Required Reading: Putting Empathy in Action
In the new book, Empathy in Action: How to Deliver Great Customer Experiences at Scale, Genesys CEO Tony Bates and Natalie Petouhoff, a senior customer experience strategist and business consultant at Genesys, introduce a new method to measure and achieve customer experience success that will replace the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The Experience Index measures experiences from the end users’ point of view, which businesses can then use to better inform experiences, change customer behavior, and achieve more impactful business outcomes. CRM editor Leonard Klie discusses this new metric with Bates in more detail below.
CRM: How would you define empathy, and how does it apply in a business context?
Bates: In Empathy in Action, we define empathy as the ability to listen and understand people’s unique situations and treat them with respect. Empathy brings people, companies, and society together. In a business context, it’s critical to ensure customers and employees feel heard, seen, and understood. Empathy serves as the key driver and differentiator in winning trust and loyalty, which can make or break your business.
You say there are blind spots companies must overcome to succeed in their CX efforts. What are they, and how can companies address them?
The blind spots revolve around something “you don’t know you don’t know” about the way you operate your business. Examples of customer experience blind spots include:
- failing to incorporate empathy into customer and employee experiences;
- making decisions without considering the impact on customers and employees; and
- failing to understand the degree to which exponential technologies have shifted every aspect of life.
Many companies don’t realize they have blind spots or that they need serious work to find and fix them. Many blind spots come down to approaching things from a customer- and employee-centric perspective rather than a business-centric mind-set. By making this shift, leaders can rethink how they run their businesses, resulting in amazing experiences for both customers and employees.
You introduce a new metric to measure CX success and replace the long-standing Net Promoter Score. What do you see as the problem with NPS? Does it still have value?
Using NPS to measure success in customer experience was helpful before technology advances allowed us to measure experience across the entire journey rather than at the end of a transaction. NPS measures actions customers say they would take rather than what they ultimately act upon. The Experience Index is a new measurement method we’re pioneering at Genesys based on the moments that matter most to customers. Looking across the journey, the Experience Index uncovers actionable insights that allow businesses to optimize the customer experience and drive desired outcomes.
What does the Experience Index measure, and why is this information important?
In creating the Experience Index, we survey and benchmark customer experiences across many industries to develop a comprehensive library of ideal experiences. It measures the degree to which organizations’ customers believe their experiences delivered on key moments. This allows organizations to identify points of friction and address them, improving the overall experience.
The index also examines how experiences impact customers’ overall brand perceptions. A company’s index can be compared to the ideal from the customer’s perspective and linked to key performance indicators. This is beneficial to companies because increasing customer lifetime value requires the ability to measure and deliver optimal experiences from the customer point of view. The index provides the information companies need to measure and act on those details.
What should companies do with their Experience Index scores, and what can they do to increase them?
Once a company has its score, it can measure where it stands in comparison to peers and take the learnings to identify opportunities to optimize the customer experience with specific, desired outcomes in mind.
Let’s say a company is looking to boost engagement with an older audience on its mobile app. With the index, the company can compare the experience with industry-optimized, customer-centric metrics. The index will offer deeper insight into specific pain points, and the company can develop a strategy to resolve problems. This in turn, improves the company’s overall score.
What is one point you want readers to take away from this book?
Our goal is to embed the power of empathy into every experience. It’s the defining variable that creates trust and loyalty. I hope Empathy in Action sparks a movement that puts empathy at the center of every business. It’s time to revolutionize the way we work.