Empathy has been shown to have a direct impact on everything from customer loyalty to innovation to profits. Here are five of the proven benefits.
1. Empathy spurs innovation: When you understand your customers, you can keep pace with changing needs and desires. Google’s Project Aristotle found that their most innovative and profitable ideas came from teams leading with soft skills, such as empathy.
2. Empathy aligns you with customer wants and needs: The more in tune you are with your customers, the faster you can deliver best-fit products or services before your competitors catch on. In order to know what customers desire, you must see things from their perspective. Building an ideal customer profile will help you know what their life is like. Steve Jobs, for instance, focused on understanding a customer so well that Apple’s product designers knew what the customer wanted before they did.
3. Empathy improves employee performance: Employees with more empathy and collaboration skills can often outperform and advance faster than those with purely the technical skills to succeed. Google’s Project Oxygen found that having soft skills aided in team members’ individual successes.
4. Empathetic brands—and workplaces—appeal to millennials and Gen Z: As professionals, they are among the most diverse generations in the workforce and seek to leverage diverse perspectives to solve tough business challenges. They stick with employers who embrace new perspectives and value their points of view. As consumers, they’re loyal to companies and brands that care and make a difference.
5. Empathy drives sales, growth, and market performance: The best and most progressive corporations have begun to adopt and employ compassionate business tactics, which have improved their standing in the market. Brighton Jones adopted this philosophy, and it’s now one of the leaders in the wealth management industry.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Maria Ross, Excerpted from her book The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success (A Playbook for Brands, Leaders, and Teams)
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