Empathy: The Key to Better Business

By Dan Baron, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

The difference between empathy and sympathy is subtle. But that difference is key to understanding how empathy can help lead to better business. Empathy means listening to your customer, understanding their point of view, and meeting them at their most frequent channels. It’s not about telling or showing someone the right way. It’s about understanding anything you can in order to make a connection.

The Empathy Gap

The empathy gap is the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us. It’s the reason why we’re often blind to our own faults and why we’re quick to judge others in our professional and personal lives. Empathy is the key to bridging this gap. By understanding and making the effort to empathize with others, we can learn to see ourselves more objectively and become better people and better professionals. (Read Also: Professional Empathy: Where Humanity Meets Business by Maria Geokezas)

Understanding the Problem

In order to be successful, you must be empathetic towards your customers. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It’s an important skill to have in business because it allows you to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand their needs.

When you have empathy for your customers, you’re able to see things from their perspective and understand their needs.  This understanding allows you to provide better customer service and create products or services that meet their needs.

Empathy is also important in sales. When you can empathize with your customers, you’re able to build trust and rapport. Establishing empathy early with a client can also help down the road, as it can take some of the challenges out of post-sales engagement. This connection can lead to repeat business and referrals.

If you want your business to be successful, start by developing empathy for your customers. It’s the key to providing better service, developing new products, and increasing sales.

How to Close the Empathy Gap

The empathy gap is where our bridge needs to go. As it can have a profound impact on our ability to relate to others, communicate effectively, and build a lasting and real rapport.

While it’s not always easy to close the empathy gap, doing so can be incredibly beneficial for both you and your company.

Here are a few tips on how to get started:
  1. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This simple but powerful Golden Rule from Stephen Covey can be applied in any number of situations to help you close the empathy gap. When you’re communicating with someone, take the time to really listen and understand their perspective before trying to explain your own.


  1. Practice active listening. Active listening goes hand-in-hand with seeking to understand. It involves not only hearing the words someone is saying, but also taking note of their body language and tone of voice. This can give you important clues about what they are really thinking and feeling. This can even work on a Zoom call if cameras are on.


  1. Put yourself in their shoes. One of the best ways to close the empathy gap is to try and see things from the other person’s perspective. Imagine how they must feel in a particular situation and what you would want if it were you. As simple as that may sound, often that is the biggest step one must take to be empathetic.


(Read Also: The Seven (New) Habits of Successful Marketers in 2021 by Matt Heinz)

The Mental Impact of Quality Customer Service

It’s no secret that quality customer service is essential to the success of any business. But what is often overlooked is the mental impact that providing quality customer service can have on employees.

Burnout is a very real danger for anyone in the customer service industry. The constant demands of having to be “always on” and delivering top-notch service can take a toll on even the most resilient person

That’s why it’s important for businesses to create an environment where empathy is valued. When employees feel like their company cares about them as people, they are more likely to go the extra mile for customers. And when customers feel like they are being treated with empathy, they are more likely to become loyal and provide repeat business repeat.

So, if you want to build a successful business, start by building a foundation of empathy. It will pay off in both happy employees and satisfied customers.


In today’s business climate, empathy is more important than ever before. With the rise of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to see how businesses can benefit from taking an empathetic approach to their work. By understanding and empathizing with their customers, employees, and partners, businesses can create a more positive work environment and build better relationships. In a world that is increasingly connected, empathy is the key to success.

With empathy, you will be able to create a more collaborative and productive workplace, resolve conflicts more effectively, and make decisions that are in the best interests of your employees and your company.

This is similar to the sentence above. I would rewrite it to say: you’re able to match your perspective to theirs and have a clearer idea of what product or service they require” [CK1]

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