Empathy isn’t just about making customers happy; it’s about knowing what will make them happy and what will push them over the edge, in addition to knowing the reasons behind the emotions that you do see. It’s about speaking their language and understanding what makes them tick and why they do what they do. It’s about creating long-lasting relationships that feel personal to each customer because they are personalized to their needs and preferences.

What is empathy?

Psychologists define empathy as an emotional reaction that stems from an individual’s ability to recognize another person’s emotions and understand how they feel. Thus, simply put, people with a high level of empathy can sense what others are feeling and provide helpful advice on dealing with those emotions. Empathy is not easy but it can be learned and it can be built. It requires us to go out of our way to help others and listen when they express what they feel. That said, we hope you now realize how important building empathy truly is.

Shankar Sahai
Shankar Sahai

Why does empathy matter in the customer experience?

Empathy matters in customer success because it helps you not only understand what your customers are looking for, but also create an experience that meets their expectations. This leads to a more positive and less stressful overall customer experience. You could even go so far as to say that empathy is one of the pillars of customer success: The better you can empathize with your customers, the better you can understand them and cater to their needs. If they feel like they’re understood by those on your team, they’re more likely to do business with you again—and refer others to you too. So, it can be said that to keep churn low, nurture and grow empathy in customer success teams.

How to build empathy towards your customers at work?

When you work at a company that focuses on its customers, it’s crucial to have a customer-centric mindset. But if you can’t empathize with your customers, your business won’t succeed. Your product or service needs to be useful or desirable, but if you can’t make your potential customers feel cared for and listened to, they simply won’t get involved. One of the best ways to put yourself in their shoes and see what they see is through customer interviews. Unfortunately, these types of questions aren’t always easy to ask; sometimes it takes several conversations before a customer feels comfortable enough to speak openly about their challenges.

Tips to develop an empathetic culture at work

One reason why it’s hard to be empathetic in today’s work environment is due to a lack of self-awareness. We’re so busy taking care of ourselves and our businesses that we don’t have time to take care of others. If you want to develop an empathetic culture at work, it starts with making your employees self-aware. Of course, empathy begins with understanding what’s going on in other people’s heads. That doesn’t just happen magically; it takes effort and intentionality. 

Practical advice for someone who wants to conduct customer empathy training in their company

Based on my experience of designing, launching, and scaling a customer empathy training, my recommendations for launching a successful program are:

  • Pilot the training to get executive buy-in and sponsorship. The name – “Empathy Training” can carry a cringe-worthy stigma for many, so consider renaming the training to suit the audience and especially the executives. You need their support first and foremost.
  • Make the training session as engaging as possible: Design simulation exercises that get the learners out of “teacher/lecture” mode.
  • After each session, collect feedback from your class attendees. Training evolves (iterative approach) like many others efforts. 

About Author @

Shankar Sahai
Shankar Sahai

Shankar Sahai

Co-founder of InfoIvy, a customer success training and consulting startup that works with corporates and educational institutions.

LinkedIn Handlehttps://www.linkedin.com/in/shankarsahai/
Twitter Handlehttps://twitter.com/shankar_sahai

StartoCure is the online entrepreneurial magazine platform, where the team brings you Interview & Stories of Entrepreneurs, InspirationsInfluencersStartups eco-system & Change-makers. StaroCure also committed to bringing resources, research reports, funding reports, and analysis of the startups, as well as profiles of great businesses & entrepreneurs from all over the world.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments