More than ever, companies are making serious efforts to provide quality products and services to their customers. They ensure their business operations are on a par with quality management systems standards. Some even undergo the procedures of management solutions certification to improve risk and quality management and boost organizational efficiency.
One of the traditional views of business management is to drive positive results at any cost. Some are hard on employees to make them perform without considering how their personal lives will affect their work performance. The same goes when it comes to customer relations. Your clients aren’t just people who are willing to spend their money on your products and services, but they also want to be heard and feel valued.
Employees and customers are human beings. In this case, leaders should acknowledge the role of social emotions in work performance and business transactions. This is where the role of empathy comes in as a driving force of connection. It serves as the bonding factor that reinforces relationships. In other words, empathy is the acknowledgment of human emotion without any judgment.
Given the transformative impact of empathy, we’ll talk about its importance in the business world and its role in strengthening employee and customer relationships.
Better collaboration and engagement
If managers and employees embody empathy and compassion in helping others, it’s logical to say that companies with a workplace culture that fosters empathy are likely to attract engaged individuals. In other words, empathetic companies are better at preserving morale among workers, which leads to higher retention.
This idea makes plenty of sense in terms of what modern employees greatly value these days. High-performing people have plenty of job options. Beyond the traditional corporate environment, technology and the economy have opened many employment opportunities to top talents. So, if you want to attract quality candidates, it’s time to rethink your corporate benefits.
According to a survey by Gallup, 60% of millennials are willing to explore other job opportunities, while only a third of the respondents feel more engaged to their organizations. Lack of job connection and poor engagement can cause higher absenteeism, lower profitability, and lower productivity, which can eventually affect the company’s financial situation over time.
Skilled workers today are demanding employers to provide a comprehensive work experience, where their voice and workplace grievances are heard. If you really care about the future growth of your company, it’s time to rework the company culture by making subtle changes to incorporate empathy.
Better innovation and productivity
Here’s a fact: customers are likely to transact with a company that values empathy during customer interactions. In the same way, employees with great empathy skills are more likely to be innovative and productive. This means that employers who want to improve work efficiency and be more adept in handling customer complaints should hire people with more “soft skills.”
When we talk about soft skills, we refer to empathy, equality, curiosity, generosity, and high emotional intelligence. This is why top corporations these days now highly prioritize soft skills when hiring candidates. They have more confidence in expressing their ideas, which is a critical aspect of successful teams.
In turn, if your workers exhibit high levels of empathy when dealing with customers and prospects, this will translate to better quality service. Remember, great service is the number one recipe of word-of-mouth support. Incorporating empathy in delivering products and services has a direct influence on your company’s bottom line.
Foster great connections
Embracing empathy in your business puts you in a better position when dealing with the most challenging clients, employees, or partners. As a basic human endeavor, incorporating empathy in business relations means connecting with every human being.
To master empathy, employees and business leaders should learn to practice empathy with every person they encounter. Ask more questions and listen actively to what people have to say. Active listening is an essential part of mutual understanding and building empathy. If you’re dealing with a difficult customer on the phone, speak to them with a careful approach instead of reacting to their negative comments abrasively. Put yourself in their situation and understand where their thoughts are coming from.
Often, what triggers customers is when their expectations are not being met. In this case, trade those expectations with appreciation, and witness how it will transform your interactions.
Understanding the role of empathy is a critical aspect of running a successful business. Empathy thrives in environments that prioritize connections, where managers help employees unleash their best selves and best performance. Given the many benefits of building an empathetic company, it’s time to incorporate this value into your organizational culture and corporate mission.