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Abhijeet Shah
Vice President - Delivery
Abhijeet brings more than 21 years of diverse technological experience in the software development industry. He has worked for outsourced prod... Read More

Gaining your customer’s confidence is pivotal for business growth. It is crucial for leaders across various industries, especially the ones wherein customers are thought leaders, to abstain from nurturing a myopic perspective. This amplifies when the C-suite executives are strong technocrats. In order to truly attract and sustain the right customer appreciation, you will need to have a futuristic thought process and you can’t be anything short of exceptional in the way you apply it.  

In my years of experience working in the realm of outsource product development, I have abundantly used one secret ingredient that has helped me win my customer’s confidence-empathy. My last blog spoke about needing a product engineering mindset if you wanted to continuously achieve customer satisfaction. In this blog, we will delve into needing empathy to always have your customer’s confidence intact.  

If you would like to learn more about how a product engineering mindset can help you drive business growth, then do watch my LinkedIn Live session wherein I elaborate on this mindset.

Sorry about the digression, but without further ado, let’s look at the topic at hand – how you can leverage empathy to instill continued customer confidence and satisfaction.  

Step 01- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes 

When you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you spend time and leverage your experience in fully comprehending their problems, sometimes going above and beyond to notice aspects of it that even they have not acknowledged yet. When you get involved in customer’s problem space, the details start to appear. As it is correctly said, “Devil is in the details”, so the endeavour should be to notice the devil in details. 

By doing so, you will be able to open a transparent channel of communication with your customer and then utilize your product engineering mindset to offer them a solution that best suits their needs. 

By developing the ability to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you will be able to effectively translate your customer’s vision into the desired product and ultimately be able to see this happen: 

  1. Effective impact on and with stakeholders 
  1. Incremental prototypes 
  1. Quick time to market 

I believe that it is of utmost importance for both partners (you and your customer) to work in unison. Remember you need to act as the accelerator of value here! And that means as you would do for any successful interpersonal relationship, understand the train of thought, even if it is not explicitly expressed and you need to act!  

Step 02- Engage with the customer’s challenge in depth 

Every customer comes with their own distinct set of challenge that they expect you to solve. The best way to solve your customer’s challenge is to delve into the core problem and fully engage with it. This includes collecting information, analysing it, and applying it to draw insights into the customer’s state of mind.  

In our day-to-day life, the human mind is designed to find innovative ways to solve a problem (business reality shows — case and point). Empathy plays a great role in allowing you to create an immersive experience while solving your customer’s problem. It enables customers to talk openly and freely express the challenges that they faced as well as the opportunity that lies ahead. Essentially, empathy equips you to gauge the impact of the issue at hand and deliver value accordingly.  

In most cases, I always rely on some dopamine to fuel my innovation gene. I encourage you to exercise it every now and then to hone your problem-solving skills.  

When you develop an empathetic point of view towards your customer and their problems, you also, in turn, develop the ability to think about your customer’s customer, i.e., your end user and their best interests. In doing so, you will be able to contribute with that magical human touch that will set you apart from your peers.  

Step 03- Develop a holistic way of thinking 

While engaging with the customer’s challenges, you need to become a part of their solution and provide insight into potential opportunities. For this, it’s important to look at the problem from a third person point of view. Unvarnished truth – that is the order of the day! It is imminent that you develop the ability to look at the solution in an unbiased way by distancing yourself from it and then slowly going back into the problem space by unfolding the solutions one by one.  

By doing so, you fully immerse yourself in the customer’s solution and opportunity after which there is no “you” and “me”, it becomes “we”. That enlightenment moment helps me to really understand why they say you really need to be a monk in order to sell whatever it is you have to sell. 

Step 04- Adopt an outcome-oriented approach 

 At the end of the day, business is all about outcomes. It is not necessary for all actions to garner success, but quick course corrections, acknowledgement, and proactive steps will lead to desired outcomes. For this, it is crucial for every stakeholder to assume ownership without being told to do so in an empathy-driven scenario. 

With this secret ingredient of empathy, businesses can not only develop strong customer relationships but also ensure that all the stakeholders, right from you to your customer’s customer and everyone in between share a common goal and work collaboratively towards furthering business growth. 

Empathy building is of course, a process that demands patience and experience. You will have to learn and unlearn a lot of things and avail proper guidance at critical junctures to truly become empathetic and develop a holistic approach towards problem solving. 

However, I strongly believe that empathy can help you achieve steady and sustainable growth. With it, you will be able to give your business the much-needed human touch and thought process to positively impact customers, stakeholders, processes, and end-users objectively.  

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