Falak Hyat (June 2, 2014)
Emotional intelligence has received a lot of attention for its impact on managing relationships, leadership as well as improving interpersonal skills. The more important use of Emotional intelligence for businesses is to utilize it for the satisfaction and smooth experience of the customers.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) gained much popularity after the publication of Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ (1995). Emotional intelligence is defined as the “ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior”.
The essential point is how we can use emotional intelligence to raise the reputation of a company and raise its customer service benchmark. The more reliable, consistent and trustworthy your company is perceived as, more customers will keep coming back to you for products and services. Teach your company management as well as the frontline staff to act more emotionally intelligent and look at situations from a more strategic lens.
Let’s closely examine how emotional intelligence can help improve the customer experience your company offers.
EQ equips your company’s front line staff to understand the customer, his or her anger, impatience and attitude. No matter how many smiles you give or how quickly you promise to resolve an issue, every customer cannot be managed in the same way.
This is where the role of EQ comes in, having the ability to handle each customer carefully, with understanding his or her perspective and emotional involvement with the situation. You can’t blame a customer to lash out at you, if their wedding shoes were not delivered for the wedding date. You can’t. So you have to make sure to win them back and employ ways to promise them a better service in the future.
If your frontline staff has taken EQ training, then it is more likely they will handle a disgruntled customer with more clarity. For example, if a customer walks in and starts ridiculing the staff or the company, the representative should not take it personally or feel insulted. An emotionally intelligent person will be in control, since he will be managing his emotions as well as the emotions of the customer, without letting the situation get out of control.
Companies which are solution oriented and focus on serving the customer instantly, gain more loyalty from customers, as compared to companies that make them wait or delay the process. The speed of the service and the effort the customer needs to put in, calculates the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction a customer can feel.
Apple can be seen as a company that has emotionally intelligent staff, who know how to handle customers and offer quick solutions, never leaving the customer disheartened. When customers walk into an Apple store, they are almost guaranteed that they will not leave without a solution.
Engaging customers is an art in itself, offering fancy deals and discounts are not enough to attract and engage customers anymore. There has to be a differentiating edge between you and your competitors that wins you the loyalty and engagement of the customer, increasing your profits and raising the ROI in the future.
What can be this factor? If every company made the same shoe, and sold it for the same price, what would make the customer buy it from you and not your competitor? It would be the experience. It is especially the emotional experience that lures in customers towards your brand. A seamless service experience with friendly and empathetic staff will bring in more business as compared to flashy offers but poor service delivery.
An empathetic staff, that understands your needs, your wants and caters to your emotional attachment to the brand, will win you an endless victory of customer loyalty, engagement and hence more customers for the future.
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