Beth Schultz

Add Some Empathy to Your Data Analytics

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BethSchultz
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
BethSchultz   11/1/2012 4:14:29 PM
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@mnorth -- harken back with only the foundest of thoughts, of course....

mnorth
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
mnorth   11/1/2012 2:22:07 PM
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Yes, and I would hope that when they receive it, they hearken back to their college professors who pled with them to remember to be empathetic when they achieved management status!

BethSchultz
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
BethSchultz   11/1/2012 1:05:06 PM
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So @mnorth, it sounds like what we need is some management training!

mnorth
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
mnorth   11/1/2012 12:49:56 PM
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It's hard to tell.  As they graduate and move into their first jobs, there are a lot of pressures.  They are the new kid on the block, and they're pretty much being told what to do, when and how.  They aren't empowered to ask questions like: "Is this the right thing to do for the customer?"  They may hearken back to my impassioned pleas to be humane and empathetic.  They may remember articles I made them read or discussion we had in class, but I get the sense that they often don't feel like they can do much about it.  If their boss says "Go through this list and find all the unprofitable customers so we can get rid of them", then that's what they do.  So I try to be real with them, I try to tell them that even if they can't do much about it at the start of their career, don't forget the lessons I'm trying to teach them so that when they become the supervisor, they can tell their new hires to be sure to analyze with empathy.

BethSchultz
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
BethSchultz   11/1/2012 12:29:17 PM
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@mnorth, glad to hear you're trying to instill an empathetic nature in your students. Is it working, do you think?

mnorth
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
mnorth   10/31/2012 12:00:27 PM
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This is a theme I'm constantly pushing with my students -- there are people behind those numbers.  I like to use the example of law enforcement profiling.  This is a controversial topic because it uses analytics to essentially brand some people as bad, or at least as a risk.  But those are real people.  We can't forget that even if the computer says they're bad, they're still a person with rights, feelings, etc.

kicheko
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
kicheko   10/31/2012 10:20:19 AM
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I'm not sure if this one flls under empathy as well... I'm thinking of brands that don't sell mini-versions of their products because their target market is the top tier of spenders. Yet if they can sell a smaller pack of that expensive perfume, someone outside that top group will be able to try it, and maybe use it occasionally.

BethSchultz
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
BethSchultz   10/30/2012 2:26:17 PM
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@callmebob, I was initially thinking that perhaps as companies embrace customer experience management programs over customer relationship management, they might become more empathetic. But the more I thought about it, the less I believe that. I think the focus in either case is in "managing" customers in order to get the most out of them vs. a focus on gaining a true understanding of customers and a desire to act on their behalf.

rbaz
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Re: I feel your pain...or discomfort
rbaz   10/30/2012 2:18:35 PM
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There seem to be a cultural component at play as to the degree of empathy applied. In the European or western marketing approach, the product is the connection and point of emphasis, not much effort or consideration is applied beyond.

Callmebob
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I feel your pain...or discomfort
Callmebob   10/30/2012 2:02:04 PM
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Would they think twice about wrapping up their data with empathy? I would say not.

I think too many companies give their customers short shrift, and by doing so lose out. Before reading about the Hero MotoCorp and their women and scooters example in India I had seen an article from a disgruntled woman about sports bra manufactures - essentially criticizing manufacturers who didn't make an effort to design sports bras for large bosomed women. Maidenform probably has tons of data but minimal softscaling capabilities based on this example.

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