A business's ability to resonate with their customer's pain and problem will greatly impact how they will survive but roar out of this crisis.
As a business, how can you resonate with your client's anxieties and concerns?
How can you resonate with your client's pain and problem?
How do you understand your audience as they are now?
We are naturally drawn to people and brands who understand and empathize with us.
Understand your key stakeholder's needs
Examine and aim to understand what is clearly at stake for your customers. Your customers will have urgent, rapidly evolving needs that you should fully understand and prioritize. Some of these needs will be new and require creative thinking.
As business leaders, we need to uncover and listen to the needs of our customers.
You'll need to engage your existing and past customers to understand the feelings and challenges they're facing.
Your business should be asking, how are customers feeling? Though you might not have all the answers, you can communicate with empathetic statements that help you connect deeply.
As a StoryBrand guide, a key principle I help my clients with is how they can express authentic empathy. This is a critical part of the StoryBrand framework, where a brand positions itself as a guide by expressing empathy.
People are looking for someone who empathizes with their problems.
What statements can you make to your key stakeholders to demonstrate you care about their problems?
Here are a few examples:
- "I/we understand how it feels to ..."
- "It must be very difficult to have to experience ..."
- "Like you, I am too worried about ..."
- "I know how it feels like to ..."
The world has changed. So have your customers. More than ever, businesses need to better understand the feelings and behaviours of their customers and other stakeholders. At some point, the COVID-19 crisis will pass. But the mindset and needs of customers will be altered by their experience of this crisis.
Just think about it, our hopes, fears, and buying habits have already changed and will continue to alter after the crisis.
How to better understand and empathize with your customers
Part of a business' game plan for the time being needs to be to review their marketing, messaging, and website to ensure it continues to evolve with the hopes, fears, and buying habits of their customers. It requires qualitative and quantitive research:
- On-site polling/surveys - measuring the pulse of your website visitors
- Interviewing customers - connecting with past and current customers, learning about them
- User testing - being able to identify where on your site, customers are getting stuck and frustrated
- A/B testing your messaging - test your key headlines. How is your copy making customers feel? What part of your messaging is connecting with customers?
- Competitor analysis - have your competitors pivoted? What is their messaging to customers right now? Which competitors are demonstrating leadership and optimism, while empathizing with their customers?
- Gather insights - have regular check-in calls with your sales, customer support team, and project manager - get insight from the front line
Studies from Harvard Business review, analyzed past recessions and concluded businesses that stayed closely connected to customer needs succeeded coming out of the crisis.
Your business could be missing out on new and future revenue because it's failing to talk to people in the way they need to be talked to right now. Don't fail to empathize with your key stakeholders during this time. It's your duty and responsibility as a business to know what your stakeholders are thinking and feeling right now.