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December 7, 2009

Posted by Hannah Davies in Wired to Care.
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Wired to Care

This book was right up my street. The idea that businesses can actually do better for themselves if they care about their customers is exactly what I want to hear! With a marketing background and a desire to move to CSR, it summed up everything I believe in (or want to believe in at least), in a very readable, interesting, engaging format.

The book explores the role of empathy in business. It starts with the story of Pattie Moore, a designer who wanted to fully understand how to design for an elderly customer segment. So she took the concept of ethnographic interviewing one step further and dressed as an old lady on her weekends then wandered around the city experiencing life as an old person. Later on, the book picks up her story again and it turns out she was one of the designers behind the ‘good grip’ OXO kitchen brand which has been extremely successful because of its universal design appeal and easy-to-use utensils. Pattie’s ability to get under the skin of her target market allowed her to deliver products which were so customer-friendly, they couldn’t fail to be successful.

Written by a professor at the Stanford Design School, the book is full of great stories and examples of how empathy can help you connect with your customer and ultimately be more successful in business; whether through greater customer loyalty, better designed products, a clearer understanding of what your customers want, or happier, more motivated employees. It fell on very receptive ears so I feel a little biased in my opinion; but whilst I’m willing to confess that it did make the same point over and over again in different ways, I would also argue that it’s such a great point that it’s worth hearing over and over! The book was well written and interesting, the stories were compelling, and overall I would recommend it as a read.

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