Five Ways That Organizations Crush Customer Empathy (Video)

Human beings are naturally empathetic, yet that tendency can get crushed when they go to work. Watch and read below… Did you know that human beings are genetically wired for empathy? Our brains have something called mirror neurons that allow us to virtually feel what someone else is feeling. If you see your friend bump her head, then you are likely to react almost as if it had happened to you. If people are naturally empathetic, then why aren’t most organizations, which are just collections of people, super empathetic towards their customers? It turns out that organizations inhibit natural empathy Read More …

eBook: 25 Tips for Amplifying Empathy

Happy CX Day 2014! As I mentioned in my 14 Customer Experience Trends for 2014, this year will be the “Year of Empathy.” Given the focus on this key area, Temkin Group created the Amplify Empathy movement. So when we were thinking about our CX Day celebration, it seemed like a perfect fit for us to do something about empathy. That’s why we created this free eBook: 25 Tips for Amplifying Empathy. Download free eBook The eBook discusses these tips from a wide variety of companies: The bottom line: Pick a few tips to replicate and amplify empathy in your organization

Winners of the Amplify Empathy Challenge

In my post on customer experience trends for this year, I named 2014 as “The Year of Empathy.” Empathy is a critical component to any customer experience effort. To help ignite the discussion on this important topic, we launched the Amplify Empathy Challenge as part of the overall Amplify Empathy Movement. We asked people to share how they’ve raised customer empathy within their organizations and Temkin Group committed to awarding up to $2,500 for the best ideas. We had a number of great submissions, which made it hard to decide, but we selected the five winners below (all receiving a $500 Amazon.com gift certificate). We added Read More …

Robin Williams Provides Lesson in Empathy

I’m a huge fan of Robin Williams’ work. He was a brilliant artist who unfortunately lost his battle with internal demons. I remember many scenes from his movies and TV appearances, but nothing is more vivid to me than one of his discussions with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. Williams plays a psychologist who is trying to help a brilliant, yet troubled inner-city Boston kid (WIll Hunting played by Matt Damon). In this scene on a bench in the Boston Public Garden, Williams is explaining to Damon the difference between intellectual knowledge and emotional understanding. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning…. “So if I asked you about Read More …

Three Steps For Happiness to Fuel Organizational Empathy

Over the last couple of months, I’ve delivered several keynote speeches. In many of them, I’ve discussed organizational empathy (often as an element within People-Centric Experience Design). One of my key messages is that happiness creates empathy. As shown in the blog post Happy People Are More Productive Employees, happy people are more empathetic. So how do you take advantage of this information? Here are my three simple steps: Be Happy. If you’re not happy, then you won’t have much capacity to think about other people, employees or customers. So how do I recommend being happy? By being grateful. A growing body of research shows that Read More …

Like Digital Cameras? Thank Sony’s Organizational Empathy

I read an interesting article by Sony’s former VP of Brand and Strategy in Fast Company called How Sony Learned That Product Features Don’t Matter. The article discuses how Sony adjusted its digital camera design based on a rich understanding of how consumers were interacting with them. Here are some excerpts from the article: People would snap informal pictures in the middle of the action and share them with people right on the spot using the instant display on the back of the camera. Picture-taking and picture-sharing added to the fun and action of the occasion in the moment. They wouldn’t be the Read More …

Introducing Amplify Empathy, Join the Movement!

In my CX trends for 2014, I labelled 2014 as the “Year of Empathy.” Rather than just observe “empathy” coming to life this year,  Temkin Group has decided to help accelerate this trend. How? With an initiative that we call Amplify Empathy. We created Amplify Empathy as a catalyst for individuals to amplify empathy within their organizations. The Amplify Empathy page includes links to relevant content, a process for sharing ideas, and a badge for those who pledge to amplify empathy . We also are announcing the Amplify Empathy Challenge where Temkin Group will award $2,500 to people who submit the best ideas Read More …

Building Organizational Empathy: Perceive-Reflect-Adjust

Most people have an innate ability to be empathetic, but organizations tend to dampen this natural instinct. While a typical customer interaction cuts across many functional groups (a single purchase, for instance, may include contact with decisions by product management, sales, marketing, accounts payable, and legal organizations), companies push employees to stay focused on their functional areas. This myopic view is often reinforced by incentives focused on narrow domains, which creates a perceived chasm between customer empathy and employee success. After examining much of the academic, medical, and business research on the topic of empathy, we developed a simple model Read More …

Amplify Empathy Badges

If you have taken the pledge to Amplify Empathy, then download and display any size badge you would like… 75 Pixels Wide 100 Pixels Wide 150 Pixels Wide 200 Pixels Wide 300 Pixels Wide

Amplify Empathy: We Succeed Because We Care

What is Amplify Empathy? Amplify Empathy represents a hope, a cause, and a heartfelt desire that companies will work towards developing a deeper understanding of their customers’ needs, and that they will use this knowledge to serve those needs better. More specifically, Temkin Group created the Amplify Empathy movement to encourage individuals to help build stronger empathy for their customers within their organizations. As part of our commitment to Amplify Empathy, Temkin Group will continue to research and write on the topic of organizational empathy. As a primer, check out these posts: Building Organizational Empathy: Perceive-Reflect-Adjust, shows how to embed empathy across CX competencies. Read More …

Martin Luther King Teaches CX + Empathy

Today, many people are celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (it’s a Temkin Group holiday). To honor MLK’s memory in a way that ties with the content of this blog, I decided to share some of his quotes that discuss empathy with a connection to our four customer experience core competencies. I’ve added a question to think about after each quote: Purposeful Leadership: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” How willing are your leaders to trade-off short-term results for longer gains in Read More …

Join Me in Making 2014 the Year of Empathy

As you may have read in my customer experience trends for 2014, I’ve labelled 2014 as “The Year of Empathy.” Hopefully many, many people will embrace the concept of empathy within their organizations and not just treat it as the word du jour. To help in the effort, I’m going to make empathy an ongoing theme in this blog. Here’s my challenge to everyone reading this post: Join me and the entire Temkin Group team in making empathy come to life within your organizations. As a start, watch and share this video by the Cleveland Clinic: Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care. Read More …

14 Customer Experience Trends for 2014 (The Year of Empathy)

It’s time to identify key customer experience trends for next year. We did a pretty good job of identifying 13 CX trends for 2013 and many of those trends will continue on into 2014, so they remain on this year’s list. We expect CX to gain even more momentum next year as 2014 brings us deeper into what Temkin Group has labeled the Era of CX Professionalism. Based on what we see emerging in CX, we believe that 2014 will be The Year of Empathy, which is the 14th trend. Here are 14 CX trends to watch for in 2014, followed by some Read More …

A&W Canada Sparks Customer Empathy With Real-Time Feedback

I recently had a discussion with Nancy Wuttunee, Senior Director Operating Excellence at A&W Food Services of Canada, about a new feedback system the company is using in its restaurants. The approach is a great example of Guiding with Empathy, one of the principles of People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD). A&W Canada uses a vendor named Benbria to help it collect feedback via in-store kiosks and a mobile app, displaying the results in real time to employees behind the counter. Customers are asked to give a thumbs-up or thumbs down to three questions: Was your food hot and tasty? Was the Read More …

PCxD Principle #2: Guide with Empathy

I recently introduced a concept for enlisting the support of employees that uncovers and fulfills the needs of customers that we call People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD), defined as: Fostering an environment that creates positive, memorable human encounters Principle #2: Guide with Empathy The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “empathy” as “the ability to imagine oneself in another’s place and understand the other’s feelings, desires, ideas, and actions.” It turns out that most people have an innate ability to be empathetic. While people may want to help others, they are—as we describe in the Six Laws of Customer Experience—self-centered, naturally viewing the world and making Read More …