60 Second Case Study – Why Care about Customer Empathy?

I found myself talking to a debt collector this week (not for the obvious reasons) and it led to a really neat mini-case study on customer empathy.

She was remarking on how much time her clients made her waste with unnecessary phone calls – Specifically she kept finding that only a few hours after emailing her with instructions, her clients would then also be calling on the phone to repeat the request.

We solved the mystery in 3 stages:

1. Customer empathy absent
We established that she and her clients were in very different mindsets:

  • For her, this was her every day activity where she was completely calm and in control, and confident she would deal with the emails in good time as she always had done.
  • For her clients, these were unfamiliar and time-critical issues where lost messages or failed instructions would hurt them financially. They wanted immediate reassurance that the messages had been received, and would be acted upon.

2. Customer empathy identified
All that was needed was a ‘handshake’ whereby incoming messages would be acknowledged, with the reassurance that they would be processed within the appropriate timeframe.

3. Customer empathy in action!
She now has a simple email auto-response for all incoming messages, that confirms receipt of the email and that the matter will be dealt with within [x] hours.

The outcome:

  • Better use of time
  • Slicker, more professional
  • Better customer service
  • Happier clients.

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