fbpx

The ROI of customer empathy: Understanding the role empathy plays in overall success

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Public Relations

New research from video-based human insight firm UserTesting looks at the role CEOs play in building a culture of customer understanding and the impact customer empathy has on driving innovation, digital transformation, financial performance, and ultimately business success.

In a business world where customer sentiment and loyalties can shift overnight, the C-suite has quickly realized that getting customers to stay long-term with their companies now requires an authentic demonstration of customer empathy. Today’s CEOs are realizing that being empathetic to their customers is now a key to their organization’s success, reveals the firm’s new study, The ROI of Customer Empathy, in partnership with the FORTUNE Brand Studio.

The ROI of customer empathy: Understanding the role empathy plays in overall success

CEOs agree that attention must be paid to customer empathy

The ROI of customer empathy: Understanding the role empathy plays in overall successA key takeaway noted that CEOs recognize the impact that empathy has on the customer experience (CX) with just over half (55 percent) stating acknowledging that high-quality in-person experiences are the top priority for them as leaders. Although priorities across industries differ, the research shows there is a clear recognition that securing strong personal relationships and supporting empathetic interactions are top of mind for business leaders.

The CEOs surveyed acknowledged that accountability starts at the top. Forty percent indicated that they are personally responsible for ensuring that customer understanding underlies the entire process, everything from designing products, through taking them to market, to building great experiences. Additionally, 90 percent understand that they will need to make better use of empathy to interpret customer information and drive customer-facing processes.

Designing better products and experiences takes deep customer understanding

The survey found that CEOs consider customer understanding to be critical for teams involved in marketing/brand-building (38 percent), operations/production and design/prototyping (38 percent), and product ideation (26 percent). To win new consumers and maintain existing customers, organizations need a deep understanding of customer needs, expectations, and feelings. Leaders keenly attuned to the customer journey can glean more than just transactional material from the information they gain from tracking that journey; they can use it to design more successful products and services.

The ROI of customer empathy: Understanding the role empathy plays in overall successDirect interaction is the best way to gain customer insights

The level of a company’s CX maturity was shown to have a direct impact when it comes to selecting the most important means of helping employees demonstrate customer empathy. The research found that CEOs with mature CX organizations think beyond data capture and more frequently turn to technologies for sharing customer information and insights across the organization. The CEOs surveyed ranked direct interaction with customers as most important overall at 45 percent, followed by customer feedback reports and market research reports, tied at 35 percent.

“The research reflects what we see every day with our customers. Empathy is having a greater and greater impact on overall business outcomes,” said Andy MacMillan, CEO of UserTesting, in a news release. “CEOs must lead the effort to make sure every employee has access to the human insights they need to truly understand their customers. As we see from the findings of this report, CEOs need to be the stewards of customer empathy and foster a company culture ingrained in customer feedback.”

Download the full report here.

FORTUNE Brand Studio and UserTesting conducted an online survey of 200 CEOs in October 2021. All respondents were located in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Of these, 60% were CEOs of small-and medium-sized companies (up to 250 employees and 251 to 1,000 employees, respectively), and 40% led large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.

Daily PR Updates

Essential PR industry news, opinion, and analysis delivered to your inbox daily.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

RECENT ARTICLES

8 proven business models for metaverse companies

8 proven business models for metaverse companies

Through the years, trends in business have evolved following the global shift of processes to a more technologically-inclined setting. One of the biggest trends in business today is the metaverse, and it is gaining popularity and support for many reasons. One of the...

Strategies for generating media coverage with PR campaigns

Strategies for generating media coverage with PR campaigns

Companies that want to generate positive media coverage with their public relations campaigns need to focus on a few different strategies to be able to get the most out of those campaigns. Between developing relationships with the right journalists, distributing...