May 16, 2022

How a Culture of Empathy Can Enhance Your Company's Bottom Line with Tony Bates

This week on The Winning Zone, Hilmon Sorey is joined by Tony Bates, chairman and CEO of Genesys and coauthor of “Empathy in Action,” to discuss how having empathy in Corporate America correlates to your bottom line in regards to customer success, employee retention, and ability to attract.

Empathy in Corporate America

Tony begins by explaining that empathy is often mistaken for warm, fuzzy feelings, when in reality it is understanding someone else’s point of view and where they are coming from. In the context of running a company, it is often forgotten that it is the people and the teams within the company and what they represent that really matters. When Tony joined Genesys, he realized how important it was, in order to scale and act as one team, that “...everyone needs to give space for everyone else to understand their point of view.” This concept became so important that they developed a framework for it. Continue listening at 01:25 to learn more.

Using Technology to Aid with Empathy

Genesys is the leader in cloud-based experience orchestration today. They continuously collect information coming into the cloud, and they can use that information to better understand the user, how they engage, and what patterns they follow. While they cannot emulate the pure human emotion of empathy, they can use all of this data to help aid in communicating it. Find out more about how we can use technology to aid with empathy at 04:50.

Supercharging the Interaction, Not Replacing It

Tony explains that AI is really great for a lot of things, but it cannot replace genuine human interaction. However, when you blend the data and the understanding of it with how you act on it, it can be a really powerful experience. Creating these more personal experiences with the aid of AI can assist in building loyalty with customers, among other things. “It is sort of shift from business-centric to people-centric.” Continue listening at 07:52 to learn more.

The Driving Factors

At 11:08, Tony shares that there are many things driving this need for a more people-centric experience. But, if he had to pick one, it would be that we have reached a different paradigm as consumers, as well as our expectations as employees inside businesses. During the pandemic, companies that were driving great experiences were doing much better than others. People have realized that they do have a choice and can move on. Continue listening to learn more.

Loyalty Leaders

Tony explains that NPS is a valid way to evaluate the customer experience. However, if you are not focused on the customer experience as a priority in your design principle of your product, then it will all fall apart at some point. Trust and loyalty are directly linked to empathy, so if your customers feel they are being well taken care of, your churn rate will be much lower. Continue listening at 14:03 to learn more.

The Great Resignation

In regards to work, people will always remember how the company made them feel. When the pandemic started, people wanted to feel understood, safe, and taken care of. The lack of this partially what started The Great Resignation. It is paramount that you understand where your employees are coming from, because otherwise, they feel unincluded and like you don’t care. In this new, highly decentralized work force, you must think both locally and globally, and because you don’t have the in-person everyday interactions, you must lean on empathy to build that trust and loyalty. Continue listening at 18:25 to learn more.

Empathy in the Hiring Process

Tony explains that in order to bring empathy into the hiring and interview process, you have to walk the talk, and it must start at the top; it has to trickle into every facet everyday. This will allow you to work as a team, everyone with their own voice, but working in perfect symbiosis. Learn more at 22:02

There’s Room for Differences

Tony explains that empathy is not sympathy. Everyone is not equal and just loves each other. Instead, there is room for difference, there is room for debate, as long as everyone listens, understands, predicts, and acts. There is room for everyone’s point of view. You must have the mindset that you can always do better and you are continuously learning. We have to continue to evolve and not let the polarization take over the goal of what you are trying to achieve as an organization. Continue to listen at 26:29 to learn more.

Anyone wanting to transform their customer experience can reach out to Tony at genesys.com. They offer an assessment on the site that is also outlined in his book, “Empathy in Action.”  

Key Snippets

01:25 Empathy in Corporate America

04:50 Using Technology to Aid with Empathy

07:52 Supercharging the Interaction, Not Replacing It

11:08 The Driving Factors

14:03 Loyalty Leaders

18:25 The Great Resignation

22:02 Empathy in the Hiring Process

26:29 There’s Room for Differences

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