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We all know how important it is for an organization’s leaders and employees to empathize with its customers. Evidence shows that when people understand and care about those they serve, they solve problems more creatively and provide better service. What’s the best way to cultivate empathy? The standard answer is to spend more time with customers. But recently at IDEO, we’ve been encouraging companies to go a step further. Instead of just getting to know the customer, we want employees to become the customer.

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