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UserTesting and FORTUNE Brand Studio Survey 200 Global CEOs to Understand the Role Customer Empathy Plays in Overall Business Success

UserTesting (NYSE: USER), a leader in video-based human insight , today released the findings of a survey, in partnership with the FORTUNE Brand Studio, titled The ROI of Customer Empathy . The survey looks at the role CEOs play in building a culture of customer understanding and the impact customer empathy has on driving innovation, digital transformation, financial performance, and ultimately business success.

In a business world where customer sentiment and loyalties can shift overnight, the C-suite has quickly realized that getting customers to stay long-term with their companies now requires an authentic demonstration of customer empathy. Today’s CEOs are realizing that being empathetic to their customers is now a key to their organization’s success.

The ROI of Customer Empathy survey revealed several key trends including:

CEOs agree that attention must be paid to customer empathy

  • A key takeaway noted that CEOs recognize the impact that empathy has on the customer experience (CX) with just over half (55 percent) stating acknowledging that high-quality in-person experiences are the top priority for them as leaders. Although priorities across industries differ, the research shows there is a clear recognition that securing strong personal relationships and supporting empathetic interactions are top of mind for business leaders. The CEOs surveyed acknowledged that accountability starts at the top. Forty percent indicated that they are personally responsible for ensuring that customer understanding underlies the entire process, everything from designing products, through taking them to market, to building great experiences. Additionally, 90 percent understand that they will need to make better use of empathy to interpret customer information and drive customer-facing processes.

Designing better products and experiences takes deep customer understanding

  • The survey found that CEOs consider customer understanding to be critical for teams involved in marketing/brand-building (38%), operations/production and design/prototyping (38%), and product ideation (26%). To win new consumers and maintain existing customers, organizations need a deep understanding of customer needs, expectations, and feelings. Leaders keenly attuned to the customer journey can glean more than just transactional material from the information they gain from tracking that journey; they can use it to design more successful products and services.

Direct interaction is the best way to gain customer insights

  • The level of a company’s CX maturity was shown to have a direct impact when it comes to selecting the most important means of helping employees demonstrate customer empathy. The research found that CEOs with mature CX organizations think beyond data capture and more frequently turn to technologies for sharing customer information and insights across the organization. The CEOs surveyed ranked direct interaction with customers as most important overall at 45 percent, followed by customer feedback reports and market research reports, tied at 35 percent.

“The research reflects what we see every day with our customers. Empathy is having a greater and greater impact on overall business outcomes,” said Andy MacMillan, CEO of UserTesting. “CEOs must lead the effort to make sure every employee has access to the human insights they need to truly understand their customers. As we see from the findings of this report, CEOs need to be the stewards of customer empathy and foster a company culture ingrained in customer feedback.”

To access The ROI of Customer Empathy report, click here .

Methodology
FORTUNE Brand Studio and UserTesting conducted an online survey of 200 CEOs in October 2021. All respondents were located in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Of these, 60% were CEOs of small-and medium-sized companies (up to 250 employees and 251 to 1,000 employees, respectively), and 40% led large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.

About UserTesting
UserTesting (NYSE: USER) has fundamentally changed the way organizations get insights from customers with fast, opt-in feedback and experience capture technology. The UserTesting Human Insight Platform taps into our global network of real people and generates video-based recorded experiences, so anyone in an organization can directly ask questions, hear what users say, see what they mean, and understand what it’s actually like to be a customer. Unlike approaches that track user behavior then try to infer what that behavior means, UserTesting reduces guesswork and brings customer experience data to life with human insight. UserTesting has more than 2,300 customers, including more than half of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands according to Forbes. UserTesting is headquartered in San Francisco, California. To learn more, visit www.usertesting.com .

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