Customer Empathy Insight Research and Solutions
 


Customer Empathy Consulting

Achieving lasting improvements in Customer Empathy falls into two categories: cultural and operational.

Experience has repeatedly shown that new Values have to be embraced by the whole organisation, starting from the top, and this develops into a new culture. I help this transformation with strategic consultancy and coaching up to Board level, Vision and Values development, and Change Programme support.

Also, operational staff need support to embed these new ways into practical implementation. I help with  Empathy Programme Consultancy, Orientation Seminars and Development Workshops.

My 20 years of unique, varied and valuable experience of Customer Empathy auditing and consulting for sustainable improvements personal service, as well as my low overheads, means that I can offer possibly the best qualified/ best value around. 


Some examples of consultancy assignments:

Simplyhealth (previously HSA)

Motivated and inspired by a series of Customer Empathy Audits over several years showing consistently better results, Simplyhealth took the bold step of targeting their entire Customer Services division with a single, very challenging Empathy Rating goal right up in the 'Feel Good' zone - one that would put them ahead of their sector.

Assisted by my own developmental Customer Empathy workshops and trainings, as well as coaching them to be able to measure their own levels of Customer Empathy internally, they rapidly focused on and were inspired to reach their goal - renaming it to Excellent Personal Service (EPS), rather than Customer Empathy.

In almost all areas of their contact centres, the whole Customer Experience was wonderfully transformed, almost beyond recognition, as advisors began consistently opening up to creating a personal connection that feels Good to Very Good with each of their callers.

Simplyhealth's winning of the prestigious Institute of Customer Service award for Customer Commitment at the 2012 UK Customer Satisfaction Awards reflects their success.


Friends Provident - Service Excellence Project and F.A.C.E.

My involvement in Friends Provident was initially as a Strategic Business Consultant sitting on the executive steering committee of a major strategic 'Service Excellence Project' (SEP) commissioned by the Board of Friends Provident. Acting as the resident Customer Empathy expert, my role was to constantly pull the human and personal side back into the discussion as it drifted into traditional ways.

One area of input was the encouragement to move away from their previous reliance on targeting specific, easy-to-measure 'behaviours' (you must DO this and that) to the far more empowering encouragement of 'attitudes'. For example, if the objective is to come across as 'welcoming' at the beginning of a call, instead of insisting that people must 'smile' and use a 'welcome' script to repeat verbatim, it actually works better to simply ask them to have what you wanted in the first place: to be ... welcoming! 

Enlivened by an Empathy Audit we rolled out an introduction to staff for their feedback and ideas, through programme of mass 'engagement' and buy-in of the entire organisation

One outcome was the realisation that creating a good personal connection with a customer was similar to being like a good friend, and as that was already built into the brand (Friends Provident, or just Friends), staff voted to rename the SEP to the FACE program: Friends Achieving Customer Excellence.

This culminated in my facilitation of a major project to define precisely what 'being a Friend' in a business context actually meant to the individuals actually relating customers, and how that could be specifically encouraged and monitored without ambiguity. Once implemented, the staff absolutely loved the freedom it gave them to be themselves and to make a connection with each of their customers in their own way.

The outcome of that part of the programme is detailed in the Free Range report page (a must-read!)

Here's what Keith Mansfield, Head of Individual Customer Services,  had to say:

" Right from day one, John provided us with valuable insights into how we could not only improve the service but also how we could go to a fundamentally higher level of service than we had ever contemplated.

" I am pleased to say that Friends Provident has just won a National Customer Services award. It is absolutely fair to say that without John's encouragement and challenging, we would probably not be in that position today.

" Since his involvement with the design of the programme to recover our service, John has worked extensively with my team to embed the changes needed. A key skill John brings is, of course, his accompanying knowledge of empathy. He has provided us with invaluable expertise on defining our Vision and Team Purpose in a way that really captures what the business wants to achieve (service excellence and cost reductions), yet in a way that really motivates all of our people at all levels. On top of that, John has helped us understand how to define and consistently measure our service interaction with customers.

" John is a living example of what he preaches and has consistently delivered beyond our expectations in both the content and the manner of his support. He has been worth every single penny! "

 

Keith Mansfield, Head of Individual Customer Services, Friends Provident



Royal Sun Alliance Europe

Briefly: I was invited to sit on the management Board for Royal Sun Alliance Europe as their Customer Service Consultant where I helped them shape their strategy and its communication into the local markets across Europe, including conducting powerful Empathy Audits in different countries. Despite language and cultural differences, it soon became clear that everyone loves being treated in a genuine, personal way!

 

"John is a unique individual who has been a consistently outstanding personal and business consultant for me. From coaching me to hone my presentations skills to become a first class presenter and developing our company presentation which I then presented to win the "Sunday Times / Anderson Consulting IT in Business Award", to performing the remarkable Customer Empathy audits with us, to using his management consultancy skills to both facilitate our Board to get clarity of our Vision and to support our Business Process Management revolution.

"John has always been a tremendous asset to our team and to me personally. With his uncanny ability to able to see the 'bigger picture' and reduce it down to the simple but powerful fundamentals, John can always be relied upon for bringing boundless enthusiasm, insight, creativity and downright common sense to every project. His final assignment before I retired was to be our Customer Service consultant for European Operations, where he proved that his unique approaches to bringing out the human element in business translated easily into other European cultures."

Ken Sinfield, Head of European Operations, Royal Sun Alliance

Home
Marketing News article - a good overview
Customer Empathy?
A natural ability
Empathy Benefits
Free-Range Report
A taster?
Empathy Consulting
About John
Contact

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