The Best Way to Walk with Your Clients

It is so easy to treat me like an innocent bystander like I don’t matter. Or even worse, go on and ghost me. Forget my needs; instead, try to close the deal ASAP and maximise your profit.

Empathy towards customers is not only hard; it is incredibly challenging. The reason is, most of your customers can’t articulate their problems. They just haven’t developed that ability. At its worst, the hypothetical customer could be your boss. 

For many, the default approach to customer interaction is to gloat over past successes. Look how great am I. Then again, staying quiet about the pains on the table is also not a good idea (beware introverts).

The fact is, a little bit of empathy will open the door to the inner works. It will lift the proverbial curtain. On the other hand, to create that intimate connection, you need to expose a bit of yourself; it requires digging into their narrative, living their story. The easy option is to ignore and pass.

However, some may believe that you can capture empathy with a tool, better known as user journey mapping. Yes, it may be a crucial part of the product design process, but don’t confuse it with the ability to experience my emotions, there and then, in front of you. Come and walk in my shoes, even if it is only for a few steps. 

Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you're not alone.

Brene Brown

In many cases, the person on the other side of the table is fighting a more arduous battle than you can imagine. Only acknowledging their pain is not enough; they want a helping hand; they need compassion. Come, show us that there is some good left in this world.

Bottom Line: Next time, show a bit of empathy during your customer journey, or, if required, compassion. Bringing people along is good for the long game. They may keep following you.