It’s no surprise that we want to be around people who make us feel better. This fact is especially true for customers, who are constantly on the lookout for rewards, perks, and customer satisfaction. Customers are extremely sensitive to poor service or sullen behavior and will express dissatisfaction and change their perception of the business. In extreme cases, they may even direct their energies online, turning discontent into a PR disaster for the company.
Oftentimes, cases of dissatisfaction arise from an employee who lacks the interpersonal skills required for a position that places them in front of customers. The lack of people skills can arise for a number of reasons, ranging from shyness to a bad start of the day. However, in many cases, the culprit lies in the concurring lack of emotional intelligence.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as EQ, is defined as the ability to understand and manage emotions as they happen to both yourself and those around you. This awareness leads to a variety of other skills that allow the individual to handle social networks, empathize with others and effectively address customer satisfaction.
In general, emotional intelligence is divided between two categories – personal and social competence. Personal competence is composed of self-awareness and self-management skills, which play a role in how well the individual can handle his or her emotions. On the other hand, social competence mainly determines how the individual is able to navigate social networks in conjunction with their emotional state. Skills such as social awareness and relationship management are major factors in the individual’s level of emotional intelligence.
Why Should You Care about Emotional Intelligence?
Dealing with angry customers can be a real test of emotional intelligence. However, it plays a critical role in the interactions between the employee and the client, and can make the difference in whether the customer decides to come back to the store. The following are just a few of the benefits that come from a workforce with high emotional intelligence:
Attitude and Demeanor:
A high EQ allows individuals to be aware of their own emotions and understand how they affect behavior. Individuals with a high EQ are better able to stay calm in a variety of situations, even when facing angry customers. They are better able to empathize with the customer, understanding their needs and how to best address their requirements. In short, emotional intelligence equips individuals with the attitude needed for a customer service position.
Oftentimes, one of the most important skills for employees is the ability to listen and understand the customer. Emotional intelligence gives individuals the ability to pick up on the emotions of others and anticipate their feelings. As a result, they are able to listen and act in a way that leads to a favorable emotional outcome, benefiting both parties.
Customer satisfaction is not a one-way exchange; employees must also be able to clearly express themselves during a dialogue. Emotional intelligence allows the individual to better perceive his or her feelings and express them more clearly. While emotions are flying back and forth, the employee can pick up on the complexities and address them, allowing for successful customer interaction.
How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
If you feel like you suffer from low emotional intelligence, there’s no need to worry. Unlike personality or IQ, emotional intelligence can be trained and developed. While there are a variety of courses and training classes that help can help you nurture your emotional intelligence, you can also start development on your own. For example, understanding your stress levels will help you stay aware of negative emotions, while working on nonverbal communication can help you develop relationships. With enough practice, you can develop your emotional intelligence to a point where your customers will notice it as well.
About the Author
Sara Fletcher is interested in obtaining emotional intelligence information and understanding how to test emotional intelligence. She loves to explore psychology, business, and sports in relation to her emotional intelligence.