Blog in 06 2018.
Personalised letters, tick. Approved list of empathetic phrases (including ‘I’d love to help you with that today’), tick. Think you’ve got this emotional connection malarkey nailed?
There’s more to connecting with people emotionally than mail merging their first name into things. And empathy isn’t sounding friendly, or just repeating back what somebody’s already told you.
Still, there’s been a lot of that going on lately, which means customers have got savvy and expect more. So, if your approach to personalisation is collecting data and regurgitating it back to customers at key touchpoints, you’re probably not going to build lasting connections.
Empathy is talking to customers about the things they care about
Not what’s important to you. And it’s about doing it consistently, even when you’re delivering bad news and dealing with complaints.
For example, we helped BT change their approach to handling complaints. We encouraged their agents to step away from templated scripts and stock responses, and think about how they’d feel in the customer’s shoes. And repeat complaints dropped from 28% to less than 20%.
It’s not just a nice to have. It can make and save you money
We helped a big energy company sound the same in their debt letters as they did in their everyday messages. So people didn’t feel like they were suddenly being treated like criminals for falling behind on their payments. And they were less scared to get in touch to sort it out. The result? Ten percent more people got out of debt.
All this from putting the customer first and using words that make them feel you understand them (and are human beings too).
We’ve learnt a few things about empathy over the years
We’ve spent 15 years helping clients make their words more efficient, empathetic, distinctive and consistent. So we’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright strange along the way. Check out our blog on the Ten ways you absolutely, definitely shouldn’t do CX to find out more.
Plus, come and see us at Technova Connected Customer 2018, Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th July. We’ll be on the CX Leaders stage at 2.40pm on Tuesday 3rd, talking about why your language is your customer experience. Or you can pop by our stand for a chat any time.
On a recent train journey, I was sat behind a jovial group of tech bods. They were talking about their ‘elevator pitch’.
Here’s what they said
Tech bod #1: So an elevator pitch is what we’d say to someone about what we do, if we met them in a lift?
Tech bod #2: Yeah. It has to be short and sweet, so you could say it all in a quick elevator ride.
Tech bod #1 (jokingly): But we’ve got so much to say. We’d have to press all the buttons!
Tech bod #2 (laughing): And they’d hate you for it.
That got me thinking. Because we see this all the time in writing. Businesses focus on what they want the reader to know, not what the reader really wants to know.
They press all the buttons in the lift
That’s a problem. Do that and you’re metaphorically holding your readers hostage. You’re literally wasting their time with information they’re not interested in. And you know it.
When you want to talk about your business, it’s not about what you do and how you do it. It’s about what you can do for your audience. Sounds obvious, but we’ve all come across those button-pressing businesses.
Our advice: next time you need to pitch your business, pick a floor and stick to it.