Saturday, January 24, 2009

So, marketers what's your empathy quotient?

We have all heard of emotional intelligence (EI) and the emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), but should we all be thinking about our empathy quotient? We will if business strategist and adjunct Stanford professor, Dev Patnaik, has his way.

Marketers and consultants have been preaching to their corporate clients for years about the benefits of making their organizations more customer-centric (indeed, many a multi-million dollar CRM project have been sold based on the promised benefits). But it's not always easy with all the internal politics, management layers and departmental silos that sap the energies of so many corporate managers.

An interesting new web site, blog and book by Patnaik makes a compelling case for a different, more intuitive approach to making companies more customer-centric (and prosperous) that is based on the innate human ability to empathize.

More empathy = more relevant products and services
While the idea of becoming more customer focused is not new, after a quick glance through a hard copy of Patnaik’s book (it’s not available in Kindle format - yet) it seems he may be on to something. He goes beyond making the well worn case that companies need to "align" with its customer's by actually showing how managers in several organizations have become more empathetic with their customers.

Patnaik shows how companies that embrace this approach have a deeper, more visceral appreciation for the needs, wants and expectations of their consumers. The ultimate payoff, of course, is that these organizations are able to bring services and products to market that delight their customers.

Many marketers have known this for years. For those that don’t yet get it this could be a useful tool. Now, if Patnaik could just get his book published in Kindle format I’d be delighted too.


  1. hi

    CRM is definitely an important aspect but it has to be balanced too as the abuse of service facilities and staff is not uncommon. A body shop manager once literally kicked out a high profile client when she badly misbehaved with one of the staffers. customers also should take the brand in a serious way.

    nice article overall, looking ahead to erad the book :)

    A S

  2. Good timing, actually -- Wired to Care is available for Kindle now: