Inducing emotional intelligence to your business is an integral step in securing long term customer interest. In order to solidify a vital bond between your frontline staff and customers, you need an emotional customer engagement strategy. This connection is essential, to build a pool of customers who stick around for longer periods of time with your organization. When dealing with a discontent customer, providing your client an emotional experience tremendously impacts perception about your company.
Furthermore, it establishes a positive image in your customer’s mind and helps foster a better relationship, securing brand loyalty for extended years to come.
You might succeed in gauging your customer’s expectations, however gauging perception is not so easy. Perception is usually based on visibility and credibility of any company. Customer’s interest in a product or service depends a lot on perception of your company, according to which individual expectations get aligned. Any interaction with an existing or a potential customer will lead to some state of emotion in that individual customer and if we understand their true perception and absolute expectation through emotional intelligence then the potential of dazzling your customer increases immensely.
Significance of Evoking Emotional Intelligence in Service Orientation
The process of evoking ‘emotional intelligence’ in business representatives is critical, especially in the contemporary world of highly competitive businesses. Service orientation demands a proactive identification of a customer’s needs, concerns and root cause of distress. Emotional intelligence not only helps in identifying emotions but also helps in analyzing the situation rationally before responding. This ensures successful interaction between customers and your business. Honing the four key components of emotional intelligence by your front end associates will help in adding more loyal customers and strengthen your base.
The 4 basic components of emotional intelligence are:
Identifying Emotions: This is the ability to identify your own emotions and the feelings of others around you. It is directly related to Goleman’s concept of Self-Awareness. You must be conscious about your thoughts, strengths, weaknesses and response to stimuli. Knowing what you are good at and accepting your limitations is the primary step to being an emotionally intelligent individual.
Understanding Emotions: It is important to understand that each emotion hints of evident behavioral traits. Interacting with happy and content customers gives a sense of unity and co-operation. On the contrary, you might need to invest more time and effort in understanding and resolving situations where customers feel sad, frustrated and neglected. Being sensitive to each individual and responding accordingly, helps develop an emotional bond with your customers.
Using Emotions: This involves monitoring your emotions and conducting yourself appropriately. Being able to delve deeper into your own emotional repository helps empathize with your customers, making you conscious of your social surrounding. This can be used effectively to tune into emotional cues from your customers and persuade them to subscribe to your services, by offering ideal solutions.
Managing Emotions: Once you can identify and understand what a particular emotion conveys you have enhanced your ability to self-regulate those emotions. Now you have voluntary control, on whether to be overwhelmed by the situation or redirect unwanted negative signals in order to facilitate a healthy interaction to reach your goals. In other words, it involves intellectualizing the blend of all the other three components.
Psychologist David Wechsler defines intelligence as, “the aggregate or global capacity of an individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment”. This definition points out personal and public attributes of an individual, well-defined at length in the legendary book of Steven Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The ability to identify your own state of feeling, helps in realizing the instantaneous response which can be regulated to suit the need of the moment and maneuver it to have a “win-win” situation. The service orientation of such personalities is bound to be matchless because their ability to empathize is stronger. Connecting with your customers empathetically gives wider scope of using emotions more favorably. Such personalities would prove to be the change agents in creating a favorable perception about your product or service.
How Would Change Agents Benefit Your Business?
The idea to invest in training employees to sharpen the four skills of emotional intelligence will certainly devise change agents to revamp the perceived quality of service. The overall improvement in service gives a definite belief of earning better credibility.
In other words,
Credibility + Visibility = Profitability.
This will certainly make you an ‘unparalleled’ service provider. Business marketing strategies would ensure a good visibility amongst other players in competition. However, ‘good visibility’ also depends on some other fundamentals of business.
According to a research conducted at IBM in 2011 your style of work, behavior in market, customer interaction along with your proclaimed visibility is directly proportional to ‘Personal Branding’, and credibility is directly proportional to ‘Trust’. So, sharing the importance of ‘personal branding’ and ‘developing trust’ in a learning environment will help build your employees character and competence.
Can Training Improve Emotional Intelligence?
The objective of developing emotional competence through emotional intelligence is defined as a learnt capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work. There is a great amount of contradiction that we find in several researches, as some of it suggests that emotional intelligence can be acquired and some opine that emotional intelligence depends on your personal experiences and genetics. However, the fact is that your IQ (intelligence quotient) may still depend on experiences and genetics but EQ (emotional quotient) can certainly be increased with some training and deliberate practice.
According to a noted psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s article published in the Harvard Business Review, “The bottom line is that some people are just naturally more grumpy, shy, self-centered or insecure, while other people are blessed with natural positivity, composure, and people-skills. However, no human behavior is unchangeable.” Designing good training programs and providing good coaching and mentoring to your company’s employees can definitely uplift the emotional quotient of your employees and face-lift your company’s image. Use of correct feedback mechanism is also equally important to keep the learning spree intact and make the employer emotionally competent in managing company-employee relationship.
An enhanced EQ can lead to improved customer service which adds more loyal customers for your business to flourish. Repeatedly engaging with your customers at an emotional level will make a mark in their belief for your company and also bring a positive change in overall perception. Overhauling the customer’s perception will lead to improved credibility, which will certainly result in profitability and increased ROI.
However, absence of trust can lead to loss of potential customers and impact the business adversely. Such critical dependence on many others, who represent your business is a not a trivial issue. Hence, you must ensure occasional training or coaching programs to gradually improve the EQ levels of your employees. Involving your work force into such vital learning will surely lay a strong foundation towards producing a healthy work environment and a wealthy business along with delighted internal, as well as, external customers.
Stay tuned for the next article in the series…