We can’t bring people on board if we don’t engage with them emotionally. You can give me ten thousand reasons to buy a product, but if I don’t trust you I won’t buy.
In the same way you don’t need to give me a reason to buy if I trust you and see the benefits of your product or service.
Reasons are powerless without empathy; they must talk to my personal and emotional universe that explains how I see and feel the world around me.
Have you ever been asked the following question at the checkout? “Have you found everything that you wanted, Madam?”
Well, I’ve heard it thousands of times, and one day I dared to say “No, I didn’t. I couldn’t find brown sugar.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Madam,” was the response
– “Can you do anything about it?” I asked.
– “No, I’m sorry; you can try online,” the till operator said.
What I got from this conversation is that the management either doesn’t care about their staff or they don’t care about their customers.
Maybe they did their research on customer satisfaction and how human interaction with the person at the till, the last conversation before you leave the shop, matters. But they missed the point.
They asked their staff to follow a script, and scripts don’t create conversations, so I left the shop frustrated and unhappy.
When someone asks me if I’ve found everything I wanted I think they really want to know and are ready to help.
When I see that they can’t help I feel they don’t care.
The problem is that while there are reasons, arguments and data that prove that talking to our customers makes the experience better, if we do it mechanically and without engaging with our work emotionally it has the opposite effect.
Reasons without empathy can be read as not caring enough to engage with people. The emotional effort to engage with others is the invisible thread that changes behaviours and perceptions.