Customer Empathy Insight Research and Solutions
 

 

Benefits of Customer Empathy

Quite simply, the benefits of making your Customer feel good emotionally should be self-evident - it's a no-brainer! However, I have devoted this page to stating the obvious, and perhaps some of the not-so-obvious!

"The crucial ingredient"

'Customer Empathy' (or your own equivalent term for it) is the crucial ingredient for reaching those visionary aspirations rewards of great Customer Service and that actually do lead to strong Customer Loyalty. 

Even doing extra things (Above and Beyond, the extra mile, etc.) to create Wow! or Customer Delight only really have impact when done or offered to customers personally and sincerely.   

Any company actually achieving the holy grail of Customer Delight and long-term Customer Loyalty IS practicing Customer Empathy, whether they call it that or not - it's just a fancy way of describing that you're making your customers feel good, and the most powerful way to do that is to make them feel good as people.


Remarkable, far-reaching benefits of improving Customer Empathy

The first benefit, of course, is that good Customer Empathy actually delivers is the Holy Grail of Customer Service. This it because it deals DIRECTLY what all Customer Service programs aim to achieve: to make your customers feel really good, and feel good long term.

Customers (even hard-nosed business people) are all human, and we humans all love it when we feel genuinely welcomed, valued, cared for, understood, respected, listened to, reassured, etc.

This then delivers all the well known and well sought-after key benefits of good Customer Service, such as:

  • Iimproving your Customers' purchasing and loyalty, revenue per customer, etc.  
  • Happy Customers that recommend you more

Second, there are direct spin-off benefits to delivering good Customer Empathy that may not be quite so 'obvious', that can potentially reduce costs of your ongoing Customer Service overheads, such as:

  1. Customer interactions will tend to be shorter
    This may be counter-intuitive, since people will be more chatty and friendly, but the quality of the communication is improved so dramatically as a result, that the processing side of the interaction can often be completed far more efficiently (not having to repeat re-explain, recover from misunderstandings, etc.)
     Plus:
     
  2. There will be fewer call-backs, as much more will achieved in the first call, not least of which will simply be confidence (that all is being taken care of, for example)  
  3. Less Rework, since fewer mistakes will be made during the processing, because there's intrinsically far higher motivation to get the job done right (first time) for an actual person than for just meeting some departmental target. The Customer Service agent will naturally be taking the extra care and interest that one might naturally take for a friend, say - because they've got their heart in it! 
  4. Far greater initiative to find on-the-spot solutions and improved process suggestions 
  5. Natural ownership of issues and tasks, leading to less hand-off to other departments or teams  
  6. Reduced training investments. At Friends Provident, for example, they reduced the initial training from two weeks to just two days (covering essential information, such as compliance) and simply asked their Customer Service agents to treat the customers as "friends" and to deal with them accordingly (which worked because they already knew how to treat a 'friend' well!) 
  7. Improved ranking in industry standard Service Indexes, and so, much better reputation (Friends provident went from 10th out of 11 in their industry's key index for 'Service to IFAs' to 3rd place in just a couple of years) 

Third, there are the supplementary benefits to the business, with happier and empowered staff that stay with you longer:

  1. Lower Staff turnover: staff are much happier when being given the freedom to be nice to customers in their own way, not the 'prescribed' way. 
  2. Much improved staff relations, because you can't get your staff to give to their customers that which you are not giving to them, so there will be more Empathy within the business too
  3. Much greater enjoyment of being 'at work'; people actually look forward to coming into a place they previously were indifferent about, or even hated. All together a better place to work! 
  4. Also, you will be able to attract the very best staff in your area when you explain your values towards customers (and staff!)  
  5. The whole business itself will also evolve too, improving relationships internally between departments and different management levels, as well as with external bodies, such as your suppliers
     
  6. Far fewer rules, processes and procedures; relying more on common sense means less overheads and, ironically, better Quality (without the Control!)  

Fourth, success is a great PR opportunity for your business too: everything from Press Releases to speaking at conferences, or even entering national award competitions. So much can be achieved with a genuine and determined commitment to the well-being of your customers and staff.

For example, the tiny 'Pike Place Fish Market' in Seattle became world famous because of their unique approach to achieving amazing, uniquely personalservice, and the top selling management training video was made on how they achieve that (the Fish! Philosophy video - for more info. click here).

And Zappos has made these customer values the driver for of their brand ('Delivering Happiness'), which has clearly contributed to their sky-rocketing success.

Also, once we had helped First Direct open their eyes in the late 1990s to recognise the importance of Customer Empathy (they were already seen to be the market leaders in Customer Service), they changed their entire branding and advertising campaign to promote and demonstrate how friendly, personable and human they were (such as with fun-filled adverts comparing their service with that of a friendly barber!)


Finally, on a personal level for you personally, becoming an Empathy or Personal Service advocate and getting serious experience of creating "Customers that Love your Company" (or whatever you want to call it) will be a serious boost to your own job satisfaction, reputation (internally and externally) and even your career. It offers one of the few remaining areas for differentiating yourself in an overcrowded, competitive market of potentially me-too managers and executives.

Everyone wins with Customer Empathy

Bringing in the human element: humanity, emotions, feelings, personal service, and so on is surely the future for all businesses...

Customers love it, staff love it, shareholders love its return - it's win-win-win.

 

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Marketing News article - a good overview
Customer Empathy?
A natural ability
Empathy Benefits
Free-Range Report
A taster?
Empathy Consulting
About John
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What's the quickest, most powerful and cost-effective way to WIN 
Customer Loyalty ?
...capturing the hearts , as well as the minds, of your customers!

 

 

 


 

 

"As a result of the economic slowdown, business leaders are focusing on the central role of customer service to simultaneously lower costs and build customer loyalty. The loss of a profitable customer, or a potentially profitable customer, is expensive and preventable."
29th April 2009 Michael Maoz, VP Gartner Inc. PRNewswire


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Customer Fatigue' is getting worse - we customers just won't stand for it when it's wrong, and just because it's 'right' doesn't mean we're going to stay either!

 

 

 

 


 

 ...you must know by now that Customer Satisfaction is
NO LONGER enough
... Customers have to love doing business with you!


 

 


 

 

"The truth of a thing is in the feel of it, not the think of it"
Stanley Kubrick