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How to be empathetic to customers? Best questions to ask them!

How to be empathetic to customers? Best questions to ask them!

How can you improve your customer satisfaction by using your social skills to show empathy and treat them as individuals? How do you really ensure higher customer satisfaction in this way? In this article you will find the best tips and empathetic questions you can ask to increase your customer satisfaction.

Tip 1 – Ask your customers the following questions and give your full attention

Do you see your customer face to face? Use this moment to build a connection. Have attention and interest in the other. To do this, ask the following questions:

  • How is your day?
  • What have you experienced?
  • Are you also working on a specific goal?
  • How are you feeling today?

Tip 2 – Then show empathy for your customer

You have just asked a number of questions in tip 1 in which you showed interest. Then show empathy : go into the other person’s feelings. If the customer says he is happy as an egg, ask why and respond to that. If the customer experiences challenges, please elaborate on them.

Tip 3 – Stay in constant dialogue with your customers: use these questions…

This is the Lean Startup model: you ensure that you talk to your customers as often as possible. There are three benefits to doing this:

  • You have meaningful and deep conversations with your customers.
  • You show genuine interest.
  • You will receive valuable research information to further develop your product / service.

Ask your audience directly:

  • How are you?
  • How is my service going for you?
  • What do you think of what we do?
  • What motivated you to start with x?
  • Who inspired you to start with x / do x?
  • What did you want to use it for?
  • Could you share your experience?
  • How did you become successful? How did you get to where you are now?
  • Are there any ways I can help you?

Tip 4 – Ask the following in-depth questions to your customers (face to face)

improve customer satisfaction

It’s one thing to engage in small talk with your customers, but you can make them incredibly happy with you if you use the following questions that go much deeper in a really beautiful way:

  • What motivated you to start with {enter the industry you are in here}?
  • Who inspired you to {enter the industry you are in here}?
  • What benefits did you want to get from it?
  • What are you still missing?
  • What are some of your unforeseen needs?
  • What drives your satisfaction?
  • What is holding back your satisfaction?
  • What would motivate you to buy another product from us?
  • Discuss the following question with the customer: would I want to be a customer of my company myself?
  • What do you think is unique about us?

More deep, empathetic questions can be found in this article about a person’s logical levels of Bateson.

Tip 5 – Ask your customer satisfaction questions also to your employees

Your employees are ‘internal customers’, and therefore they are also customers. So don’t just ask the questions of the above tips to your customers, but also to your employees!

Tip 6 – Do you have a customer satisfaction survey? Also ask the questions face to face

Do you ever send surveys to your customers? Did you know that it is just as valuable or even more valuable to ask these questions face to face if you happen to be drinking a cup of coffee? Just ask your customers all questions from your customer satisfaction survey and testimonials!

Tip 7 – Be exceptionally helpful on the phone

improve customer satisfaction

The goal of every telephone conversation you have with customers is that the customer thinks afterwards: ‘Wow, what a nice conversation that was!’ How do you achieve that? There are two keywords for this:

  • Always take immediate action. Do not give your customers the feeling on the phone that you will ever pick up their question again, but that you will immediately solve it for them. You do this by saying that you are going to solve it immediately (and then do it) and by making your voice sound very cheerful and full of action. Very few of your competitors do this, so take this opportunity!
  • Give the customer on the phone the feeling that you are taking time for the other person. You will show this in your warm voice that does not sound rushed, and because you may even say it out loud: ‘I am going to take the time for you now to solve all your questions. I’m here for you. ‘

Tip 8 – See your customers as people, or better yet, see them as friends

Your customers are not a running wallet, but friends. A great example of how this often goes wrong is when you are greeted by a cashier in a supermarket. Often they say the same sentence on the automatic pilot without seeing the customer as a unique person: ‘Have a nice day!’ They see the customer as just another customer, instead of wondering about every new customer who comes to pay for something. This is something a cashier can improve in attitude / energy.

Tip 9 – Thank every customer personally for buying from you

customer satisfaction up

Involve your customers 1 on 1! If you can’t always see the customer face to face or if you can’t always call, say hello on Snapchat, respond to something or like something. This makes them buy more!

Tip 10 – Take the customer aside for a while

If you are in a busy room, make the customer feel extra welcome and heard by going to a separate room especially for the customer.

Tip 11 – Be courteous, considerate, enthusiastic and have a slightly higher energy than the customer

You are adding value for the customer if you are just that little bit more enthusiastic than the customer himself. This is so valuable because you are still at the same level of the customer and you take the customer into a somewhat higher energy. So have a cheerful voice, have attentive eye contact, smile, and say positive things.

For example, when you first meet a client, be cordial and lead. For example, if you have an event and you are going through the name list, use the customer’s name for extra warmth: ‘Ah! So you are Marietje van de Ven! ‘

Courtesy and courtesy also help to increase customer satisfaction. This sounds and makes sense, but next time use ‘mister / madam’ and mention the customer’s first name and last name. “Mrs. Marie van de Ven!”

Tip 12 – For customer satisfaction you have to go deep

Think depth instead of width! Don’t go for quantity, go for quality. Especially if you sell a product for a few thousand euros, then you already have a good ROI with a few customers.

So be interactive and involve the customers. Your open rates and CTR are much more important than the number of impressions or your list size. For example, it is also much better to have 4 best friends than 16 friends. Quality time with your children is more important than sitting at home and doing nothing. That is how it works with your customers.

Good luck with increasing your customer satisfaction!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!