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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Today's little bucket of offal from the magical (but shrinking) world of marketers with lots of money to waste

Lee Iacocca (remember him? He saved Chrysler for a bit) wrote something good: "If you want to succeed you'd better get on with people, because that's all we've got around here."

And Peter Drucker pointed out that there is only one profit centre in business - your customers.

Many folks as they lick their way up the corporate ladder tend to lose interest in customers and are too damned busy to study them. So they take refuge in the bullshit purveyed by agency planners and academic research.

Both often tell you things you should know already, such as that if you show an interest in customers they like it and buy more.

Isn't that amazing? All you have to do is deliver a better product or service and tell the right people about it in a way they find likable. Not necessarily easy, but very simple. Yet some think it is terra incognita.

Take an email my friend Martin Chilcott, marketing director cum laude, sent me the other day with the subject line We'd love you to join us - Empathy Benchmarking.

That got the old pulse racing, I can tell you. Then it went on, with more than its fair share of jargon and illiteracy.

Ok – most organisation now have something similar to either a Customer Satisfaction or Advocacy measure in place which helps us capture the Customer voice. However, most companies have no idea how their peoples’ attitudes and behaviours are making their customers feel, or how they are performing relative to competitors or parallel companies. Interestingly, and unlike many other measures, the empathy displayed by agents has been academically proven to correlate directly to profit.

Compathy Limited,SOCAPiE and Oxford Brookes University Business Schoolare working together to bring you the Somthing4Everyone Benchmarking Programme. Essentially it is a re-launch, and upgrade, of the Empathy Rating Index Programme run by Harding & Yorke between 2004-9 with the traditional empathy related questions, a new competency set and a series of ‘likelihood of referral’ questions which help organisations understand the key drivers behind traditional advocacy metrics. All the previous data captured on over 150 companies from 12 different industries semi-annually will be made available and the Empathy Licensees will be on hand to support root cause analysis, making the findings come alive and change intitiatives.

To participate, and to benefit from the in-depth analysis to be carried out by Oxford Brookes University Business School, you must either be a Member of SOCAPiE or be pre-sponsored by an Empathy Licensee.

SOCAPiE, a not-for-profit organisation, have put together some amazing discounted options for existing Members (participation from as little as £2,800 plus Vat) and combined new Membership and participation (from £3,650 plus Vat).

The Benchmark will cover 4 territories; UK & EMEA, Americas, ASIA and Australasia and is set to become the World’s most influential and strategically important research programme supporting the customer experience.

You really couldn't make it up, could you? But then again, why would you want to? I guess somebody buys this stuff. Why? And is something spelt without an e?

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