“Empathy as a complex emotion is different. It requires awareness of the other person’s feelings and of one’s own reactions. The appropriate reaction may not be to cry when another person cries, but to reassure them, or even to leave them alone.” (Preston, de Waal)
Empathy is more than just seeing the world from the customers’ perspective. It is having the emotional intelligence to choose the right emotional response from a range of potential emotions to improve things for the customer.
Often, organisations believe that Empathy as a soft skill is the preserve of customer-facing staff. Yet Empathy for the customer as a core organisational capability is as relevant for Marketing, HR and the leadership as it is for those who directly serve customers.
Being able to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and seeing the world from their perspective is essential for proposition development, innovation and effective strategizing. In fact, it is a source of customer advantage that most organisations completely fail to embrace.
by David Conway