Show Empathy to Customers

I love Costco. I get giddy when I go there. I don’t know if it is the abundance of free samples but I’m sure that helps.

On a recent trip to Costco, there was a big thunderstorm brewing nearby. I knew that by the time I got out of the store, it could very well be a torrential downpour typical of a summer thunderstorm in Texas.

I didn’t want to get wet and I surely didn’t want my purchases to get soaked either.

I rushed through the store and picked up the items on my list. As I waited to exit, the guy that checks receipts said, “We’ll get you on your way before the rain hits.”

That little interaction literally calmed me down.

Your customers have individual needs and concerns. The environment they live in is often a source of stress to them.

In this frazzled state, customers show up to do business with you. When you are aware of external circumstances that may effect a customer, you can empathize with them.

This does two key things. First, it shows you are human, too, and not a corporate machine. Secondly, it allows you to serve customers more efficiently. If you know their needs because you are paying attention, you can provide the solution customers seek even before they ask.

Want to improve your business? This will help...

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  • Deborah Chaddock Brown

    Brilliant. People think that the touchy feeling empathy approach is for girls OR takes too much time. How wrong.

    Here, in just a single sentence, the employee understood how you might be feeling (because perhaps if the situation were reversed, they might be feeling the very same way) and made the effort to connect with you on a human level. Rather that seeing you as just one more person to “get through” before the end of their shift, or as just one more sale to add to the register – you were viewed as a person. Someone they could relate to and the fact that they reached out did a couple things:

    1. Acknowledged your value
    2. Inspired you to write about it and tell many others
    3. Provided the beginnings of a “relationship” which translates into customer loyalty.

    Brilliant. Thanks for sharing!


  • Joe Rawlinson


    Thanks for your comments.

    You outlined my experience very well. Building that relationship and loyalty with customers can pay countless dividends.

  • Dominic

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