The “Feel, Felt, Found” Method for Empathy


Today I’m going to show you how to use the Feel, Felt, Found method to express empathy to your customers. What’s great about the Feel, Felt, Found Method is it gives you the perfect response when you can’t give the customer exactly what they want. It helps you to be more relatable, and to foster a sense of connection with customers.

The Feel, Felt, Found method is easy to use.

First, you let the customer know you can relate to how they feel.

Then, you explain to your customer that you’ve had other customers who have felt the same way. This helps your customer to realize two things: first, that you get how they are feeling and also, that they aren’t alone. Other customers have been where they are.

And finally, you tell the customer what you, or other customers, have found to work in this situation. This is where you offer empathy and a possible solution, all in one.

The basic model for Feel, Felt, Found is:

“I understand why you feel that way.”
“I had another customer who had a similar situation and felt the same way.”
“We found that this worked best.

Feel, Felt, Found In Action

I was working with a client that sells food products. A frequent question they get from customers is, “What ingredients are in this yogurt?” for example.

When a customer asks for ingredients, it’s usually because they or one of their children has a food allergy, and they’re trying to make sure the product is safe for them.

The problem is, my client cannot give the entire ingredient list because that would be like giving away their secret sauce. All of their products do list all ingredients known to have allergic reactions to some people. Peanuts, for example, would always be listed on the label, if they are in the product.

But when a customer asks for a full list of ingredients, that can’t be done. So, I helped my client respond to these customers with empathy, since they can’t give the customer what they’re asking for. Using Feel, Felt, Found, here’s what I had them do.

I understand how you feel. My daughter has a walnut allergy, and like you, I have to know what’s in the food my daughter eats.

We’ve had other customers who share your concern, and they felt just as you do.

Here’s what we found helped them. Our labels list all known allergens. While the other customers couldn’t get the full ingredient list, they could spot the specific ingredients that are known to trigger a known allergy, because all of our labels list out every ingredient that has a known allergic reaction.

So, the purpose of the Feel, Felt, Found here, is to relate to the customer, express empathy, and have them know they are not alone. This response, while it didn’t give the customer everything they wanted to know, was both helpful, and framed with empathy.

Download my Empathy Statements + Practice Worksheet!