Do you know what it takes to turn customers into brand advocates? Most businesses focus on product innovation, competitive price and efficient service. While these factors are essential for attracting potential buyers, they are not enough to build and retain a strong customer base. The secret to winning customers for life is to cater to their emotional needs and for that your staff needs emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify your own and the emotions of others. It helps in understanding and distinguishing between various kinds of sentiments and enables an individual to think and behave accordingly in a situation to improve relationships. There are five aspects of emotional intelligence; self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. EQ can help your staff understand their own sentiments, the emotional state of customers and consequently adapt their actions and behavior to better manage client expectations. EQ enables you to build stronger client relationships and effectively deal with difficult situations. Have a look at how this skill can help enhance satisfaction levels!
Emotional intelligence makes a person self-aware of his/her emotions and behavior. Having high EQ would make your representatives more aware of their actions and therefore they are likely to stay positive. They won’t smile and greet clients just for the sake of practice but do it to make a positive first impression. Motivation is yet another aspect of emotional intelligence. It often happens that customer service staff gets demotivated or stressed. Having high EQ enables them to stay positive, motivated to achieve their goals and they don’t let negative emotions and feelings impact their job.
Without comprehending the emotions of your clients, you can’t really understand their needs and expectations. Emotional intelligence lets you empathize with them, thus putting yourself in their shoes gives you an insight on what they really expect from you. For instance, if a customer asks you to make an exception by shipping a product to a location (where you usually don’t deliver) since it’s a loved one’s birthday; relating to his/her emotions would enable you to take a decision that is likely to create a memorable experience for him/her.
Interpreting customers’ emotions during communication would lead to better interactions. People who are emotionally intelligent can understand the emotional context of various words and gestures. For instance, if during a meeting, you notice that the client has arms crossed and is not maintaining eye contact, your EQ would let you interpret that as lack of trust, and therefore you would know how to improve your communication with that client. Similarly, emotions can be interpreted from the kind of tone and words used in communication, helping representatives devise better responses.
For customer service staff, handling difficult situations often gets challenging. Emotional intelligence prepares and helps your team handle all sorts of scenarios with patience and motivation. For instance, an angry customer walks in and starts using harsh words and threatens to post negative reviews on social media. An emotionally intelligent CSR will control his/her feelings at this point and consider the emotional state of the client. Instead of showing negative emotion, the CSR would empathize and will try to make the situation better by apologizing, using kind words and offering an instant solution to the issue.
Social skills is an important facet of emotional intelligence, it helps individuals build and manage relationships. Having emotionally intelligent people in your team would lead to stronger and well-managed client relationships. They would look for ways to make clients feel appreciated and happy. For instance, by assessing the emotions of customers your staff understands the importance of undivided attention and personalized communication. Therefore, companies can have dedicated CSRs and relationship managers for customers to make them feel special and build stronger connections with them.
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