Emotions, Empathy and Engagement
I said in an earlier piece that we make our decisions based on emotions and then use logic, information, data and other means to justify them. While I’ve received some push back on that assertion, the push back has been more to the point of how logic and emotions can best be combined for better decision making. I won’t argue that point. In fact I agree with it fully.
But I will argue the point as to how many people are using both logic and emotions for better decision making. Are you? Really? Honestly? Often?
There is little disagreement in the social media world today that content is king both in terms of creating engagement and for search engine optimization. And while I’m no psychologist, I’ve read enough to understand at least partially that engagement, or connecting, can be facilitated in a large part by displaying empathy toward another person. This is not sympathy and this is not patronization. This is truly feeling what the other person is feeling. This is truly identifying with the other person’s needs, wants, desires and frustrations.
Is telling someone who is experiencing difficulty to “suck it up” and get over whatever is bothering them a display of empathy? Or is it disdain and impatience? Is issuing a judgment that a person shouldn’t or wouldn’t feel the way they do if they didn’t have certain innate character flaws a display of empathy? Or is it arrogance and ignorance?
Wouldn’t you connect better with a person by saying that you hear them telling you what’s bothering them and that you can understand why it is bothering them? Wouldn’t you connect better, even if you don’t understand the situation in detail, by at least stating back to the person that you are hearing them say that they are upset and that you understand why that condition exists? These are the basic tenets of conflict avoidance and resolution and excellent customer service.
You can set the stage for excellent customer service, starting with excellent marketing messages to entice customers to try your product or service, by emphasizing that you do have empathy for their situation and that you are there to help them. Can you help them save money, get resolution, solve a problem or gain a need, want or perk? If so, tell them so in terms that will engage them.
You work hard at your job or business and you are good at almost all aspects of it. If there are a few aspects that frustrate you, perhaps I can be of service in alleviating those pains. I do understand what you’re going through from the marketing perspective, just as I know I go through similar anguish on the bookkeeping side of my business. I truly want to emphasize that I understand where you are coming from and want to engage with you for a mutually beneficial outcome so that we both grow our businesses and thus feel better.
Make sense? Let me know. I’m eager to hear from you.