Cash for Compassion – 7 Reasons Why Organisations Under-Perform
In recent years, business leaders have woken up to the fact that how customers feel during their interactions with organisations affects the customers experience, loyalty, spend and advocacy. We’ve known for a long time that around 68% of customers defect and don’t even tell the organisation they are leaving based upon the overwhelming emotions they are experiencing.
Typical emotions that drive customers away are sustained feelings such as,
It is likely you will have experienced some or all of these emotions during your interactions with organisations, often driving you to put your business elsewhere.
So insight number one is: emotions cost money
Therefore you’d expect customer service and sales teams, leaders and managers to be experts in two key areas
- Dissolving these types of corrosive emotions
- Not unconsciously igniting these emotions in their conversations – unknowingly adding to the customers already toxic experience
This leads to insight number two
Far too many customer experience employees and their leaders are under-developed in dissolving customer emotions and many are still unknowingly creating more corrosive emotions in their conversations.
This in turn connects to insight number three
In which research shows when employees are sufficiently developed to use empathy and compassion, customers’ spend more and become advocates of your business.
When customers are
- Treated as an individual
- taken seriously
- feel safe
- feel valued
- Feel cared for
They begin to trust the organisation and its people, become more loyal, spend more money, and begin to tell others how good your organisation is, and therefore become advoactes of your business.
So when was the last time you properly invested in the organisational wide development of empathy and compassion? And if not recently, what has been your focus instead?
This leads us to insight number four
(where organisations focus instead) There isn’t a perfect customer management system you can buy, however much it may cost you, that can replace empathy and compassion in the customer experience. Naturally, all top performing organisations need efficient systems and procedures; that’s a given. Just don’t expect them to bridge the gap of empathy and compassion that manifests between human beings. And if you want to lower costly complaints, keep more customers and increase sales naturally, invest in empathy and compassion at the same time.
Which unsurprisingly leads us to insight number five
Empathy and compassion development is a fraction of the cost of contact management systems and will pay for itself many times over, and it won’t need to be replaced in the future. So an over focus on systems, procedures and expensive management systems (which means a bias of too much left brain thinking) in most corporates gets in the way of achieving better results.
Under the surface this reveals the sixth insight
Many organisations don’t invest in what will improve their results because not enough of the senior leadership team understand the business benefits of or demonstrate empathy and compassion themselves.
And therefore here’s the seventh and ‘final’ insight
- organisations disengage their customers because the leaders and managers disengage their employees
- If you don’t model empathy and compassion to employees how can you expect them to model these traits to your customers?
- Employees become disengaged and leave organisations for the very same emotions that customers defect. Frustration, irritation, dissatisfaction etc and not feeling valued, cared for or trust.
So as we conclude, empathy and compassion development not only increases results and saves money but also drives employee engagement. Have you ever been interested in attaining these benefits?
And finally, how is science leading business through empathy, compassion and the human brain?
Going are the old ideologies
- that improved results and performance happen via carrot and stick motivation, new research disprove these as lasting motivators
- and that driving customer experience is all about million pound contact management systems
- and staff engagement is somehow separate from customer engagement.
Neuroscience informs that by training in empathy and compassion, human brains literally change for the better and this only takes a matter of weeks for our brains to re-shape and demonstrate new empowering and rewarding behaviours.
Which we could say, is the eighth and bonus insight
In a matter of seven weeks we can physically change our brains that will improve behaviours, relationships and results. In the next blog on this topic, I’ll detail some of the science and research in the neuroscience of empathy, compassion and the brain. And how we balance business ruthlessness with compassion – something which is almost a complete mystery for the capitalist system! As organisations and the new generation of leaders force through change and measures in ways that perpetuate the same emotional, disengagement problems we saw 20 years ago.
Glenn Bracey, Learning and Performance Director, Future Vision