How do you balance empathy and brevity in customer text communications to drive engagement?

When we’re creating automated text campaigns to communicate with customers, we want them to be clear and to the point. But we also want these interactions to come off as human and empathetic. My questions are:

  1. What techniques do you use to show empathy to a customer in a text while still being concise?

  2. How do you find this balance of brevity and empathy impacts customer engagement?

I think the prerequisite for high engagement is Trust (to engage on text, email, social etc.) and to earn that, a holistic approach is required towards customer engagements all the way from acquisition. Once you got that, even the simplest proactive notifications will do the trick for you.

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When offering text as a means of engaging, don’t miss the opportunity to authentically (but succinctly) answer the likely customer question of WIIFM? Will the interaction be simple? Can they start and come back later to finish, at their convenience? Time is valuable, and I agree with an industry analyst who recently wrote, “there is implicit empathy in any process that is respecting our time.”


I believe for something to qualify as engagement, the instance/interaction must have/create some value for both the party involved.

Bigger challenge comes after qualifying the engagement - Communicating the value.

The real challenge for text campaign is to communicate (within the limited real estate available) the trigger/transaction linked value:
Why now?
What if I don’t?

As economics has to say, Incentives and penalties are 2 levers to solicit any behavior. Ability to communicate precisely “what’s the incentive or penalty” becomes the key to success in any such campaign.

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Ontology and semantic data analysis may be useful here. Could we possibly detect loss or words with negative connotations and respond with sorry to hear that etc?

Alot of great answers from everyone.

At Tower, @Sam Miur has been working on a sentament analysis for automated customer text communications to be able to get feedback from our customers. This way way we can stay more in tune with our customers.

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I think the technique to be used here is to create a space/demand for the need of these campaigns. Once this demand is created, the consumer would allow themselves to consume the content much differently. For example, the campaign could highlight something ‘not so important’ but if done in the correct manner, the consumer will see it as something they should willingly jump into.

I think these days customers prefer a quick solution over an empathetic human one. People (or end users) have accepted the use of chatbots and scripts to solve their issues. What matters more now is the efficiency and speed of solution.