What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined as the ability to perceive and express emotions, access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought, understand and manage one’s own emotions, and minimise the influence of emotions on thoughts and behaviours.
Emotional intelligence also includes the ability to recognize emotions in others and respond accordingly – a skill known as empathy or emotional awareness.
Emotional Intelligence plays a crucial role in customer engagement. Apart from being available 24X7 (via virtual call center software), customers also need you to get hold of their exact emotions and experience. A lot of times, what people mistake as bad customer service is a lack of emotional intelligence.
The ability to understand and manage your emotions plays a bigger role than you think. It not only helps you decide how to deal with people in a situation, but it also helps you determine how you should deal with customers or employees.
To understand it better, let’s take an example with a context to customer service.
Suppose, you bought something, and later on down the road encountered customer service, which was just terrible.
What did the seller do to make you feel like they just didn’t care?
We bet you can pinpoint the exact reason.
That being said, customer service is vital since it leads to customer loyalty. In order to get the most out of your customer base (and increase sales), you have to maximise it.
With customer service playing a crucial role in that, it’s important to implement emotional intelligence into the mix.
Why is EQ important for customer service?
Customer service is a complex area of business that requires a combination of skills, knowledge and abilities to excel. The most important of these is the ability to relate to customers and to understand their needs, wants and emotions. Virtual call center software can help you make the customer experience efficient. But understanding customers’ emotions will make it effective.
Emotional intelligence is essential for effective customer service because it helps you connect with customers in meaningful ways. It helps you understand your customers’ needs and wants so that you can provide them with quality service.
Here are some more reasons why emotional intelligence is so important for customer service:
It helps you build trust with your customers. If you know how to interact with people properly, they’ll trust that you’ll take care of them properly. They’ll feel like they’re being treated fairly and respectfully, too, which will make them more likely to come back again in the future!
It helps teams work better together (and get along better). When everyone understands each other’s feelings and reactions as well as their own. It makes it easier for everyone on the team to work together smoothly without any conflicts or misunderstandings getting in the way.
How emotional intelligence improves your customer service?
Here are some ways in which emotional intelligence can help improve your customer service:
- Empathy: Understanding your customers’ emotions and needs can help you empathise with them. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can better understand their concerns and provide solutions that address their needs.
- Active listening: Emotional intelligence helps you listen actively, which means paying attention to what your customers are saying, and not just hearing them. This helps you ask the right questions and provide better solutions. A virtual call center software can help you with past insights and data to provide a customer with the best service possible.
- Managing emotions: It’s important to remain calm and composed, even in difficult situations. Emotional intelligence helps you manage your own emotions, which in turn helps you de-escalate tense situations and find a resolution.
- Building relationships: By showing emotional intelligence and empathy, you can build strong relationships with your customers. This can lead to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Enhanced Agent Attrition: Having emotionally intelligent interactions with customers offers benefits not just to the customers but also to the agents and call centres. Research shows that agents with high emotional intelligence have a significantly lower rate of turnover, up to 63% lower, which results in a more stable and experienced workforce.
An effective response to a customer’s complaint involves connecting with the person and demonstrating empathy. In order to connect with the customer, you have to internalise their complaint, understand it clearly and fully, and then act upon it. If you can’t do these things, the customer will not be satisfied. Perhaps that is why emotional intelligence is so important in customer service–it’s the vehicle for connection and empathy.84