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Why Emotional Quotient Trumps IQ in Customer Engagement



“There is within the human heart a quality of intelligence which has been known to surpass that attributed to the human mind.” –  Aberjhani

No, this is not a blog that is meant to cope up with an emotional heartbreak. However, today we are going to make a sincere attempt to simplify why emotional quotient can’t be discounted, in an attempt to drive superior customer engagement in present times.

We live in a world with ever-diminishing attention spans and an ingrained affinity towards impatience. That doesn’t mean that we cannot inculcate an environment in contact centers that fosters emotional intelligence, in order to handle customers better.

As famously quoted by Mahatma Gandhi – “Be the change you want to see in the world,” this holds true in the sphere of customer engagement also. If you want your customers to talk nicely, do more business with your brand, and stay satisfied with your services – you need to up the ante of emotional intelligence in your contact center.  

Most of the market at large is ruled by sentiment, and less by logic. It is time we understand this simple statement and make concerted efforts in truly realising its relevance.

Customers are Ruled by Emotions to Make Purchases

People are extremely influenced by emotional experiences that they have with brands these days. Therefore, leveraging their emotions has become a necessity for new-age businesses to achieve higher customer engagement.

In strict terms, emotional quotient is the capability to recognize and suitably react to one own emotions and the emotions of others – here, your customers. Put simply, the manner your agents choose to interact with your customers will decide how they feel about your company, and ultimately this will impact the revenue.

A number of studies and research have found that the most effective employees were the ones who are adept at emotional intelligence competencies like emotional self-management, empathy, and sharing their experiences with team members.

A survey from an international credit card provider had made the following revelations:

  • Emotionally satisfied customers spent on average $251 per month and used their cards an average of 1 times per month.
  • Rationally satisfied cardholders spent on average of only $136 per month and used their cards an average of 5 times per month during the same period.
  • Dissatisfied customers also spent on average $136 per month and used their cards an average of 2 times per month during the same period.

Another US retail bank also divulged an eye-opening fact – emotionally satisfied customers ended their relationships with the bank 37% less than rationally satisfied customers.

Pay Close Attention to What Your Customers Want

The aforementioned facts are more than enough for anyone to be convinced that emotional quotient has the potential to trump intelligence quotient in the sphere of customer engagement.

Don’t get me wrong here – you still need to train your agents highly in technical knowhow and impart key attributes to handle the calls in the first place. Only then, will emotion intelligence play a part after they are equipped with all the necessary knowledge to attend to customer concerns and needs.

A recent study revealed that 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience.

If customers are ready to shell out more towards improved customer experience, it is only imperative that you as a business manager give a fair bit of thought on the top channels of interaction in Omnichannel customer service. That is the first step in understanding the true emotions of customers.

Consequently, make a sincere effort to take a deep dive into the most preferred mediums of interactions of customers, i.e. – mobile/smartphone, social media, chat/instant messaging, email, and forums & app feedbacks.

Thereafter, start training your agents to handle customer behaviour in different mediums of interaction. You can take a five-minute break after dealing with an irate customer on social media to break it down to your agents on how to better handle them.

You should be striving towards building exceptional customer relationships, which go beyond the purchase. Thus, constantly study more about the customer, and look into their details like online activity, type of social media posts, purchase history, and other such aspects. 

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