Customer-Centric #GrowthHack – Walking a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes.

Alex Allwood Customer Experience

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Carl W. Buehner once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Being empathic means understanding how it feels to be in someone else’s shoes. In the simplest of terms, empathy is feeling what another person is experiencing.

This is why we feel emotional when we see someone crying. Why we feel happy when others around us are happy. When someone’s on stage and they’re a little nervous you’ll feel nervous too. Or why we instinctively need to yawn, when someone else is yawning.

I recently watched the TED Talk on The Power of Empathy. Speaker Dr. Helen Riess, professor of clinical psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, relayed this scenario that I expect many of us have experienced.

Dr. Riess had taken her seat on a plane and settled in to read the news, when suddenly she was disturbed by the shriek of a crying baby. Looking up, she observed a whole range of reactions from fellow passengers: from the sympathetic, to travellers who looked mildly annoyed to customers who seemed to be very irritated.

What happened next she said, was an amazing reaction. A little boy who was seated a couple of rows away got out of his seat and offered the crying baby pacifier. That little boy had felt the baby’s distress and responded.

My #GrowthHack is building empathy through ‘walking a mile in your customer’s shoes’. The exercise helps people across the business understand what customers are experiencing and importantly, how the experiences make customers feel.

While research helps understand customer needs and behaviours, walking in your customer’s shoes enables an first-hand experience of the customer’s journey, their highs and lows, from the customer’s point-of-view.

Observing their actions, seeing what they’re seeing, experiencing it from their point-of-view; their frustrations, joys, irritations, surprises, exasperations; their actions and reactions.

An immersion program such as ‘walking a mile in your customer’s shoes’ gets people across the business out from behind their desk and serving customers in store, riding delivery trucks, listening in on customer service calls or sitting in on sales presentations.

The idea is to deepen empathy for customers, and then to use this understanding to better inform business decision-making so customer experiences are improved, customer value is enhanced and there’s distinctive differentiation between one competitive offering and the next.

Would you like to master the tools and techniques to unlock creating customer experiences that deliver real customer value and differentiated experiences?

Join my 1-day intensive workshop to master customer experience capability and learn cx tools that you can begin to apply back in your business immediately. MORE