One of the most effective ways to improve customer retention — and thus improve your business — is by being empathetic and asking your customers what they truly think of their experience with your company.

When you understand their likes, dislikes, concerns, and comments, you better position your business to deliver a more refined product or service designed to solve their needs. The feedback received allows you to make changes, or pivot completely, to retain your customer base.

Your Customers Want to Develop Meaningful Connections and Relationships

Many businesses make the mistake of treating their customers as a number — not an actual person with feelings. Most consumers want to have a meaningful connection with businesses they interact with. Unfortunately, many businesses ignore this.

Social media has provided a new platform for businesses to leverage, allowing them to appear more “human” and to use it as a way to connect and build relationships with, that pool of customers.

Injecting empathy into your marketing strategy helps to establish and then strengthen the relationship your business has with its customers.

How to Inject Empathy into Your Marketing Strategy

There are some very simple, yet highly effective ways to get started. Here are a few examples:

Send Surveys: Your business has an email list — or at least it should — and if it’s segmented correctly you can send surveys to very specific lists. For example, the survey you would send to new customers would be different than the one you would send to your most active customers. Find out what they enjoy about your product or service and what, if anything, they would like to see improved.

Deep-Dive into Your Analytics: What your customers do while on your website, and what path they take to convert, tells you a lot. If you find that a large percentage of your conversions originate from blog posts, then your content marketing efforts are paying off and are being perceived as valuable. On the other hand, if a whitepaper asset is converting poorly it’s a good indication that your customers don’t value it.

Empower Your Customer Service Team: Your CS team hears the bulk of the praise and complaints related to your business. Empower them to replay messages and/or feedback. Let your entire customer service team know that you value their input. If they know you have an open-door policy and welcome feedback they will be more open to sharing information that can greatly improve retention. You can even consider a bounty program, providing further incentive for your CS team to keep their ears open.

Read Reviews: Customers are very vocal online when reviewing a business, good or bad. From product or service reviews on your company website to social media posts, and third-party review platforms; there is a lot of information you can gather simply by reading reviews. YOu will see first-hand what they think of your business. Use this feedback to create a better experience, but also take the time to respond to these reviews. This shows your customers — both those satisfied and disappointed — that you care about their opinion.

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Find the Answers to These Important Questions

There are certain questions you need to ask — and find the answers to if you truly want to improve your customer retention. Give these questions to your marketing team and task them with getting to the bottom of each question.

What does the typical customer want to achieve through our product or service?

When you know what your customers expect it allows you to ensure you deliver the product or service they are looking for.

How does our product or service make the customer feel?

Is your typical customer satisfied with the product or service you deliver? Do they feel like it delivered as promised? Were they disappointed at all with the outcome?

What draws the customer to the industry and more specifically our business?

When you know what it was that attracted your customer(s) to your business it allows you to make that value proposition even more attractive, leading to higher rates of customer satisfaction.

Once your marketing team has the answers to these questions they can begin to include more empathy in the marketing campaigns. This isn’t something you just do once either. To stay ahead of the curve, consider doing this exercise every quarter.

The more proactive you are when it comes to developing and executing an empathetic approach, the more loyalty you will build among your customer base. This leads to future engagement, interest, and ultimately sales and revenue for your company.