April 27, 2021


Customer empathy costs nothing, but it’s means a great deal for every business.

In 2020, Salesforce surveyed 15600 customers and revealed that the customers want trust, empathy and a great digital customer experience.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own” Henry Ford.

With that being said, this article is all about Customer Empathy. We will touch upon what is customer empathy, how to deepen it and how Salesforce Einstein AI can help.

What is Customer Empathy?

In layman terms, customer empathy is all about understanding your customer needs, their issues, expectations, etc. It’s just putting yourself in their shoes and gaining an insight on a deeper level.

“Customer empathy is all about understanding your customers on a deeper level; who they are, what they’re going through and what their motivations are. It’s about delivering a delightful experience which anticipates customer needs and meets them before they’re needed because you understand the problem’s impact” – Devin Harold, UX Research Manager, Verizon

Today all of us want to have a human conversation and customer empathy is all about it.

Customer empathy plays an important role in all functions or teams in a business – be it sales, customer service or designing a product.

Benefits of Customer Empathy

You may ask what would a business get when their employees empathize with customers. There is a lot to it.

We have come up with few perks here. Number one or classic advantage is stronger financial performance. Followed by that the customer satisfaction levels, customer loyalty is increased when you empathize with customer.

Also the overall brand image improves when you empathize with customer and provide a human experience.  

Other benefits include conflict prevention, smoother negotiations, creation of social connections, etc.

Now that we have covered the benefits, in next section we will cover how to understand your customer better using Empathy Map.

Customer Empathy Map

Customer Empathy Map

Customer Empathy Map is a prevalent tool used for understanding the customers better. It is the backbone for customer-centric marketing. It usually involves interviewing the customers or brainstorming about the customer’s pains, gains, hopes, likes, motivation, etc.

Salesforce have come up with a customer centric discovery framework to understand their customers and be more empathetic.

With this framework you could spot customer’s biggest challenges and then build trust. The focus is on what really matters for customers and their business throughout this model.

We will just give you a brief overview of the steps in this model

Step 1 : Know your customer – Analyse the customer’s business and industry trends on a wider level

Step 2 : Be your customer – Put yourself in the shoes of your customer’s employee and their your customer’s customer

Step 3 : Connect with your customer – Share the insights you have gathered so far and discuss the vision, understand the current scenario better by interacting

Step 4 : Create Value for your customer – Develop a strategy along with your customer that works best for them and you.

Tips to be empathetic with customers

You can reap multiple benefits by just showing genuinely you care. Here are some tips for employees working in customer facing roles

  1. Actively listen to your customers. Ask confirming questions to clarify if you understood correctly, if required
  2. You need to be accountable, meaning take ownership of solving problems. Be the single point of contact for customers and build trust. Also it’s okay to admit mistakes when they happen. Afterall, we are humans.
  3. Sound positive, respectful and smile. This may sound silly to you, but it goes a long way
  4. If there is any compliant or frustation, let the customer speak and then try to apologize, address the issue at hand. Customer is always right!
  5. Observe things around you. Interview or ask questions to your customers to understand their business, needs better
  6. Use empathetic phrases or questions while you sell products, support your customers. Some examples include
Emphatic customer questions

How AI could help enhance Customer Empathy ?

In times of crisis, customer empathy has proven to be even more important for marketing, customer support teams. You need to understand they are under a stressful situation and act accordingly.

Messages you deliver as a business needs to be personalized. Without a CRM tool like Salesforce, it wouldn't be possible to send personalized messages at scale.

You could use AI in multiple ways to support your employees to empathize with customers. Here are few examples

Optimize Email Sending Time

You can write emails day in and day out, but what’s the use if the emails don’t get opened at all?

With Einstein Send time optimization, you could find the apt time where customers are more likely to open emails.

You could improve email open rates, engagement and thereby conversions. You could also win over your competitors, save time and efforts in deciding when to send the emails.  

Also with Einstein Engagement frequency dashboard you could decide the number of times you can reach to your customer without pissing them off.

Use Right Emotion in Emails

With AI, you could do Sentiment analysis – you can tell whether message sounds positive, neutral or negative.

Also you could detect tones like anger, love, disgust, surprise, etc as well from message using AI. Here’s a quick video on Einstein Sentiment Insights and Einstein Copy Insights

Personalize Images, Content for all customers

With Einstein Content Selection, you could create a library of images, content and then let AI pick the appropriate image for you. Personalized messages can be delivered at a larger scale using AI, there’s no doubt in that.

Final thoughts on Customer Empathy

Customer Empathy should be considered as a serious business. All employees who are in customer facing roles could start with a simple question – “What if I was on the other side of the table ?”.

Human touch goes a long way !

If you have any questions or thoughts, please post them in comments section. Also our CloudIdeas team is all ears and eager to help you out!

About the author

Priya Ravichandran
Priya Ravichandran

Senior Consultant | Geeky Digital Marketer | Guest Content Writer

Priya Ravichandran is a consultant by day, content creator by night. Priya enjoys writing well-researched and easy-to-read business content. When she isn't typing or writing, she can be found backpacking or dancing.

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