Customer Empathy Insight Research and Solutions

John Jamieson
John Jamieson: 
Pioneer of
Customer Empathy / Personal Customer Service

 Unique and great value Customer Empathy researchconsultancy and training for small to large businesses in the UK and around the world. 

Call Me for a chat or even for a small Empathy Insight taster.


Bringing back the Personal side of Customer Service!

As Customers, we all already know that one of the most powerful ways to make us feel good is just by your being nice to us - treating and valuing us as real People.

Bringing this basic human side back into customer service is finally being more widely recognised as an important element in achieving real and sustainable differentiation within the whole Customer Experience. You may have noticed in your own customer experiences that these days even calling call centres can often feel pretty good, and sometimes even great. Businesses are catching on fast!

I invite you to discover and experience with me how a more personal approach to serving your customers could transform your customer relationships, perhaps starting with an insight into how it currently feels to be a customer of your own business.

True measure of Customer Service success?
"Customers that love your company"
  (pun intended!)


I'm John Jamieson and my passion is for bringing our human side back into business, primarily through encouraging the personal, caring, human-to-human element in Customer Service - reminiscent of the old local corner shop's relationship with its customers - by providing both audits of how it feels to be your Customer, as well as consultancy support for improving it.

Put simply, we will look at:
How good are you making your customers feel by connecting with them personally - as individual people that you value, are interested in and enjoy interacting with? And how can you improve it?

"People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said,
but they will always remember how you made them feel."


Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness - a Path to Profits

Where can I find the help I need? So what should we call this new focus on the personal side?

Crucial as this aspect of the Customer Experience is, strangely enough there's still no accepted industry name for it. Companies are inventing their own terms for it (maybe you already have your own?), such as:

- Excellent Personal Service (Simplyhealth)
- Personal Emotional Connection (Zappos)
- Friends Experience (Friends Provident / Life)
- Emotional Experience / Engagement (Avia, and generally)
- Emotion
(Hallmark Cards)

If you know any more to add to this list, or already have a programme
for the Personal side of your Customer Service, please do let me know!

Way back in 1992, when I created the concept and first started consulting for this, I had to invent a suitable term, so I simply called it Customer Empathy. People quickly related to it, and I still use 'Customer Empathy' with clients unless they opt for their own term instead.

Since then, I've been encouraging businesses in the UK and around the world to simply focus on how they are making their Customers FEEL. Even established names, such as First Direct, Virgin and BT have had their eyes opened and benefited enormously from this approach.

"Your wonderful presentation has left a powerful imprint on me. I could have paid £1000 for a one day motivational seminar and not come away any more invigorated."


Anne-Marie Fahy, Group Operations, Lloyds TSB Bank plc

A generic and helpful term could also be Personal Customer Service (PCS).

Why Customer Empathy / Personal Customer Service?

It's all based on common sense: as a customer yourself, you're probably already aware that the kind of service that makes you feel more loyal to a company is as much about making you feel good at a human / personal level (valued, cared for, important, happy and so on), as it is about getting what's delivered 'right first time', or even getting or more than you expected.

It's no longer not just what you DO for your customers,
but also HOW you are actually making us FEEL, as people.

In my previous life as a business and technology management consultant, I had noticed that my clients were making a heck of lot of effort to get their processes right for the customer (or even to try to give them more than they had expected), but that not a lot of attention was being given to how it felt to be a customer on the receiving end. In fact, it wasn't even thought possible to objectively measure feelings (and even now, that's still usually assumed to be so).

But, as a customer myself, I knew that how I felt was really the only thing that mattered to me. So, in 1992, I pioneered and developed the Customer Empathy Audit based on a new objective methodology I had devised for measuring feelings on an absolute 1 to 10 scale. When used for the overall average feeling of a company's Customer Experience, we call it an Empathy Rating.

The absolute 1 to 10 scale for measuring feelings

Service is getting personal

20 years ago, calling a large company was typically a dismal experience; in those days company Empathy Ratings were mostly in the 4.0 to 5.5 range (Feels Bad or Neutral). But in the last few years, even the lowest companies score at least 5.5, and the best companies have been achieving Empathy Ratings in the 6.5 - 7.0 range and occasionally even higher (6.5 is the beginning of the Feels Good range), and that's a huge difference: basically from feeling bad at a personal level to feeling good, in just a couple of decades.

Common sense is now prevailing, and companies are finally giving more and more commitment to bringing the personal side fully back into the Customer Experience. However, Personal Customer Service is still relatively undeveloped, with even the very best companies struggling to exceed an Empathy Rating of 7.5 out of 10. 

This is exciting because it means there's still huge room for improvement!

"Is your team using emotion words like 'care'?"

Darren Cornish, Director of Customer Experience at Norwich Union (Avia):

"Insurance at core, care at our heart"

Until recently, it's been fairly unusual to come across an individual customer service interaction that actually makes you feel good - Empathy Rating around 7 - and an 8 (feels very good) was exceedingly rare, let alone a 9 (feels extremely good) which was maybe just once in a blue moon, and a 10 (feels fantastically good) was literally unheard of.

Yet, working with my clients, we have proved that not only are these higher rating 'Feels Good' personal interactions now possible, but that they can become the everyday Customer Experience norm. And it does feel great - not just for the customer, but also for the customer service agent, and actually, for the whole company.

"Customer Empathy is, by far, the most important and meaningful to me of all our Board's customer service reports. It's the only one I'm really interested in!"

CEO of a UK Insurance Group

You too, can quickly achieve some amazing results through significantly improving your 'Customer Empathy', helping you stand out from your competition with outstanding, memorable and Personal Customer Service - so that Customers love your company (pun intended!)

This is because it actually IS possible to establish an emotional connection/ bond with customers - to capture their hearts as well as their minds - even on a short, basic phone call.

Traditional Customer Service programs tend to focus more on WHAT you should do, even down to what tone of voice to use. This can lead to service-with-a-smile mentality, but as we all know from being on the receiving end - if it's not sincere, it backfires!

As a result, Customer Service training programs and staff performance measures often try to control the customer interaction so much that it risks de-personalising it, making truly personal interactions all but impossible. Accordingly, standard Customer Service measures are often not showing the whole story and can even be seriously misleading, giving a false sense of confidence.

So for Customer Empathy, we focus on HOW you are coming across - how you are making customers feel. We usually start with an assessment of your current 'Customer Empathy' - because there's nothing like raw, hard data combined with and recordings of real experiences of how it actually feels to be a customer to help get your team's attention!

" Right from day one, John provided us with valuable insights into how we could not only improve the service but also how we could go to a fundamentally higher level of service than we had ever contemplated...  and has helped us understand how to define and consistently measure our service interaction with customers.

" John is a living example of what he preaches and has consistently delivered beyond our expectations in both the content and the manner of his support. He has been worth every single penny! "


Keith Mansfield, Head of Individual Customer Services, Friends Life (was Friends Provident)
click here for full testimonial

Have an interest or passion for Personal Customer Service too?
How to get started

What are my customers feeling?If all this is already something you relate to - or hopefully, are even passionate about - I'd very much love to connect with you; with my 20 years' experience, I have a lot to offer.

A quick chat will help you get much clearer on all this; so I would encourage you to simply contact me for to discuss your own situation and  possibilities for a more personal service.

I look forward to talking with you soon. 

John Jamieson
(originally John Pearson!)

Phone (UK): 0208 133 2413
(International): +44 208 133 2413

Skype id:


Discover exactly how GOOD it FEELS to be one of your customers
And how it can feel a whole lot better!








Marketing News article - a good overview
Customer Empathy?
A natural ability
Empathy Benefits
Free-Range Report
A taster?
Empathy Consulting
About John

What's the quickest, most powerful and cost-effective way to WIN 
Customer Loyalty ?
...capturing the hearts , as well as the minds, of your customers!






"As a result of the economic slowdown, business leaders are focusing on the central role of customer service to simultaneously lower costs and build customer loyalty. The loss of a profitable customer, or a potentially profitable customer, is expensive and preventable."
29th April 2009 Michael Maoz, VP Gartner Inc. PRNewswire









'Customer Fatigue' is getting worse - we customers just won't stand for it when it's wrong, and just because it's 'right' doesn't mean we're going to stay either!



  must know by now that Customer Satisfaction is
NO LONGER enough
... Customers have to love doing business with you!





"The truth of a thing is in the feel of it, not the think of it"
Stanley Kubrick