Empathy: The Secret to Value Co-Creation?

Voice of Value with Chad Quinn

At Ecosystems, we have always preached that co-creation of value leads to better outcomes, and that when salespeople and customers create value together, it results in a competitive advantage. But don’t just take our word for it.

A study published in the Journal of Business Research on customer value co-creation behavior provides insights into how a salespersons’ behaviors affect value co-creation.

Building on data from a sample of 224 B2B salespeople and their customers, this study explored the impact of a salesperson’s emotional intelligence and empathy, in regards to customer value co-creation.

Research Shows that Empathy Affects Value Co-Creation

Empathy affects value co-creation

The findings of the study revealed that the salesperson’s ability to understand, perceive, and regulate emotions affects customer co-creation behaviors differently. 

Before this study, little research had been done to explore how salespeople influence customer co-creation at the individual level. The researchers posited that there is untapped potential in further exploring which factors might influence the buyer-seller interaction in the process of value co-creation and how this process may unfold.

What excites me is how this study and it’s findings support key capabilities in the Ecosystems (SaaS) platform: 

  1. It shows that emotional intelligence is a significant predictor of customer co-creation value and customer commitment to the salesperson. 
  2. It provides insights regarding salesperson empathy, and how the salesperson’s empathetic ability influences customer co-creation outcomes.

How Ecosystems Makes Co-Creating Value Easy

Examining interpersonal interactions between the buyer and seller is critical for any sales organization because boundary-spanning salespeople are privy to critical customer insights, have more frequent interactions with customers, and therefore have key opportunities to better develop value co-creation with customers.

The Ecosystems platform provides the seller a digital collaborative workspace to exercise emotional intelligence and empathy with the buyer. As a seller and customer co-create value they can access a growing repository of value drivers that look at value across the following dimensions: corporate value, job value, and personal value. 

Letting the Customer Choose their Value Drivers

Our library of customer value drivers allows the seller to “read the customer” and determine whether they wish to explore more emotional, story-driven value drivers, or logical, math-driven value drivers. The Ecosystems platform has over 5,000 templates that we consider our ‘Value LEGOS’. A seller can use a template, or build their own, all in our platform. Like real LEGOS, our pre-built pieces can be easily snapped on or snapped off, and each piece can be an important part of any foundation or structure.

Our software allows the seller to empathetically listen to exactly how the buyer wants to frame the value story and then fully customize both the qualitative content and the quantitative content in their own words and metrics. 

As this recent study reported, “by defining and solving problems collectively, the value co-creation process assumes all participating parties are willing and prepared to share complementary expertise, skills, and knowledge to develop win-win situations for each constituent involved. In this instance, customers are treated as critical resources in the value creation process.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

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