HBR: What kind of customer preferences did you focus on?
In one experiment we asked managers to develop a new car model and choose the features customers wanted. In another we had them decide on a new ad campaign for Rolex. In a third they were asked to set the price for a sandwich at a café. In every case, predictions about what customers wanted matched the managers’ personal preferences more closely when the managers had been primed to be more empathetic.
They were projecting?
Yes, even when the customers were totally different from themselves. In the sandwich experiment, for instance, the customers were students. Completely different people, but the managers still projected their own preferences onto them....176
Via Jeff Domansky