Blending Customer Data and Empathy Is Essential for Brands Today

Marketers today must blend empathy with data to understand their target audience and earn customer loyalty

Key takeaways

  • Marketers have to create real connections with empathy to meet customer needs
  • Objective data is great, but it doesn’t go far enough
  • Data must be blended with insight from humans
  • There are technologies that brands can use to get the information they need
  • A blend of qualitative and quantitative data will lead to success

Today’s business environment is unpredictable. As customer needs have shifted, so must your approach to data. Uncovering and responding appropriately to customer demands requires a larger emphasis on empathy in data analysis than ever before. 

This means using data appropriately to create a good customer experience by including empathy in customer interactions. While eight out of 10 companies feel they give customers a great experience, only 8% of their customers agree. 

Marketers must realize that, to create real connections, they have to see their customers as people rather than data points. That’s where empathy comes in. Empathy is the essential component to make your company truly customer-centric to create a truly meaningful, targeted experience. What does it take to be an empathetic marketer and how do you blend customer data and empathy?

Data can provide great insight, but it’s not enough

The digital age and online purchasing have greatly removed the human-to-human part of customer interaction. This leaves brands in the dark about how customers truly experience their brand. 

Data provides objective insight into the customer journey, helping to identify trends and patterns in behavior. These insights provide opportunities for engagement, but they don’t have the same effect as face-to-face interactions in fostering connections. 

Rather than using data as a replacement for the true customer experience, brands must devise ways to see, hear, and speak with customers directly.

This is where the insight of human beings comes into play. It adds context by answering the question of why. Once you know why you can better understand real customer needs and how to provide the better service that leads to an outstanding experience. 

Marrying data with human insight

Data is incredibly valuable, but to make a real emotional connection, companies must empathize with their customers. This involves a deep understanding of their motivations, needs, wants, actions, and intentions, because tapping into those feelings will increase brand loyalty.

Big data and artificial intelligence can help analyze customer behavior variables to pull apart the phases of customer engagement and identify pain points at every step of the process, offering opportunities for empathy. This analysis empowers your brand to create a customer journey that delights.

Numbers must connect with narratives, which takes more than analyzing shopping cart abandonment rates and conversion metrics. One method of capturing direct customer insights is by using Voice of the Customer (VOC) technology. VOC helps businesses find the gap between what their customers expect and what they actually experience. 

VOC requires an in-depth knowledge of the user journey and customer lifecycle. This data-driven methodology involves:

  • Customer interviews
  • On-site customer Surveys
  • Live chat
  • Recorded Call Data

The VOC methodology also examines online customer reviews, off-site surveys, two-way conversations on social media, and analysis of website customer behavior. There is also the tried-and-true method of gathering customer data: The focus group. Your website should also have a dedicated feedback form to give existing and potential customers an instant opportunity to provide feedback.

Asking thought-provoking questions is essential because you’re looking for insightful replies that provide qualitative data that inform your model of WHY customers make the decisions they do.

Customer empathy is a necessity, not an option

The economic part of business may be unpredictable, but there’s little ambiguity around customer wants. The data shows that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience and 59% say that the customer experience has a big impact on purchases. That number is up 21% since the beginning of the COVID pandemic as more and more consumers buy online.

It’s time to stop thinking of emotions and empathy as levers you use to drive consumers’ responses for that make-or-break sale. In these stressful times of social, economic, and political upheaval, brands should empathize with their target audiences and provide simple, easy-to-navigate experiences throughout the customer journey.

This means having the right people, as well as the right technology, in place to offer a holistic customer experience. This means adding automated analysis of qualitative, emotional data collected via text, phone calls, and other touchpoints.

Combining quantitative and qualitative customer data

Qualitative data gathered through various processes, including interviews, is a great place to start to add empathy to the customer journey, but that data must be validated. This allows you to figure out which data you need to harvest and why as you move forward. 

Search data can tell you what people are searching for and what device they used. Social listening, review sentiments, and comments can provide great context for any pain points. Web analytics are a great source of data to find out how your audience accesses your website, where they engage and whether they convert. Add heuristic evaluation to that so you can measure the true usability of your UX.

There’s increasing pressure on brands to improve the overall customer experience. Those who can’t give their customers what they want will find themselves in trouble when those customers can easily find another company with a few clicks or taps. 

Make real human connections with BDEX

The tools at BDEX help you get the quality data you need, right when you need it. Reach who you want to reach when, where, and how they want to hear from you.

We have over 5,500 data categories, more than 800 million mobile ID-to-email matches, and over 1 trillion data signals. With BDEX, you’re empowered to create your own custom audience. So, all you have to do to get your messages in front of the right people at the right time is to build your ideal customer to target, download the data.

BDEX data is always clear, high-quality, and current, which isn’t easy to find in the ever-expanding world of big data.

To improve your ROI, you have to get the most out of your data. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, money, and resources by marketing to the wrong audiences at the wrong time with the wrong messages. BDEX can give you the right data you need to better connect with the person behind the data signal.

Make real human connections with BDEX. Contact the team today to get started transforming the quality and accuracy of your data.