Introducing Empathy: The New Benchmark For Customer Experience

Introducing Empathy: The New Benchmark For Customer Experience
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, the APAC managing director of MaritzCX, David Blakers (pictured below), says in a fight for customers’ attention, brands that can show empathy will fast be ahead of the pack…

There is a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald that often comes to mind when I talk to clients about transforming their customer experiences, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

0-1

This is because a first-rate customer experience requires two key elements which may initially appear counter-intuitive; on the one hand highly sophisticated technological automation and on the other highly individual one-to-one human interaction. Far from being contradictory, they have to work symbiotically to create truly exceptional customer experiences, particularly as the ability to interact and respond with empathy is becoming the new benchmark in the CX space. 

Most (if not all) brands are acutely aware of the importance of being consumer-centric. Digital has transformed the rules, hours and methods of operation for practically every industry segment in Australia and will continue to do so as newer technologies and platforms become mainstream. Today’s consumer has more choice and more options than ever before when it comes to selecting brands to purchase goods and services from and are quick to vote with their dollars, walking away from a sub-optimal customer experience. This has necessitated overhauling traditional siloed operational structures to integrate sophisticated customer experience and CRM solutions in order to put the customer at the heart of a brand.

While many brands have made significant inroads into gathering customer data from an increasing web of consumer touch-points, fewer have implemented the technical capabilities and organisational structures to empower employees to be able to respond with informed empathy in customer facing situations.

However, smart brands have begun to do so and are realising the value employing empathy brings when it comes to brand loyalty and consumer choice. I spoke to some of them to find out how they are tackling it.

You can’t be what you can’t see

For Cindy Cash, head of customer experience improvement at Australia Post, visual storytelling has been an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to humanising the customer. According to Cash, it can often be the simplest ideas that can most effectively drive a message home.  Her customer experience team used the photo of a customer who had, without any prompting, written to Australia Post’s CEO to say what an amazing job the company had done managing their issue. The customer was part of a pilot scheme that was trialling new process and the customer’s photos and story was used as a compelling visual prompt to remind the organisation of the reasons – and the importance – of their ongoing customer transformation journey.

Walking in their shoes

You may remember the TV program Undercover Boss where a CEO or high-ranking executive acts as an entry-level employee to discover problems and issues in their company. Well, this type of approach has been incredibly successful for some of the brands we work with. It’s one thing, signing off on a CX programme and another to genuinely walk the walk and talk the talk of front line customer services employee to see the issues, challenges and the differences new solutions make. It is a highly effective way of humanising the customer and can be an important element in building advocacy within the C-Suite.

Empowering empathy

Across the Tasman in New Zealand, Hamish Wood, senior customer experience and insight partner at telco Spark NZ outlines how empowering front-line teams to go the extra mile for customers has had a material effect on customer experience.  Agents are empowered to give out gift cards, flowers, and even take out unhappy customers for a coffee and a chat as to how they can help improve. He tells of one unhappy customer who had recently become a grandfather for the first time who received a gift card for coffee and morning tea along with a personalised note saying, “Thank you again for your feedback. We know how important time with young grandchildren can be but also how important it is to have time with your wife. So, here’s a little gift from us, take her out for coffee and have morning tea on us.” 

In a world of customer-centricity, it is no longer enough to simply meet a customer’s needs; instead it’s about delivering an exceptional customer experience. This means treating each customer as an individual and displaying warmth, compassion and empathy. Technology can go a long way to enabling an empathetic culture; it does a great job at capturing customer feedback, sentiment and emotion, and providing insights that can drive a better customer experience.

But to be truly customer obsessed, employees must be empowered to use this information to act in a spontaneous, individual and entirely human way. Winning the hearts and minds of customers, means engaging the hearts and minds of all employees.

Please login with linkedin to comment

David Blakers MaritzCX

Latest News

Nine Reveals Its 2019 Line-Up, Including The Return Of SeaChange, ABBA & Lego!
  • Media

Nine Reveals Its 2019 Line-Up, Including The Return Of SeaChange, ABBA & Lego!

Nine has unveiled its 2019 line-up of shows at its gala upfronts in Sydney on Wednesday night. A mix of old and a few new, probably the biggest surprise was news that the network had snared Aussie drama SeaChange – starring Sigrid Thornton and John Howard – that was last seen on the ABC in […]

Pause Fest Hits Play On Massive 2019 Line-up & Awards
  • Media

Pause Fest Hits Play On Massive 2019 Line-up & Awards

One of the industry’s biggest events is returning in 2019 with a huge speaker line-up, incredible activations and some seriously enviable networking opportunities. That’s right, Pause Fest is back, and it’s time to hit play on your ticket buying, because this is an event you cannot afford to miss. Pause Fest is boasting talent from […]

Partner Content

by pause fest

Nine Launches 9Voyager To Attract Small To Medium Advertisers
  • Media

Nine Launches 9Voyager To Attract Small To Medium Advertisers

Nine today unveiled the next stage of plans to simplify and further automate the buying of television through its unique proprietary technology 9Galaxy and launched 9Voyager, aimed at opening the TV market to more small and medium enterprise (SME) owners. 9Voyager, released at the media company’s 9Upfront event in Sydney, will allow Nine to better […]

Nine Sets Sights On Lucrative Premium Partnership Space
  • Marketing
  • Media

Nine Sets Sights On Lucrative Premium Partnership Space

Nine has showcased its premium partnership space through the strategic client solutions division, 9Powered, at its 2019 Upfront event on Wednesday evening. In unveiling its 2019 program slate, Nine highlighted how, through its schedule it delivers marketers cross-platform opportunity to align with powerful “water cooler” content and reach mass audiences at scale, delivering real, measurable […]

The Aussie Open & NRL Headline Nine’s 2019 Year Of Sport
  • Media

The Aussie Open & NRL Headline Nine’s 2019 Year Of Sport

Nine has used its upfronts to reveal its plans for Wide World of Sports for 2019. Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone, used the Nine Upfront event to talk about the acquisition of tennis and the strategic rationale and power of Nine’s cross-platform suite of properties – tennis, rugby league, cricket, netball, basketball and golf. “It has been […]

Nine Reveals Its News & Current Affairs Plans For 2019
  • Media

Nine Reveals Its News & Current Affairs Plans For 2019

Nine has used Wednesday night’s Upfronts to reveal to media and advertisers its news and current affairs plans for 2019. From 5.00am, we present Nine News Early Edition with the latest in overnight breaking news from around the world. At 5.30am Today, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner. In 2019, Australia’s longest running breakfast […]

Bold Adshel Campaign Pays Off For SA Tourism Commission
  • Media

Bold Adshel Campaign Pays Off For SA Tourism Commission

South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) has achieved outstanding results from a daring, unbranded ‘teaser’ campaign across the Adshel network. The campaign highlighted seven little-known parts of South Australia, repositioning them as hidden, luxury tourist destinations. The ‘Tell Us Where’ campaign rolled out across digital small format out-of-home Adshel sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, […]

How Nike Missed The Mark On Digital
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How Nike Missed The Mark On Digital

Nike may be the brand held up by pretty much every marketer, but as digital marketing consultant, Tam Al-Saad (pictured below), says in this guest post, when it comes to digital, the sports behemoths still needs to just “do it”… By now you should have seen or heard of the Nike “Dream Crazy” campaign. It’s the one […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine