Examining the Business Value of Empathy in New Report

By Gabe Smith CCXP posted 05-12-2022 03:29 PM

"What's the business value of empathy?"

The search for the answer to this question was at the heart of a recent research collaboration among CXPA, Alida, and Kerry Bodine. A quick Google search for the phrase "empathy in CX," reveals 605,000 results, most of which advance popular truisms that empathy for customers is a critical part of a modern CX program. Yet what does empathy look like in practice? How can CX professionals convince their colleagues that, by incorporating empathetic practices into all areas of their business, it will yield better outcomes?
After a survey of CX professionals from around the world, a clearer picture has emerged in the form of a just-released research report. Here are a few key findings: 

  • The number of in-house respondents who agree that customer empathy is necessary to define and implement CX is predictably high (86%), but when asked about their employers’ beliefs, only 36% of the respondents think their organizations viewed empathy as necessary for CX improvement.

  • The percentage disparity is similar among the respondents who believe empathy can create business value through CX (72%) and those who think their organization shares the same belief (30%). According to Kerry Bodine, “this reveals a huge disconnect between how practitioners view the role of empathy in their day-to-day work and as a broader tool in their organization to drive action and deliver business outcomes.”

  • Less than 20% of staff-level employees, middle managers, and senior leaders strongly agree that their organizations are effective at helping develop customer empathy. “Before this research project, I thought of empathy as the horse that comes before the cart, feelings that spur you to take action. What we found is that a lack of understanding of how to apply empathy in practical ways impedes the building of empathy in the first place,” explains Bodine.

  • For empathy to take hold as a boardroom-accepted concept, CX specialists must learn to balance the feelings they’re trying to evoke through customer insights with the actions that can be taken to improve the customer experience and drive the business forward. This requires subtle modifications to how customer research is conducted, results are shared, and insights are brought to the organization.

What are some of those modifications? How can CX professionals improve the way that results are shared and how insights are brought to the organization and its leadership? Download the report to learn more: