Empathy in business is more than just a trend praised by influencers and self-help gurus. This powerful concept, when used strategically, helps retailers and companies plant seeds for a continuous bumper crop of loyal brand ambassadors while also growing business.
Here are 3 strategies rooted in empathy to benefit your customers and business equally.
Empathy in business, what is it?
Empathy is the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of another person and comprehend their point of view. Applying empathy in business means you can genuinely relate to customers, teammates, or partners because you’ve had similar experiences—directly or indirectly.
A better understanding of customers translates to better service and sales, resulting in company growth; it’s a win-win.
Open Channels for Customer Engagement and Feedback.
One of the best ways to understand and empathize with someone is by asking them questions about themselves. Establish a dialogue with your customers by actively and passively soliciting input and feedback about customer service, product performance, trends, wish lists, etc.
This engagement strategy harbors goodwill and provides valuable insights into the customer journey and mindset. It shows your company cares about customers’ opinions, and there is a commitment to improving, and their input is critical to this puzzle. (This is why SuiteCentric, practices TransCAREncy™ and trademarked the term.)
How do businesses benefit?
According to HubSpot, new customers cost approximately 5-25x more than retaining an existing customer. Additionally, highly engaged customers can spend up to 60% more per transaction and are more likely to buy from you than your competitors.
How do merchants do it?
Active engagement can range from online or point of sale customer satisfaction questionnaires to incentivized and tiered loyalty programs, customer focus groups, and more.
From a business-to-consumer perspective, the REI Co-op Membership program and the Sephora Beauty Insider Program are great examples of loyalty programs. Members receive exclusive early access to new products, bespoke experiences, and specialized benefits rewarding their patronage. These members also serve as a proxy for other like-minded customers and prospects, and insights gleaned during engagement activities can signal upcoming trends or influence business decisions.
Passive engagement is often leveraged as a lower-cost way to supplement active engagement activities and takes many forms. Automated chatbots and customer satisfaction questionnaires are popular tactics to reveal valuable information and drive a host of follow-up activities. These can be constructed with circular logic to guide participants into providing specific feedback about customer service, product performance, industry trends, charitable causes, etc.
Empathy in business with supply chain and fulfillment diversity.
Product shortages and backorders have been rampant throughout the many phases of the pandemic and persist today. Additionally, how customers prefer to receive items continues to evolve as some people are still hesitant about in-person shopping.
Companies with a diverse supply chain and multiple fulfillment methods are also empathetic toward customer needs.
Reliable supply is a critical element of business and fosters customer loyalty because there is trust your company can still produce the requested product or service. To take it a little further, providing multiple fulfillment options gives customers more purchasing power and peace of mind knowing they can receive their items safely.
How do businesses benefit?
A diverse supply chain enables companies to better weather potential challenges than the competition. In the simplest terms, your products are available when your competitors are not, translating to more sales and increased brand equity.
Multi-layered distribution models, optimized supply chains, and automation technology have made fulfillment delays nearly an anomaly compared to previous generations. We receive shipments sooner, companies are better stocked, and delivery windows are more accurate. The same benefits mentioned in the last paragraph apply here.
How do merchants do it?
Nearshoring and onshoring are popular supply chain strategies that gained popularity in the wake of the pandemic. Moving elements of your supply chain closer together geographically could have higher upfront costs but might balance out the potential for disruptions due to foreign regulations, restrictions, etc.
Fulfillment is a little less complicated. Newer last-mile fulfillment options are emerging and gaining momentum across industries. Examples include buy-online pick-up-in-store (BOPIS), retail lockers, instant delivery services, etc. Amazon and Walmart are the trailblazers with retail lockers, while BOPIS is becoming an industry standard for brick-and-mortar retailers.
Empathy through NetSuite and Klarna
Another way to practice empathy in business is by investing in a flexible and powerful Enterprise Resourse Planner (ERP) like NetSuite and a robust payment solution like Klarna.
With NetSuite, your teams will not have to worry about managing multiple systems or waiting for batch updates because everything is natively integrated, and data is updated in real-time. ERP, CRM, e-commerce, financials, and more are on the same platform.
Most importantly, NetSuite integrates seamlessly with Klarna, helping your company process more transactions, execute the month-end close faster, cut costs, and much more.
Your internal teams will be more efficient and satisfied, leading to better customer experiences. After all, happier internal teams are better positioned to create loyal customers.
SuiteCentric is an Oracle NetSuite Solution Provider and Klarna partner with decades of combined experience as NetSuite end users and consultants. We are dedicated to delivering scalable, long-term solutions that support customer growth and longevity. As NetSuite resellers, our in-house team of certified NetSuite developers and solution consultants strive to maximize customer business potential and advance solutions that align with company goals.