Emotional Intelligence – The Key Ingredient to Great Customer Experience
In business terms, emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to identifying and understanding the emotions of your customers in order to empathise with them and tailor how you communicate with them.
While most brands believe that they understand the emotional needs of their customers, almost 60% of consumers feel that the human element is missing when it comes to customer experience. Furthermore, less than half of consumers believe that the employees they interact with understand their needs.
In this blog, we will explore the importance of emotional intelligence and how to incorporate it into your customer experience strategy.
Research conducted by the Harvard Business School found that almost every purchasing decision is made subconsciously (i.e. emotionally), highlighting the importance of demonstrating emotional intelligence.
Companies that engage their customers on an emotional level outperform the competition in a number of ways, such as:
- Customer loyalty – Forrester found that emotion was the top factor affecting customer loyalty. The majority of customers (86%) claim that developing a positive emotional connection with a contact centre agent would make them want to do business with a brand again.
- Customer spend – 70% of emotionally connected customers spend over two times more with brands that they are loyal to.
- Brand recall – 86% of consumers with high emotional engagement state that they always think of the brands they are loyal to first when they need something.
- Brand advocacy – 8 in 10 emotionally engaged consumers will recommend a brand to a friend or family member.
How to promote EQ in the workplace
Developing an emotional connection with customers first begins in the workplace. Employers can promote a culture of EQ in numerous ways, such as:
- Listening to your employees.
- Empathising with others.
- Holding yourself accountable and apologising for mistakes.
- Showing vulnerability.
- Putting yourself in their shoes.
Demonstrating EQ in the workplace sets a good example for your employees and will encourage them to do the same for your customers.
How to use technology to demonstrate EQ towards your customers
Giving agents access to a customer’s history of interactions with your brand will provide them with context, allowing them to handle interactions appropriately. Providing a single, consolidated view of the customer journey ensures agents have all the information they need in front of them. Integrating all systems such as your CRM, contact center platform and ticketing systems ensures that no vital information slips through the cracks and customers will not have to repeat themselves to numerous agents (something that frustrates 75% of customers!).
80% of highly engaged customers expect brands to know their individual preferences. While some customers do not want to share their data, 63% are willing to exchange personal information for a more personalised experience if they truly value a product or service.
Tailoring your offering based on interaction history and available personal data will make the customers feel valued and as if they are talking to an actual human rather than a robot which will keep them coming back for more. And not only that – 84% of customers have stated that they would spend more money with brands that offer personalised customer service experiences.
Being able to offer full omnichannel support is key to standing out from the competition and retaining customers. 86% of customers with high emotional engagement want to be able to reach a brand across numerous channels with the most popular being SMS, IVR and webchat.
Simply interacting with customers on a transactional basis is not enough if you wish to stand out from the crowd. If you really want to ‘wow’ your customers, develop real emotional connections with them and let the results speak for themselves.