Why You Need to Start with Empathy

I used to spend eight hours a day on the edge of my seat. Waiting for the next crisis. Holding my breath for another escalated call.

I wasn’t saving lives—or yielding any decision power whatsoever—but every customer thought I was. Their fate was in my hands. Their life circumstances were my fault. Systemic miscommunication was my responsibility, and mine alone.

I know, it sounds dramatic.

Working in a call center wasn't exactly not dramatic.

Here's what being a customer service representative taught me.

I listened as customers yelled, cried, laughed, and yelled some more. Whether our system was down, or a flight was delayed, the amount of frustration, panic, and distrust was the same.

Every individual wanted to be heard and helped as quickly as possible. Anything less than a clear and quick message, and you might end up listening through another tirade of curses and exaggerations.

Customers don't need to hear "corporate speak," or a bunch of lofty fluff.

Customers need clarity, compassion, and solutions.

More than anything, they need your empathy. They need proof that you are listening to them.

So how do you do that through your web and social copy?

Just like you would do it over the phone or in person:

  • Ask questions

  • Repeat key frustrations, fears, annoyances back

  • Provide tangible solutions

Writing isn't your chance to shine. It's your chance to help your customers feel seen.

Putting customers first.

If you want your customers to remember you, engage with you, and purchase from you, your copy must put your customer first.

Sure, when you’re writing your website copy or social media captions, no one is going to be cursing you if your call-to-action isn’t clear. No one is throwing up their fists if they can’t figure out how you can help them within a few seconds.

But if they don't get what they're looking for fast enough, they'll move on.

Without empathy-first copywriting, your customers will take their business elsewhere.

Want a website headline that grabs attention? Download the 10 steps to writing your website headline.

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