Kholer Teaches Empathy to Raise Brand Loyalty, Repurchase Probability

Posted: 06/19/2011

John Bashaw, Kholer's Director of Customer Service, joined CMIQ after his presentation at the 3rd Annual Customer Experience Summit.

Kholer Teaches Empathy to Raise Brand Loyalty, Repurchase Probability

Kholer, manufacturer of all types of home fixtures (sinks, showers, kitchen counters, etc.), would appear the epitome of small town service provided by a large company. The company thought they could do better, though.

Headquartered in the remote and homey Kholer, Wisc., the company took stock of its customer interactions and discovered that some of its front-line agents were too skills based in their jobs. They were trained and focused on "skill" – effectively trouble-shooting and fixing a problem.

Customers responded, however, that agents often didn’t make them feel special, and that a representative lacked a critical element – empathy. John Bashaw, Kholer’s Director of Customer Service, directed the research and developing of a new training program that emphrasized both "skill" and "will" – how to interact with a customer to meet emotional needs. He spoke about this new training program at the recent 3rd Annual Customer Experience Summit.

After his talk, Bashaw joined CMIQ to discuss the specifics of the new program, which spans three, two-hour modules linked to "brand ambassadorship." He reported that the company has already seen its repurchase probability and brand loyalty go up, even though the program is still in its early phases.