Creating a customer experience that is truly greater than the sum of its parts isn’t always about promoting absolute value. More often than not, it’s about nurturing the value of taking the producer’s point of view.
The idea that empathetic companies – those that “step outside of themselves” and “walk in someone else’s shoes” – are more successful and more likely to discover opportunities for growth isn’t new. Ever since Dev Patnaik and Peter Mortensen wrote their bestselling book Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, empathy has become an important management skill. If empathy yields benefits on the production side, what about the consumption side? In addition to fostering the empathetic company, should managers invest in empathetic consumers?