We care about our employees. We truly value our customers. We read it in almost every Fortune 500 mission statement in one form or another. And yet…
“In a recent survey, 60% of customer experience professionals said that their executives want to differentiate their firm on the basis of customer experience. Sadly, that same survey revealed that fewer than half of those companies are systematically doing the things it takes to achieve that goal.” — The Path to Customer Experience Maturity, Forrester, June 2013
The challenge to differentiate based upon customer experience doesn’t necessarily take a 4-year degree or many of the other things we see listed in our job requirements. It takes emotional intelligence with a good dose of empathy.
Empathy, the capacity to share and understand another’s state of mind, doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it can be developed. Studies show that the “thinking” and “feeling” parts of our brain learn differently, with the more emotional side requiring a “hands-on” approach. If employees are given a chance to repeatedly act in an empathetic manner, your chances of achieving a differentiated customer experience increase dramatically.
When I’m lucky enough to watch our clients use our products, I can’t help but be even more excited about what I do. Our programs give employees a tangible way to care about the people they talk to every day, and in so doing, feel even better about their work. As they participate, they begin to listen to customers with a more heightened awareness. And because they’re able to react with empathetic, heartfelt gestures, they create an experience as rewarding to the employee as it is to the customer.
In the video “Connecting With Customers Through Empathy,” I’ve shared practical tips to help boost your organization’s emotional intelligence and business results. As a plus you’ll get to see the amazing artistry of one of Hallmark’s best.