March 13, 2013
Empathy and business go hand-in-hand, especially in today’s business world. We all, without exception, are living in post-recessionary caution during this difficult economic period. This is why there is a need for businesses, more than ever before, to truly understand what their customers want and need. There was such a time in which strong, sexy advert campaigns would easily move anyone to buy but, today, it is a different ball game — consumers need to be cautious about how much they spend. Therefore, only a good understanding of how they feel as well as an accurate understanding of their life/business situation will make them pull out their wallets.
As businesses are learning to adopt this empathy-driven marketing strategy, consumers also are learning; they are keeping their eyes wide open for that brand, which understands them best. Southwest Airlines is a good example of this — it understands what its customers need most are planes with comfortable seats that leave as well as arrive on time, and this is done without any extra charge because it is something people expect they should get for free.
The goal with empathy marketing is the need to create an emotional bond with a particular brand. The emotional stimuli, which is delivered through marketing messages, is what determines consumer behavior. OK, here are a few ideas on how you, a small business person, can make use of empathetic marketing to win customers:
See the Big Picture
Empathy involves seeing things from the other person’s (in this case persons’) perspective. That means there is a need for you to keep your biases or preferences from preventing you in seeing the perspectives others have. To do this, look closely into the kind of affect your product/service is having on people from different backgrounds under different circumstances. How will this impact the society, economy, your industry’s future, the earth, and so on?
Give Your Customer Service an Empathetic Face
This new direction of empathy should be all over your business. One of the critical areas is customer service. When addressing a customer that is unsatisfied, remember to make use of language that shows you care and understand instead of making use of words that defend your company one way or another.
Organize Your Own Focus Groups
Studies likes this shouldn’t be carried out only by large marketing firms with big bucks to spend. In this regard, what can someone like you a small business owner do to have a better understanding of your audience? Yes, you can interview for instance a group of seven to 10 people asking them specific questions about what motivates them to purchase the things they buy, what they think of your offering and other related questions.
Learn From Others
What makes Southwest Airlines an airline to beat is its management philosophy of no frills, no fees. From inception it has realized that people travelling by air are more concerned about getting to their destination the cheapest way possible without the perks and frills that come with travelling on expensive flights. Their signature cocktail of cheap fares and regular flights as well as a swift expansion into new cities has endeared them to customers over the years. You can learn from this example of empathetic marketing in action.
Jason Phillips has great experience at writing. He especially writes on marketing and business related topics. Also he owns a website offering expert e-commerce order fulfillment services.