Customer Experience Management | | Published February 01, 2016

How to Improve Customer Retention Through Empathy

Your Customers Want To Build A Connection, Don’t Leave Them Out In The Cold

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the way brands market and connect with customers over the past decade or so. With social media and other digital platforms becoming more integrated in our daily lives, companies and marketers are finding they have to discover new ways to stay ahead of their competitors. One key way successful companies are doing this is through incorporating more empathy into their marketing strategies.

When it comes to implementing empathy into your marketing campaign and building those relationships with customers, it can be hard to know where to start. As you brainstorm with your team on empathizing more with your customers, and what you can do to serve them better, first start with a dialogue.

Implementing Empathy Into Your Marketing

In the beginning, talk with your customers, encourage them to participate in surveys, and track their spending habits to find out what they like, don’t like, need, want, fear, and desire. The more information you have about your customers, the greater the service you’ll be able to provide which, in turn, will create stronger and longer-term relationships. In addition, by taking the time to talk and actively listen to what your customers are saying, the more they’ll feel valued by your company and have a sense their voice really does matter. Invest some time in identifying their triggers (what leads them to the final purchase) and develop strategies to provide superior service to your customers and help them meet their objectives.

As you move forward in empathizing with your customers, grab your team along with VPs, managers, and other departments, to help you brainstorm on possible ideas to incorporate in your marketing campaign. During this brainstorm session, focus on the 4 aspects of the customer experience: seeing, doing, thinking, and feeling.

In the session, write down each of these categories on a white board and allow time for ideas to flow freely for each category. While you discuss the different aspects, consider the following questions:

- How do your customers view their industry? What is missing, if anything, from their business? The more you understand their values, what connects them to their industry and the world, the stronger a connection you can build with them.

- What are your customers doing to enrich their lives and make them better? What are their daily habits and rituals? Through these insights on the actions your customers are taking to improve their lives, their business, and the world around them, the more proactive you can be in helping them reach their goals.

- What are the hopes, dreams, fears, and concerns of your customers? How do they observe the world around them and their role in it? By being more intune with the thoughts of your customers, you’ll be able to better anticipate their needs and realize how your product or service can benefit them.

- How does your product make your customers feel? How do they express their feelings? When it comes to making a purchase, customers weigh a lot of the decision on how the product makes them feel—about themselves, their business, and the world.

empathy.pngOnce your team has brainstormed on these various categories, you can now move forward to implementing empathy in your marketing campaigns. You may want to complete this exercise with your team and managers a few times throughout the year to gain new perspectives and ideas.

Engage with your customers on social media, acknowledge the negative reviews and respond to them in a professional and timely manner, which shows you care about their concerns and the experience they had working with your company. In a study, 43.5% of millennials said they used social media to spread the word about their favorite product or brand. The more proactive you can be, both online and off, the better you’ll build a loyal customer base and drive further interest and engagement for your company.

Actionable Takeaways

What it comes down to is empathy. We live in a time where the millennial generation makes up a large part of your customers. Unlike the generation before them, millennials are focused on problem solving and seeing things in a new light. If you’re not speaking to them, you’re missing out on a huge customer base. Understand the importance of building positive relationships with customers and, in today’s world, build these relationships with your customers through:

- Creating a connection with your customers over the human experience

- Using empathy to build quality content that makes your customers feel like you know and care about them individually

- Listening to your customers and taking time to gather feedback to help enrich their lives through your brand or services


When it comes to connecting and communicating with customers to maintain customer retention, the possibilities are endless. Through taking time to understand, connect with, and foster those relationships with your customers, you’ll build a strong relationship with them which can benefit everyone.


About the Author: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who works with When she is not writing, Brooke is committed to learning more about helping businesses and sales professionals improve their customer experience.