I’ve spent more than two years enabling companies to connect with and learn from their users. Over the course of more than 15,000 conversations, I’ve learned a bit about empathy — its role in the product development process, its impact on marketing success, and its inseparable connection with innovation.
The challenge with empathy, and especially CX leaders tasked with implementing an empathy program in their companies, is that the tangible results are often hard to identify. Business success is always a combination of factors, and carving out the percentage of lift that empathy provides is frankly impossible to do. So what, then, is the ROI of empathy?
To understand the ROI of empathy, we first have to understand its role in the customer experience.
Empathy is CX
I’ve talked about what empathy is, why it’s a critical skill for product managers, and how to institute it in your product team. It’s a big part of my success as a product leader, but it’s not limited to product development.
Outside of product management, empathy is a core component of Customer Experience. CX is having a moment, with both Qualtrics and UserTesting recently rebranding as CX companies. And the market is taking notice, as evidenced by the Qualtrics acquisition and the Medallia IPO.
It’s not just happening amongst tech companies, either. We’re seeing a shift across the board for companies to become more customer-centric — so much so that the Business Roundtable, a group representing the nation’s most powerful chief executives, recently came out and said their core responsibility is no longer just shareholder value. Rather, the needs of customers, employees, suppliers, and communities must be balanced with stock prices. In other words, CX, EX, and other “X”s matter more than ever.
The revenue impact of CX
CEOs wouldn’t be committing to CX if it didn’t result in a positive outcome for them. Good CX translates to real revenue. And by “good CX,” I’m not talking about personalizing emails with the user’s first name — yet that’s largely the state of CX today…