The Customer Empathy Audit™


The delivery of Customer Service research and tracking of the customer experience using our Customer Empathy Audit™ approach.  This approach provides you with practical insight on how it feels to be a customer through the analysis of your employee’s behaviour in real interactions you have with your customers.

Set Up

This involves the design of the research process, including gaining an understanding of your business and managing the logistics of capturing and analysing customer interactions.  The actions during set up are:

·         Attend a set up meeting with the key project sponsors to agree:

   Project plans - Inputs, outputs, milestones, change control and timeline.

   Questionnaire - Any bespoke questions you would like us to create, measuring:

§  Brand values, Mission statements, Customer charters, Service initiatives and Process issues.

   Access Methods – Establish how we are going to access your business to enable us to capture customer interactions:

§  Recordings of real customer calls, face to face visits or correspondence.

§  ‘Mystery shopper’ calls, visits or correspondence carried out by our research team.

§  Internet access – sales and service

   Target Areas – Identify and agree a matrix of the homogenous areas from where we will capture customer interactions.  This could include:

§  Telephone Calls, face-to-face interactions (sales or service), letters, emails or internet service.

§  Sales, Service, Technical Support or Help Desks

§  Call type A v. call type B.

·         Establish a day to day client project contact to arrange the capture / recording of customer interactions, agree the story boards for mystery shopping interactions, agree the questionnaire and arrange the final presentation of results.

·         The  project manager will design a bespoke questionnaire for analysis of the interactions, set up the database for analysis and brief our researchers.


At this point our Empathy Researchers measure the customer experience by listening, watching or reading the customer interaction and analysing it by putting themselves into the customer’s shoes.

·       In-depth analysis of the customer experience using Harding & Yorke’s empathy measurement questionnaire together with any agreed bespoke questions.

·       Questionnaire with all the elements and attributes of excellence in an interaction between an organisation and a customer.  The full questionnaire will consist of several hundred points of analysis.

·       Measures the levels of excellence provided by your people, analysing each of the key dimensions of an interaction:

   Getting Though - When and how you welcome us.

   Developing the Relationship - How you as people impact your customers.

   Handling the Task - How your processes make us feel.

   Promoting Yourselves – If and how you compel us to do business with you.

   Handling Problems – How you deal with us if we have a grievance.

   Wrapping Up - How you end the interaction.

   Delight - How far you exceed our expectations.

   Corporate Characteristics - How your culture draws us in or repels us.

   Bespoke Questions – How far you deliver against your brand values and service initiatives.

Data Analysis

This is the process where our project team draws together the data, multimedia evidence and conclusions from the empathy research into a presentation of the customer experience.

·         Quantitative analysis of performance:

    Using our 1-10 Empathy Rating™ Scale, we will calculate the mean and the trend for each element and attribute of the customer experience.

    This provides an ‘Empathy Rating™’ which is the overall indication of how good or bad it feels to be a customer of your organisation.

    Empathy RatingsÔ and data trends will analysed from a variety of statistically significant views.

·         Qualitative analysis of the root causes of the cultural issues that drive employee behaviours.

    Drawing together behavioural trends to provide insight to the client.

·         A definitive assessment of the customer experience:

    Multimedia examples (sound, video and scans of correspondence) demonstrating the real experience backed up by empathy data.

    Areas of best (and better) practice and those with room to improve.

·         PowerPoint presentation with data, charts, comments, advice and multimedia clips.

Presentation of Results

These presentations normally contain 3 stages:

·         Preview - We recommend that a Preview of the results is shared with the key sponsors of the programme, providing input on the presentation's positioning.  We recommend this is carried out at Harding & Yorke’s head office in Oxfordshire.

·         Presentation – ½ day presentation of the results / action planning workshop to the client management team, facilitated by our Programme and Project Managers.

·         CD Rom with multimedia for internal communications and collateral for training and development.


This process ensures that all documentation is archived for future reference, returned to the client if required or destroyed according to compliance legislation.