As Service Designers to create great services we need to truly understand the Customer (user). Not by asking them what they want, but by really observing and understanding who they are and what they actually do. To minimise personal bias and really put yourself in the user’s shoes takes a great deal of empathy. So does this means all Service Designers need to be inherently very empathetic people?
I discovered an article ”Service Design Soft Skill Builder: Empathy” by Patrick Quattlebaum, Managing Director at Adaptive Path (http://www.adaptivepath.com/ideas/service-design-soft-skill-builder-empathy/) that highlighted the importance for designers to consciously try to inculcate and enhance their ability to empathise. As any skill, it needed to be honed and practiced to be effectively applied.