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.
It’s that time of year again. Tinsel, turkey and, um, trend forecasting. The number crunchers at Foresight Factory have come up with a corker: in 2018, customers will choose brands that sound more human and empathise more.
Not to blow our own trumpet (well, maybe a bit), but we’ve been banging on about this for years. How talking like a real person and putting your readers’ needs first is good for business.
Luckily there are loads of chances for brands to show they’re run by real people. Face to face (obvs). TV ads. Web chats. Emails. Twitter.
But people often struggle to be their real selves when they write for work. They sound formal. They use tried and tested phrases that show they weren’t really listening. And they miss chances to build relationships.
We’ve found that it’s well worth breaking those habits and trying to write more like we speak. In fact, we once helped BT save £500,000 just by rewriting one paragraph of a call centre script.
Still need convincing? Find out what happened when our Harry challenged Dave Gorman on matters of writing like you speak… and how it helped O2 come out of a crisis smelling of roses.
And don’t wait for 2018 to get started. Next time you write something, try letting your human side show. Change words for ones you’d use when you’re speaking to a customer face to face. It’ll only take a couple of minutes and can totally change the way the reader feels about you.