Intuitive customer empathy


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When a company truly cares for its customers … customers know it. They can feel it. You can’t fake it. You can’t collect surveys and never take action or never thank customers for their input. That isn’t genuine.

Let me tell you about one company with sincere customer empathy.

I recently visited an office of Intuit outside Dallas. I was struck by how much their culture and orientation is to really walk in their customers’ shoes. Their empathy entails, “Taking on our customers’ pain and making it our own until we can find a resolution.”

Talk is cheap and many companies claim they care about customers. Intuit truly does.

They are using many of the best practices of customer experience such as:

  • Intuit has a closed loop on customer feedback. That means they call customers within 24-48 hours if they gave a low Net Promoter Score. Every customer! I got to listen in on one of these calls. And when they call customers who experienced an issue, they listen, they care, they empathize and they find ways to restore the customer and resolve issues (even if it means connecting with others inside the organization that will help the customer).
  • Intuit uses ethnographic research to understand what their customers’ lives are like. They go into offices and homes and spend a day – or even a week with customers! And who goes to do that “research?” It’s the people who designed the product the customer is using (or at least someone who has direct impact and can make changes based on customer learning). Awesome! Intuit knows surveys are one type of customer feedback, but to bring the empathy and emotion to life, you need to sit down with customers face to face. I love this approach!
  • Intuit cares about employees. This is genuine too. They know that happy employees help generate happy customers. Their employee care seems to know no bounds. Intuit offers its employees $600 a year to spend on wellness – like a gym membership, hiring a personal trainer or some other benefit. Employees also get 32 hours a year of paid time to volunteer with non-profits. Plus, they celebrate successes of employees with a Wall of Fame. Literally a wall for innovative employee (their photo and their idea is posted prominently in the office corridors) plus a celebration dinner. The list goes on from here.

(If you are a CXPA member I encourage you to get online and check out the content I’ll be posting from my visit – see the CX Tools section.)

When Intuit is asked if they ever make decisions based on financials alone, they said no. They know that short term decisions don’t build long-term growth. Customers must be considered in addition to operational and financial considerations. In fact, Intuit realizes that a slower economy is the perfect time to invest in customer experience and stand out from the pack. That means you’re ahead of others as the economy recovers. Smart!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kim Proctor
Kim has a passion for improving the customer experience and loves the online space. Having spent most of her career on the web, Kim is a consultant that knows how to grow web traffic, leverage social media and grow deeper customer relationships. She has consulted for a wide range of companies from small business to the Fortune 500. For more info, see


  1. ….”inside-out customer advocacy”, and the inherent customer-centricity displayed in closed-loop VOC, application of ethnographic research, and recognition of the value of building employee ambassadorship are characteristics of what Professor Jagdish Sheth and two colleagues would label as a “firm of endearment”: Intuitive customer (stakeholder) empathy comes rather naturally when the culture has focus, consistency, and fairness built into the DNA.


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