The “Value Difference” Of Empathy, Part 1
We’re often asked how exactly one — either as a business owner or employee in a company — can build value for their customer and, naturally, it depends upon the type of business.
When really considering it, there are thousands of ways. In Go-Givers Sell More, however, we break it down into five distinct areas: Excellence, Consistency, Attention, Empathy and Appreciation.
In a recent two-part series over at TheGoGiver.com blog entitled, “Ernesto Would Be Proud“ I share an example of my favorite local restaurant and how they incorporate the above five.
While at the Palm Beach International Airport recently I experienced an example of how another organization can both apply and not apply the concept of Empathy.
We frequent travelers experience both good and bad examples of value — including empathy — from the various TSA employees conducting the screening process. Usually, however, it’s not such a dramatic contrast in such a short period of time.
On my way through I was a bit nervous about the damage that might be caused by the screening machine to the many DVDs I had with me. These were videos of past presentations that I was taking with me to North Carolina to edit into a new video; some of my life’s work! Would the machine damage it? Logically, I didn’t think it would but, being human and searching for reassurance from the woman conducting the operation, I thought I’d ask.
Me: Excuse me, is there any chance these DVDs could get damaged when going through?
Me: I’m sorry, you’re totally certain?
Me: Any chance at all I might be able to simply hand them to you without putting them through?
Me (Now realizing I’m sounding a little stupid): So, I have to put them through.
Since it’s difficult to read emotion into written dialogue, picture me asking extremely politely but with the angst of a person concerned about some of his life’s work being ruined and her being — in no way mean but — totally expressionless, emotionless, uncaring and unempathetic as to what I was feeling.
Just then, another TSA employee approached me and said, “Sir, I heard what you were asking. Please be assured, this is an area I’m very familiar with. There will be absolutely no damage to your DVDs. While there are some very specific types of camera films this could possibly happen to, the chances are zero with what you have right there. It’s going to be fine.”
Wow! Wowee Wow! What a difference! What a huge difference!
In the next article, we’ll look at the “key to communicating empathy.” Oh, if you are wondering if there was a line behind me I was holding up, no; I was the only one in line. Wouldn’t want you to think I was self-centeredly holding up others. Of course, I was indeed being self-centered but was not holding up others.)
So, how do you apply empathy in your business in order to add value to the relationship? And, do you have any positive examples of others who have done this? Please feel free to share.