Gartner: CRM Applications Will Fail Without Consideration of Customer Empathy

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are game-changing technologies, but they won’t help your business leap forward if you don’t also build customer empathy into your customer process design. According to a recent report* by Gartner, “Through 2020, businesses that deploy CRM technology in such a way that it reflects empathy toward the customer are three times more likely to fend off a digital disrupter.”

While it’s still early days for being able to measure the economic impact of empathy in business, it’s worth noting that companies that have successfully disrupted existing business models did so because of the empathy they felt for customers dealing with inefficient processes and experiences.

The report explains why it will be important for CRM leaders to:

  • Highlight the potential impact of empathy on existing business models and obtain support from executive leadership to make systems empathetic.
  • Focus technology and process investment on empathetic improvement.
  • Use the voice of the customer (VoC) initiative to glean a critical understanding of what will drive customer empathy.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

*Gartner, CRM Applications Will Fail Without Consideration of Customer Empathy, Michael Maoz, August 2016

Modern Relationships: Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning and Meaningful Customer Relationships

Your company’s success hinges on building strong relationships with your customers, and relationships take work. Sometimes flowers and chocolates, too.

More than giving customers a single great experience, it’s vital to use data to provide a lifetime of great ‘dates’. In this 60-minute on-demand webinar, Jason Maynard, Director of Data and Analytics, and Dave Dyson, Senior Customer Service Evangelist, will show you how machine learning can help improve your customer relationships, and how Zendesk uses predictive analytics to improve our support and raise customer satisfaction.

This webinar will cover:

  • How you can use machine learning to improve your customer relationships
  • How predictive analytics impacts customer service agents
  • 4 business dating tips for forging more meaningful relationships with your customers

Jason Maynard

Jason Maynard is the Director of Data and Analytics at Zendesk. He heads up a team that builds products designed to unravel the complexity of customer relationships through data.

Dave Dyson

Dave Dyson is a Customer Service Evangelist at Zendesk's headquarters in San Francisco. Formerly a senior customer support manager, he now works to help share the best practices he’s learned to Zendesk’s customers.

Zen Masters of Customer Service Webinars

7 Strategies for Turning Angry Customers into Loyal Fans7 Strategies for Turning Angry Customers into Loyal Fans Learn creative problem solving and down-to-earth emotion management skills for creating stronger customer relationships in this 1-hour webinar presented by customer experience experts and bestselling authors Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest.
Turning Difficult Moments into Positive Customer ExperiencesTurning Difficult Moments into Positive Customer Experiences
Watch this 1-hour webinar to learn Kate Nasser's foolproof method for staying objective and caring when dealing with an upset customer, and turn potentially bad customer interactions into positive ones.
Turning Rants into RavesTurning Rants into Raves
With the right mindset, some proven techniques, and a heaping dose of common sense, you can have customers not only raving about your business, but also recommending you to others. Learn how in this 1-hour webinar.
The Zappos ExperienceThe Zappos Experience
It's been said that there's a fine line between "cult" and "culture", and Zappos has developed legendary service from the inside out. Joseph Michelli shares their secrets to success in this 1-hour webinar.
Customer Experience Lessons from DisneyCustomer Experience Lessons from Disney
In this 1-hour webinar, Dennis Snow shares the secrets behind Disney service success, including the four critical elements of service excellence that will help ensure consistent service behaviors across your entire organization.
How Zendesk Does Customer ServiceHow Zendesk Does Customer Service
Learn how the Zendesk team supports its 30,000+ customers day-to-day in this 30-minute webinar featuring Pam Dodrill, Zendesk's Senior Director of Customer Support. She'll dig into how her team uses data to provide more proactive support, and their follow-the-sun support model.
Three Hidden Reasons Why Good People Provide Bad ServiceThree Hidden Reasons Why Good People Provide Bad Service
Check out this 1-hour webinar, where Jeff Toister will reveal the three hidden obstacles that prevent employees from doing their very best, and simple solutions for overcoming them.
Master High-Tech, High-Touch Customer ServiceMaster High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service
Learn how to harness the power of technology to build emotional connections with your customers while retaining the best of classic service techniques in this 1-hour webinar featuring Micah Solomon.
7 Tools for Amazing Every Customer Every Time7 Tools for Amazing Every Customer Every Time
Watch this webinar where renowned customer service expert Shep Hyken shares 7 practical tools for transforming your organization into an operation that amazes every customer every time.
The Apple ExperienceThe Apple Experience
In this 1-hour webinar, Carmine Gallo lifts the curtain behind Apple's stunning success in retail to show anyone how to run any business the Apple way. He breaks down Apple's customer-centric model to provide an action plan for anyone responsible for delivering exceptional customer service.

Why Zendesk


I Love You More Than My Dog: 5 Steps to Becoming a Beloved Company

With Jeanne Bliss

Hundreds of companies have customers who admire them, but only an elite few have true advocates — passionate, vocal, loyal fans. Join us, along with Jeanne Bliss, author of 'I love You More than My Dog' ? for a webinar to learn the five key decisions that the worlds most beloved companies make towards ensuring customer loyalty. Jeanne Bliss outlines the steps you need to take to get on the right path towards becoming a beloved company — a path that is right for you, your company, and your people.

Best-selling author of both 'I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad' and 'Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action', Jeanne Bliss has fought valiantly for the past 25 years to transform the customer experience for US corporations, such as Microsoft, Mazda, Allstate, Coldwell Banker and Lands' End. Additionally, Jeanne Bliss founded CustomerBliss, a resource that provides an actionable path for driving profitability through customer focus. She is also the cofounder of the CXPA, Customer Experience Professionals' Association — a global non-profit organization positioned to guide and enhance the growing field of customer experience management.

3 Customer Service Lessons from Disney

with Dennis Snow

Providing the world-class service Disney theme park is known for is not simply a matter of hiring friendly service staff with good manners. It requires an all-encompassing approach and a business commitment to making service excellence a company-wide priority. As Dennis Snow, a 20-year-veteran of the Walt Disney World Company, relates in the recorded webinar below, everything that a customer sees, hears, or touches impacts the experience. In other words, "Everything Speaks."

Snow began work at Disney as a ride operator back in 1979 and then went on to join the company’s management in the 1980’s. Today he consults with businesses of all types about how to build a better experience.

We won’t ruin the webinar for you—it goes into more depth, and includes some great personal anecdotes—but as a takeaway, here are three key lessons on offer from Snow’s years at Disney, as well as some actionable processes you can put into practice every single day to ensure consistent service behaviors across your entire organization.

What makes Disney the happiest place on earth?

When it comes to creating the perfect experience, Disney doesn’t always get it right. They’re human, after all. The question is: what does Disney do better than most companies? The answer is they work towards a clearly defined objective: They want you to come back.

As research revealed, it isn’t the rides that make people return to the Magic Kingdom day after day. Instead, it’s the experience: The staff is friendly, the parks are clean and well-organized—and the rides are great too, of course. But Disney focuses on the moment you arrive at the park to the moment you leave and everything that happens in between. That is the Disney experience, and that’s what they’re selling.

3 key principles at the heart of any service-driven organization

The great news is that what Disney does to ensure parkgoers come back year after year includes several key things that you can do in your company, with your customers.

1. Perform with a relationship mindset, not a task mindset

You can walk into any business and witness people hard at work on their tasks. And when employees are stressed, more often than not, they’re spending too much time on their tasks. But this makes the customer into one more task and leaves them feeling processed and like they haven’t made an emotional connection. When employees are free to focus on relationships instead, they tend to feel valued. The loyalty gap is somewhere between feeling processed and feeling valued.

How do you build a relationship mindset into the way you do things? Snow shares his process for service mapping, wherein you take a key moment or process that needs improvement and you map it out. What is the customer doing each step of the way? For each step, define what mediocre service would look like in that moment, and then what excellent service would look like. Once you know what excellent service looks like, it’s time to get your employees involved.

2. Pay attention to the details

Every detail of the experience either adds or detracts from the brand. This includes the quality, cleanliness, and aesthetic of a physical space as well as “attitudinal” elements like tone of voice, quality of email, user friendliness of a process, and so on. When you look around at the details, are they sharing the same story? Snow uses an analogy to ask: What are your “Smoking Cinderella” behaviors? What distracts from your message and what could potentially bring the whole experience crashing down? Once you’ve identified those things, you have to make a company-wide commitment to the resolution.

3. Create moments of Wow

Little “wow” moments may not always be consciously noticed each time by customers, but they still register and have a cumulative effect. What’s more, opportunities to create wow moments are everywhere. In a hierarchy of what is expected from your service, the baseline is accuracy and availability. Once you’ve offer that, you earn the right to begin creating “wow” moments. The top-level of service is to offer partnerships and provide advice. Ask the question: what service behaviors might exhibit each of these four critical elements of service excellence?

Watch the free webinar to see examples from Disney and to see service mapping in action.

Dennis Snow is a customer service expert and author of Lessons from the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World's Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life. His expertise was developed over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company. Today, Dennis consults with companies such as American Express General Mills and Johns Hopkins Hospital. His articles appear in industry publications and he's often a featured guest expert on service related topics for several business news-talk radio shows.

Turning Difficult Moments into Positive Customer Experiences

With Kate Nasser

Spotting and adapting to customer's attitudes can be one of the most powerful tools an agent can have. The good news is that no matter how tough the moment or the customer, you have the power to deliver consistently superior service.

Watch this 1-hour webinar, where customer experience master and The People-Skills Coach', Kate Nasser, shares actionable tips for turning a potentially bad interactions into positive customer experience, as well as her foolproof method for staying both objective and caring when dealing with an upset customer.

Kate Nasser, Founder and President, CAS, Inc., is a former techie (BS Mathematics) turned people-skills guru (Masters Organizational Psychology) who turns interaction obstacles into business success. For 23 years Fortune 500 leaders have tapped Kate to create superior customer experiences. Her mission is care-filled productive communication and her ability to inspire people of diverse cultures, personality types, occupations, and generations to the heights of caring is unmatched. Her latest DVD on cultural and regional differences has uncovered a unique dimension of customer service that will wow the customer with personal comfort.

The Apple Experience: Secrets to Insanely Great Customer Loyalty

With Carmine Gallo

The Apple Store is the most profitable retailer on the planet. It boasts the highest revenue per square foot of any retail store, averages more than 20,000 visitors a week and consistently earns accolades for its customer service.

Watch this on-demand webinar where Carmine Gallo, author of The Apple Experience, lifts the curtain behind Apple's stunning success in retail to show anyone how to run any business the Apple way. Carmine Gallo will break down Apple's customer-centric model to provide an action plan with three distinct areas of focus for anyone responsible for delivering exceptional customer service - and helping you create insanely great customer loyalty.

Carmine Gallo is a communication skills coach for some of the world's most admired brands. He is a former vice president for a global, top-ten public relations firm and a former journalist for CNN and CBS. Currently Gallo writes about leadership, communications, and innovation for several publications including Forbes. He's been featured in Success magazine, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Investor's Business Daily. Carmine has written several internally bestselling books including The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. His books have been endorsed by such luminaries as Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. Carmine's new book, The Apple Experience, features the insights he's learned from Apple's iconic visionary as well as other leaders who have re-imagined and reinvented their brands.

Building customer loyalty

Rewards for loyal customers can be somewhat double-edged. When marketing tries to come up with ways for building customer loyalty, they believe that offering rewards can encourage people to become repeat customers. These rewards could be things like punch cards, point systems, or something else that gives loyal customers a reason to keep coming back. The technology of rewards programs has gotten to the point where a consumer doesn't even have to think about the management of them; the rewards simply accumulate and are there when it's time to spend.

But another way to look at this is from the perspective of the brand: what are the benefits it reaps for inspiring loyal customers? And what does it take to inspire that loyalty? Rewards certainly help, but it's more important to focus on things like providing a great product or service and being known for having top-notch customer service. Marketing alone won't convince customers to remain loyal.

To build a brand with loyal customers takes time, but we can't undersell the importance of that investment. As our latest infographic shows, customer loyalty is very important. 78% of loyal customers help spread the word about your brand, and 54% won't even consider switching to a competitor. If your company can offer a unique experience with your product or service, it will only encourage more of your customers to stay loyal.

If you're looking to create a strategy for building loyal customers, learn more about Zendesk for retail.

Building customer loyalty