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Future of CX

Empathizing with customers

Annette Franz
.
May 31
.
4-5 mins

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

Introduction

Annette Franz, founder, and CEO of CX Journey Inc, shares three ways how to craft better customer experiences with the power of empathizing with customers.

Annette Franz is the founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc.

She’s got more than 25 years of experience helping companies understand their employees and customers and identify what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience – so that employees, customers, and businesses reap the benefits and achieve their desired outcomes.

She’s the author of Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of the Business).

Annette was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and is regularly recognized by companies around the world as a top influencer in Customer Experience. 


Interview with Annette Franz

This section will contain a quick summary of our interview with Annette. But, if you’d rather listen to our entire interview, our Spotify Podcast is embedded below the summary.

1

In your book, “Customer Understanding,” you shared a couple of ways of how to put the "Customer" in Customer Experience. Can you elaborate on this with us?

According to Annette, there are three ways to achieve “Customer Understanding” is to listen, characterize,  empathize.and to-

  • ListenListening is really about feedback and it’s about data. We can achieve listening through surveys, online reviews, customer advisory boards, and panels. Plus all the other different ways customers give feedback. But it’s all about the breadcrumbs of data that customers leave behind as they interact and transact with the brand. When we marry this data with the received feedback, magic happens.
  • CharacterizeCharacterizing is all about developing personas. A persona is a research-based qualification of a similar group of customers. These groups of customers have similar pain-points, problems to solve, jobs to be done, needs, expectations, etc. It’s all research-based and based on interactions. Annette actually talks to her customers to develop these personas and even that is not enough. We also need to get into their heads, which is where empathy comes in.
  • EmpathizeEmpathizing with customers is key to crafting better experiences. To empathize is to walk into your customer’s shoes. In addition, we also have to understand the experience they’re having today. Then we have to use that information to co-create and design a superb customer experience for them tomorrow. This is also where journey mapping comes in- not the tool, but the process. The process includes current state mapping, future-state mapping, and more. Companies shouldn’t be trying to sell products to customers. They should be trying to develop products for customers. That’s the real way to do it.

2

How can emerging technologies like automation, AI, chatbots, etc., be used to create better customer experiences?

We have to remember-

Technology is a facilitator. It’s about emotions, interactions, and experiences. We cannot throw technology to solve a people problem. It has to be used as a facilitator.

Technology is a facilitator. It’s about emotions, interactions, and experiences. We cannot throw technology to solve a people problem. It has to be used as a facilitator.

Research suggests that as technology becomes more advanced, people want to interact with people. A chatbot can certainly be a tool to start and facilitate this conversation. But we also have to draw the line between it being helpful and realizing that a human needs to take over. 

Ultimately, automation is about making it easy, but when it becomes unproductive, there has to be a path for customers to talk to representatives via live chat.

It’s our job to design the chatbot script and path, and make the transition from chatbot to humans easier.

Check out the 200 CX Thought Leaders to follow in 2021!

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Annette Franz

Annette Franz is the founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc.

She’s got more than 25 years of experience helping companies understand their employees and customers and identify what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience – so that employees, customers, and businesses reap the benefits and achieve their desired outcomes.

She’s the author of Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of the Business). Annette was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and is regularly recognized by companies around the world as a top influencer in Customer Experience.

Andy is the Co-Founder and CIO of SwissCognitive - The Global AI Hub. He’s also the President of the Swiss IT Leadership Forum.

Andy is a digital enterprise leader and is transforming business strategies keeping the best interests of shareholders, customers, and employees in mind.

Follow him for your daily dose of AI news and thoughts on using AI to improve your business.

Catch our interview with Andy on AI in daily life

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