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Want a successful business? You’ll need empathy.

Empathy should drive everything you do as a business owner.

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Greater empathy could be the key to your business success

My mom has a plaque on her kitchen wall that says, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins”. I always liked this message and as a kid, used to wonder how someone else’s shoes would fit. As I grew up to understand what empathy was all about, and how important it is in daily life, the plaque assumed greater significance to me as a man, a partner and the owner of a small business consulting firm.

Essentially, empathy is our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s place, in their shoes, so that we see things from their perspective. It’s our capacity to recognize the concerns, feelings and motives other people have and helps us to react with compassion to another’s situation. Put simply, empathy is the key component in developing and sustaining effective relationships with other human beings, inside or outside of the workplace.

Empathy is critical in the business world. Positive interpersonal engagement, a supportive structure and open, helpful dialogue will drive employee morale and productivity, competitive advantage, customer satisfaction and ultimately, boost your profit margins.

The team at Take the Stairs is well-versed in small business consulting to create marketing strategies that help businesses like yours to build empathy with customers. Give us a call to find out how we can help you!

Uncovering empathy

To truly understand your customers’ needs, you need to reflect on their desires and pain points by asking yourself questions like,  “what keeps them awake at night?”. If you can relate to those you serve, rather than just see and hear what’s going on around you, your chances of building and retaining customer relationships improve significantly.

There is a huge amount of choice in this world when it comes to purchasing products and services – and you have to be your customers’ first choice if your business is going to survive and thrive. And in our world of social media where customer reviews are used to help direct other customers to buy (or not), your #1 goal is to be realistic about what customers think.

  • Don’t worry about your product not being universally adored on social media – once you start to understand the position of the people who use the type of products and services that you offer, you can channel your innovation and creativity to build new solutions that cater to those customers’ needs.
  • Don’t think everyone is out to get you, or people are just crazy. For every review that you receive, you should consider the input and whether it can help you to update your business offer.
  • If you don’t believe your product or service has value over a competitor’s offering, go back to the drawing board and create it!

Talk to us about developing small business marketing ideas that can help drive your business forward to even greater success. We are small business consulting experts and ready to help you succeed!

Be more empathetic to your customers

At Take the Stairs, we believe that increased empathy = increased customer retention and satisfaction. Here are some of our favorite ways (and they’re really simple too) for you to build empathy with your customers:

Make life easy for your customers.

Implement the kind of benefits that would rationally motivate a buyer to either buy more, leave a review, or refer you to a friend or family member. Would a free magnet make them happier? If the answer is no, then think what WILL motivate your buyers.

Always be kind and understanding

  • This doesn’t mean that you let them take advantage of you – it’s more about an approach, a way of talking and being. Have you ever heard, “It’s not what you say, it’s how to say it”?
  • Avoid things that cause your clients irritation even if it’s more profitable or easier for you to do it that way:
    • Steer clear of extra paperwork (if possible) or lots of steps in the process to purchase: could your process be made simpler and more intuitive?
    • Make it as easy as possible for your customers to figure out your products and services by offering online ‘training’, such as online videos, chat and email support options, and helpful imagery that prompts recall of your training initiatives.

When you can’t solve a customer’s problem, always offer an alternative

  • People hate to hit a dead end and for a business to throw its hands up in the air. If your business doesn’t solve their problem, find one that does.
    • Partner with companion businesses that do offer the solutions your customers need and request a barter system whereby they send you the inquiries they receive that you can support.
    • As a business growth idea, consider offering a wider set of services in the future – ones that you know your customers need.

As a small business marketing consultancy, Take the Stairs can offer you lots of marketing ideas and strategies that can strengthen the way your business is viewed by your customers. Let’s build your empathy together!

Be more empathetic to your employees

Building a positive work culture will benefit everyone. Listen to your employees and get an understanding of their view of the business. They’re on the front line, so if anything is not working right, they’re likely to be among the first people to know about it.

Let’s work through a few key strategies that could make your working environment a better place.

Step 1: Understand your employees’ motivations and align with them

Your employees are people with their own dreams and ambitions – get to know your staff and listen to what makes them tick and what you could do to make their day better.

Step 2: Communicate your company’s vision and goals

An employee that gets where you’re trying to take the company is more likely to work hard for you. People like objectives and goals – if they can understand your specific targets, they can help you reach them. Reward employees for helping you hit your goals – it sends the genuine message that you care about your staff. Make sure every employee knows what success looks like in your eyes. It’s very hard to hit a target if you don’t know what it looks like.

Step 3: Help employees align their goals to your business goals

Every staff role can be written so that individual goals work toward the larger, collective set of goals for the business. For instance, you might suggest to your staff copywriter (who eventually wants to run their own business) that they handle blog directives for the whole company. That way, they can learn more about the strategy behind writing business-wide pieces, and prepare for when they have their own business.

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Learn how to implement empathy into your small business 

Empathy is vital if we’re to understand our customers’ pain points and how to solve them, as well as making our environment a more productive and happier place to work. Developing empathy can create loyalty, referrals, increased productivity and innovation. Employees who are encouraged to be compassionate and value their colleagues are happier and more likely to stay in their jobs. Quite simply, empathy is not just a soft skill that’s nice to have – empathy is critical to any business success.

Is your business empathetic? Would you like it to be more so? Talk to the small business marketing consultants at Take the Stairs. We’re happy to sit down and take the time to understand your business, and then help you create marketing ideas and strategies that will build your business to achieve greater empathy and bigger successes. Give us a call at (615) 219-9181 or email info@takethestairs.biz.

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