes in your customers' expectations, and uncover methods to improve your product or service by using customer feedback forms and surveys to obtain input.

4. Foster Relationships Through Personalization 

More than ever, providing personalized customer care is important because 71% of customers find it frustrating when their purchasing experiences are impersonal. Moreover, customers who receive offers and recommendations that are pertinent to them are more inclined to purchase from brands, according to 91% of consumers.

The customer and the employees find it frustrating when a customer repeatedly repeats the same details, such as their contact information, account type, or a past support issue. The employees can better anticipate consumer demands and customize each interaction when they have access to all the information they need.

5. Help Organizations That Your Consumers Care About

If a firm backs a worthwhile social or environmental cause, 71% of people will spend more there.

Customers like to do business with organizations that champion worthy causes. So, companies need to change with the times and demonstrate their commitment to CSR by putting their money where their mouth is.

6. Accentuate the Human Touch 

When it comes to speed and customization, technology can assist build compassionate consumer experiences. However, this is only feasible when a business successfully integrates the strengths of technology and human interaction.

Customers, for instance, think chatbots are helpful for quickly receiving answers to simple questions. However, customers typically favor speaking with a live person when they have urgent or complicated difficulties. The tip is to create chatbots that can seamlessly escalate issues to live operators when the time is right.

7. Give Empathy Training

Although you should train your customer care team in empathy, you should also hire employees who can already put themselves in customers' shoes. Research demonstrates that empathy has beneficial consequences even when a customer service representative cannot address a query or handle an issue fully. 

Only 16% of participants in a recent My Customer survey expressed satisfaction with the level of service they received from an employee who politely addressed their inquiry but lacked empathy. In contrast, 60% of respondents indicated they were pleased with the assistance they received from a sympathetic employee who could not resolve their issue.

8. Invest in Improving Employee Satisfaction

Customer empathy is created via the employee experience. According to a survey, 77% of workers reported having a good work environment "are personally invested in doing exceptional work for their firm and its customers." In essence, a satisfied workforce wants to ensure that consumers are equally happy.

9. Utilize the Customer-facing Employees 

Account management, customer service/support/success, billing, operations, and even sales personnel often receive much customer feedback. It can be utilized to improve the product experience and organizational relationship.

10. Encourage Information Sharing

Certain procedures can be implemented to formally organize feedback gathering if these teams have a strong foundation of mutual appreciation. The product team is keen to learn about what is occurring in the field, though occasionally, this can be accomplished through casual discussions and spreading the word. Create a structured feedback process to boost the amount and frequency of information everyone shares.

11. Give Your Customers a Voice

Set out time specifically for addressing the voice of the customer. Refrain from questioning them or attempting to defend the current situation. Keep in mind that you're looking for qualitative information on the customer experience. This offers excellent information and further humanizes CX because it comes straight from them rather than being filtered through a third party.

How Can Leaders Use CX Analytics to Build Empathy Across the Customer Journey?

Through countless social media posts, product reviews, emails, and other online communications, customers communicate their interactions with businesses to a global audience. Leaders can leverage CX analytics to use their customer data and rich insights for building empathy across the customer journey. You can gather such information, disseminate it around your organization, and discuss how you can use it to enhance customer experience.

You can:

  • Launch a daily journal where customers can express their experiences. 
  • Interact with your customers in their natural setting and get to know them better. 
  • Create consumer personas by analyzing the data you have gathered.

The CX journey can also be mapped out in life-size, which you can then walk through. For instance: 

  • Place a huge flowchart outlining your customers' experiences. 
  • Encourage employees to go through customer experiences. 
  • Ideate from the viewpoint of a typical customer across all the touchpoints.

Top 5 Customer Empathy Examples

Marlanges Simar - Senior Director of Customer Experience at Walgreens, says, "The top-of-mind challenges that brands should be sure to manage to include: underestimating the power of customer human emotions and how these drive customer decision-making in choosing a brand."

Here are 5 ground-breaking customer empathy examples that executive leaders can resonate with:

Lush

The bath, body, and hair care brand Lush is aware of how important it is for its customers to know how its products are made. To provide customers with a behind-the-scenes peek at how its products are obtained and made, the company created a series of "How It's Made" movies. The openness of Lush is a fantastic illustration of how to gain customers' trust by being genuine and empathic.

Hotels.com

The coronavirus outbreak was extremely detrimental to the tourism and hospitality sectors. And while other companies were rushing to restructure or develop new revenue streams, the online hotel reservation service Hotels.com adopted a different tack by urging customers to remain in. Although taking this position has unavoidably lost the company revenue, it also made it plain that Hotels.com prioritizes the well-being of its customers more than profit.

IKEA

Empathy entails considering another person's difficulties as its own. Some businesses, like IKEA, view their customers' issues as their own. For this reason, they made a film that was produced by their staff and shows what it's like to live at home during lockdowns. IKEA's items are also visible in each scene in the ad, enhancing the lives of people confined to their houses.

Airbnb

Airbnb promptly instituted a zero-tolerance racial discrimination policy in response to a customer's claim. According to the policy, all Airbnb guests must "treat all fellow members of [the Airbnb] community with respect, and without prejudice or bias, regardless of race, religion, national origin, handicap, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age."

To carry out this policy, the business offered to pay for any Airbnb users' stays in hotels or other Airbnb locations that they felt were discriminatory.

Zalando

Zalando saw many customers experiencing loneliness and isolation at the height of the pandemic. The shoe and clothing store started its "We Will Hug Again" campaign to show empathy. It gave them optimism during a trying time and hope that things would get better eventually. Hugs are the most universally recognized symbol of human connection and solidarity, and Zalando employed them to great effect in this campaign.

Lock These Tips and Key Takeaways

Being tuned into that emotional connection is what it means to have customer empathy. You can foresee the emotional effects of every change, no matter how slight. You must have a thorough understanding of your audience to make that connection.

On the Internet, customers frequently discuss their interactions with businesses. Create ways to apply the insights to improve the customer experience after gathering and sharing this information with everyone in the organization.

Make a map of your empathy. Using an empathy map, you can have a deeper understanding of the customer and gain insight into what is going on in their heads and hearts.

In your customer service interactions, notice the phrases they convey to know about their experiences. This way, you can make an experience that could be bad into something good in the future.

When you interact with consumers, you might have any biases, even unconscious ones, towards a particular group of customers. But, every consumer should always be treated equally, and you should always try to be as impartial as you can be.

Wondering how you will humanize customer experience? Find Out!