In our current work and world climate during COVID-19, many businesses find most of their workforce in an unprecedented situation; forced to work from their own homes. While many of us have lived through business and work crises of varying degrees, no one can reference a prior global pandemic for communication to employees.
Understanding how to effectively communicate to employees, staff, and customers when the future of public health is uncertain can be challenging. With everyone living in a state of flux, how can individuals and businesses maintain their relationships with the same level of mutual understanding of needs? We believe the answer may be simple; by using empathy.
Empathy can be used to flex your brand into someone else’s story. This can be as simple as honing an individual persona, reading a room, or tuning into the proper listening channels to gain insight into the unique needs and wants of an individual or group. Some may find empathy difficult, thinking of it as unprofessional and contradictory to what they believe is best. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, empathy is an essential tool for workers when trying to get through to anyone in your organization’s scope of business. The key is to alter the approach based on who you are empathizing with.
When empathizing with employees at any level, it is important to understand their mindsets. What do they need to successfully do their job? Which accommodations will they need to complete a task? Asking those questions—and being flexible in your own expectations—will help you reach a joint desired outcome.
Showing support to customers—and putting yourself in their place to identify any gaps—will go far in creating solutions. Communicating with empathy is critical in a crisis and can make customers feel secure, while also maintaining a personal relationship. Studies show personalized solutions are desirable by 80% of customers. Workers can go the extra mile by always looking to the future; tapping into social media, listening to ongoing customer feedback by consistently checking in, and creating solutions to adjust to changing dynamics.
Training your workers in empathy will set your business apart from those stuck in rigid procedures, unable to accommodate to a rapidly changing culture. Being proactive rather than reactive will put your business ahead on an issue and can cause less panic and stress. Over-communicating, especially when in-person contact is not an option, can ensure that everyone is on the same page
To learn more about how to incorporate empathy into your business, make sure to check out our full webinar on empathy “A Successful CX Starts with Empathy” here.