July 12, 2019

Love and Empathy: Why your company will stand out by providing positive emotional benefits with every customer interaction.

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We all want to feel these five things on a daily basis. We want to be heard, understood, accepted, seen and loved. Every damn day. And twice on Sunday. But there are times, especially when we interact with companies, people, products, bosses, representatives, colleagues, and even ourselves where we need that extra encouragement. We need to ask "are you ok" or "how are you doing today," to actually look someone in their eyes and ask them, "what's your day been like?" When someone listens to your story, you walk a little lighter. A hug received, just because, makes you smile a little bigger. And the best part is that when we receive these five human needs, we want to pass them on to others.

Why wouldn't we as owners make sure we build our brand around these elements as well? We all need to practice being good people, so why aren't we practicing being good companies? A huge reason people gravitate to a business, brand, product, or service is that they are authentic. Especially in 2019, we know who is real and who wants to sell us some BS. There are also multiple options now for us as consumers to choose another product or company. So why wouldn't you want to hang out with or around people and things that make you feel heard, understood, accepted, seen, and loved?? That's an obvious choice to me. It shows your customers that you genuinely care about them. And that's so valuable. Here are some suggestions on how you can bring these into your world:


HEARD:

Listening to your people might be obvious, but it's not practiced enough to be truly useful. People want to be heard. So listen to your customers, I mean, really, listen to them. When they see you take direct action from their suggestions, alter policies, update products, revive services based on their needs, they will be true believers. There are so many ways to listen to your customers today. From yelp reviews to surveys, to social media forums, to the comments on Facebook, to even talking to them directly- ha what a concept! Tremendous value in listening to their needs, their pain points, and if you provide solutions, they will tell all their friends!

UNDERSTOOD:

Do you really know your people? Do you understand your audiences likes, dislikes, daily rituals, types of deodorant, car preferences? Do you know if they like pancakes or waffles, love to sing in their car vs. their shower, what time do they go to bed, what do they worry about, where do they buy new shoes? Who cares, you ask? Well if you do not take the time to understand the daily lives of your customers, then you won't know how to talk to them. You do not know their pain points, their frustrations, their headaches, and you will miss opportunities to show them how you can solve these challenges. You miss the part where they understand how your product and service can integrate perfectly into their lives.

Steve Jobs said: "I have always found is that you have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can't start with the technology and try to figure out what to sell. I have made this mistake probably more than anybody else. I have got the scars to prove it. So we started with: what incredible benefits can we give to the customer? Where can we take the customer?"

Watch this quick video on how a branding agency focuses on empathy to revolutionize a whole market segment for GE by just asking intimate questions to a select group of women. Check it out here.

ACCEPTED:

Being accepted is about feeling part of something bigger and that your contribution made that something better. It means feeling accepted for who you are. We all want to find our tribe, group, product, team, ideal company, or vibe that elevates us. How can your company unite your customers? How can they all feel bigger, better, stronger, more impactful when using your product or service? How can you make them feel part of the organization even at a small level? Include them in your goals, better yet, help them achieve their dreams. Feeling accepted is the #1 reason people will go the distance, work harder, stand up to conflicts, and be eternally loyal.

SEEN:

If you lost weight, do you want people to notice and say, wow you look fabulous? Same with your new haircut, your new outfit, even your new car or shoe purchase. We want to be seen. We are innately vain as a species and with the massive influence of social media- people CAN be seen. It really is not that hard today to actually see what your customers are doing with your products, how your services have changed their lives. This is an advantage to businesses, so use it in the right way. Study your customer's habits. Acknowledge them out there on social. Share their posts and stories on your website. Bring people in, let them be seen. Also, learn from what they are doing with your product or service. Their habits are direct research that used to be harder to come by, but in today's shared social media world, their daily actions are free to analysis. P&G had to dive deep into their customers daily cleaning habits to really understand why their customers might need or use Febreze. Read the ups and downs of that process here.

LOVED:
This one is basically the summary of all of the above. Your customers will feel the love if you hear what they have to say, understand why they are saying it, accept them for who they are, and watch what they do on the daily. They will respond in kind by being loyal, devoted customers and clients. If your wealth is now valued at how many followers you have - then why not make those followers happy so they to want to share the love.

Let's all try and make this place we live in better!