BrandArena: Empathy is needed for start-up businesses

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Empathy is needed for start-up businesses

The start-up culture is often associated with working in an environment that is fast-paced, close and creative. While these traits are unquestionably important aspects, there is a simple, single word that is at the heart of every successful business: empathy. Particularly as start-ups continues to bring together high-tech solutions to swap manual work, an essential influence of a company’s culture and achievement will depend on how well they can empathise with their clients and customers.

As easy as keeping a few values in mind - You can infuse empathy in your business without an entire reshape of your model.

It is critical to never stop working to understand your customers. Showing that you understand their needs builds trust in you, your business and your services. While it can be as simple as asking for feedback, at the venture online takeaway service, Hellofood, this means creating shared experiences where we can observe customer discomfort points.

Understanding with our restaurant partners is ideal as it builds that connection. Whether it’s from time spent working with a restaurant to ensure that customer service team members rightly put themselves in the shoes of restaurants to understand their needs. To understand restaurant’s we simply need to order more take away food. But truly, these experiences serve as critical tools to not only ensure our workforce's empathise with our customers, but to also ultimately further the development of our services.

Often, areas for improvement are only noticed by those with a deep familiarity of our service. We make innovation and development part of our culture. With such insight from this experience it has permitted us to develop the customer experience with product updates that could have been unnoticed, for instance the ability to swiftly change menu items if there is such a case were there’s an ingredient shortage . A full understanding of your products- when it comes to every employee at the company- remains the key to recognising and capitalising on opportunities for variation.

The journey for a business start-up in Africa can be challenging but through one way or the other you can overcome it, once you open the door to a wealth of knowledge it can permit you to contribute in the development of operationalising , said Guillaume Leblond, managing director of Hellofood, a food delivery platform.

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