It’s not often the whole world shuts down. When everything turns upside down, empathy is a powerful tool – and paying attention to what you say and how you say it can be the difference between tuned-out customers and lifelong advocates.
Brands around the world have tried their best to stay connected with audiences at a time where ‘normal’ ceased to exist. And those that led with genuine empathy rather than empty promises are the ones that have stood out.
For instance, to help its clients navigate the pandemic, Macquarie Bank created a Coronavirus Resource Hub. The website provides insights and guidance, using real customers’ stories, to help their readers remain resilient.
Right now, many businesses are telling the same story. The question is, how can you tell a different one? The answer: empathy.
Put people at the heart of your decisions
According to the Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. And recent research suggests 93% of consumers trust a company more, buy more and recommend it to others when it demonstrates empathy.
“Businesses that recognise the inextricable link between empathy and truly personalised experiences hold the key to establishing customer trust and long-term loyalty.”
Executive VP of Global Sales and Field Operations, Genesys
How can you use that empathy to stand out – and connect with what customers care about?
Empathy starts with showing your customers you understand who they are, their needs, likes and values – and you care. But to do that, you have to get to know them first. Create genuine personas to get to the heart of what matters to them. Work out their pain points – and how you can help – through empathy mapping. Armed with these insights, rethink your customer journey and see if there are any opportunities to improve the experience – through what and how you communicate and through what channels.
If you want to dive deeper, the first chapter of our brand communications playbook is dedicated to getting to understanding customers. You can download it here.
Tell the right kind of stories
Storytelling is an art. It requires creativity, vision and patience. And when done right, it is the fuel in your content marketing engine.
To stand out, though, you need to share the right kind of stories in the right way. This means adding value for your customer, rather than spruiking your products or services. It means providing clarity to the problems your product or services is trying to solve. It’s creating a shared journey between your business and your customer, so you can tackle things head-on together.
According to the State of Writing 2021 report, only 30% of respondents said they were happy with their written content. Doug Kessler, Creative Director and Co-Founder at Velocity Partners believes the industry has become complacent. “The industry has accepted ‘Meh’ as the acceptable standard.”
So how do you change this?
Talk to your customers. Find out what they want to know. Stop relying solely on analytics, social media and sales, and actually have a conversation. In a constantly transforming digital world, brands cannot afford to be a faceless entity.
For example, showcases ways everyday Australians are making a difference to society in unique and innovative ways. AGL sponsored and the show, and supporting written content. By making its customers and similar businesses the hero of its stories, AGL is inspiring change in line with its purpose and values.
Connect with empathy
Customers now have more choices than ever, and expect better, more personalised service from every business. At every touch point. They need to know that you have their back.
It may seem like a daunting task to rethink how you communicate with your audience. But it doesn’t take much to truly connect with them. It comes down to empathy. And sometimes, the smallest things stand out the most.
> For more tips, tricks and insights on how to stand out and market with empathy, download our brand communications eBook.