Engaging with Empathy: The Secret to Success

Customer relationships are all about the “three Es”: engagement, empathy, and experience. Despite — or maybe due to — social distancing, we have all learned the importance of engagement; coming together, even virtually, is mutually beneficial for everyone. Building and maintaining relationships takes effort and requires trust. We understand this to be true in our personal lives and it is equally true when it comes to managing customer relationships.

At SAP, we are deeply committed to these relationships. Every decision we make and every solution we build is done with the customer at the center. Our customers value these efforts and recently expressed their appreciation through online reviews, earning SAP the coveted TrustRadius Top Rated Award in the Procurement Software category.

“SAP Ariba has earned a Top Rated award in the Procurement Software category based entirely on feedback from their customers,” said Megan Headley, vice president of Research at TrustRadius. “Reviewers on TrustRadius value the product’s invoice tracking capabilities, catalog management features, and integrations with ERP systems,”

This acknowledgement is a great honor for multiple reasons. Not only are the Trust Radius Top Rated Awards the industry standard for unbiased recognition of the best business-to-business (B2B) technology products, more importantly, they are the direct result of our customer engagement. Having also earned TrustRadius’ Best Usability and Best Feature Set awards this year, we view this recognition as a testament to our customer-first approach, validating our procurement solution strategy and vision while further fueling our commitment to invest in SAP Ariba solutions to deliver next-generation spend management capabilities for our customers.

Engagement is only the first step in our process. Being truly engaged and actively listening, seeing things from the customer’s perspective, and cultivating compassion for the challenges they face: this is empathy, which brings us to that third E, experience. Providing the right solutions, based on empathy for the customer’s business challenges, only gets you halfway. You may be addressing the customer’s challenge and solving their problem, but this is solely a transaction. Partnering with the customer and taking an outcome-focused approach while continuously capturing and acting on their input to drive relevant improvements and bring value ensures the best end-to-end experience.

To help ensure our customers are heard and have the best possible experience, our dedicated customer advocates create opportunities for knowledge sharing and community building. Customer engagement initiatives and customer advisory boards also provide excellent forums for us to capture and act on end-user input, driving improvements in both outcomes and experiences. This focus on active listening combined with effective feedback loops drive meaningful solution improvements, enabling providers to better serve customer challenges and continuously deliver innovative industry solutions.

Empathetic partnerships such as these result in the development of common goals, solidifying relationships and creating customers for life. We are grateful for the collaborative relationships we’ve built with our procurement customers and their continued collaboration and contributions to our market-leading solutions.

Strong relationships based on common goals are truly the secret to our success.


Tamara Braun is chief customer officer for Intelligent Spend Management at SAP.

Disclaimer: “The TrustMap™ is a visual depiction of the best software products as rated by users on TrustRadius within each market segment. TrustRadius does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its TrustMaps and does not advise software users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings.”