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Using Empathy to Connect With Your Customers

Date26 May, 2022
Type Brand, Strategy
AuthorLeah Zukowski

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It's not me, it's you.

It’s the stuff movies are made about. A couple goes on a date, one person talks about themselves the whole time, and the other person fakes a call or climbs out the bathroom window and leaves. Why? Listening to someone only talking about themselves is boring. Daydreaming and tuning out is naturally going to happen if someone isn’t interested in anything you have to say. Not to mention, how it makes the other person feel, which is not great. 

 

The same rule applies to your marketing and brand messaging. 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it’s said. If all you’re doing is talking about yourself, then all you’re doing is talking about yourself – but if you’re trying to connect with a customer, you need to turn the conversation around and start thinking about what matters to them. 

 

When people ask: what do you do? What they’re really asking is: what can you do for me? 

What’s the first step in creating that connection? Empathy. Empathy is the ability to see events and situations from someone else’s perspective. When we create an empathetic voice, it helps place your customer at the center of your marketing strategy. How do we do this? Create content knowing someone is looking to answer: what can you do for me? 

As you continue to read, think about your website. Your website is often the “first date” for most of your customers. It’s the place where you talk about your company and highlight all the great things you’ve done and can do. And why wouldn’t you talk about yourself? It’s YOUR site! But when you only talk about you, your potential customers start to tune you out, or worse, climb out the window. 

 

Reframe with empathy

The first step is to start looking at what you’re offering your customers and clients and how it benefits them. Let’s say you build communities and your latest community won an award.

You could say:

We have built an award-winning community. 

So? How does that benefit me? Reframe that statement with the benefit to the customer:

You could live in an award-winning community. 

Yes, please! This statement doesn’t even tell you why or what they’ve won, but it is emotive and creates a connection.  

 

Connect the dots

Don’t make people work so hard or connect too many dots to choose your company. You need to do the work for them. Tell people how your product or service will make their lives better without talking about yourself. Why? Again, it’s empathy. By creating this emotional connection with a potential customer, they will be more likely to choose you vs a competitor. Harvard Business Review research suggests the top 10 most empathetic companies increased their monetary value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 companies and generated 50% more earnings.

This becomes even more powerful when you understand your customer’s pain points and bring them to the forefront. Here’s a Flipp example: 

One of the things we hear from our clients is that they struggle with digital marketing. There are tons of analytics and data to sift through, and it can feel like you need a Google certification just to understand them.  Here’s a paragraph from our website that mentions the problem, uses “you, your” language, and connects the dots – so the reader doesn’t have to:

Digital marketing. It’s one of the most powerful, cost-effective tools you have to reach your customers. It allows you to see accurate, real-time results that you can react to and refine to make sure your message is resonating with a specific audience. Being able to take in all that data and adjust your accounts accordingly is where we help you thrive.

 

  1. This paragraph focuses on specific issues that we hear from our clients: “I want to see real-time results”. “I want a digital campaign because it’s more budget friendly than a traditional media buy”. “I want to target a specific audience”. 

 

  1. It addresses their problems and concerns and it’s empowering them to be in charge. We use language like: you have / allows you to see / your message. 

 

  1. We sign off with “we help you thrive”. This statement is important because after we have connected the dots on how digital marketing will make your business better, there needs to be a tie back to us. We are positioning ourselves as the solution because we understand the struggle. 

 

Now, here’s the same paragraph written without an empathetic voice: 

Digital marketing. It’s a powerful, cost-effective tool that we use to help our clients reach their customers. We use accurate, real-time results to react to and refine marketing campaigns to make sure it’s resonating with specific audiences. We take in data and adjust digital accounts accordingly. 

Notice the difference?  The same key points are made in both paragraphs but the “we” language is making the reader connect the dots. It’s leaving them to figure out how our services could help them, and feels daunting. No one wants this.

To achieve this connection with your audience, it’s not a matter of going through your copy and changing all we’s to you’s. It’s about reframing your thinking. Ask yourself these questions remembering ‘what can you do for me?’

 

  1. What pain points do your clients face?
  2. How do you make your clients’ lives better/easier?
  3. Reframe your messaging to reflect this
  4. Connect the dots for them
  5. Be the solution that your client has been looking for. This is when you need to say; we can help; we understand; we can help you thrive. 

 

The Final Word

We know you’re very busy and don’t have a lot of time to be reading blogs. You need short digestible key takeaways that you can start doing right away, for example:

 

  1. When people ask: what do you do? What they’re really asking is: what can you do for me? 
  2. Talk about what you offer in the context of solving your clients’ problems
  3. Be the Solution

There’s a lot to think about when rethinking your messaging to be customer focused. Reframing your messaging takes time and work, but connecting with your readers about what they want or need to hear leads to higher engagement. If you are ready to nail down your messaging and get better results, we’re here to help. 

 

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