The way we think and feel about an organization extends all the way to mailing and shipping materials. I've always loved that Sweetwater Sound, the music equipment company, drops a few pieces of individually wrapped candies in every order it ships. And I like the stickers that brands like Death Wish Coffee and Ben's Chili Bowl slip in before taping up the box. These tiny favors, lagniappes as they call them in New Orleans, make me feel good about my decision to order.

When I got my recent order from Penzeys Spices, I was impressed by all the personal touches. In addition to carefully wrapped jars of hard-to-find spices, there was an affirmation sticker on the box, a hand-written thanks on the packing slip and an inspirational card and coin inside.

And here's the thing. These tiny gestures did make me feel cared for. They showed empathy for our current situation. It's great to feel seen any time, of course, but it's particularly important during COVID-19 isolation, when it's easy to feel disconnected and in need of a hug -- even a virtual one.

I continue to shop with Penzeys because they have things I can't get anywhere else. But my relationship to the brand transcends this transactional value. I often buy gifts from them, too, because I like what the company stands for and that it shares my values. I'm a loyal customer and avid recommender because Penzeys pays attention to its community and our shared humanity.

What small things can your organization do to show empathy toward your customers?

Stay well!

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