How to Improve Customer Engagement with Emotional Intelligence?

As a small business, even if you have the best setup and the most modern tools and technology including the best call center software for small business, you must be aware that to run a successful business you need several factors in place for it to actually progress take your company to newer heights.

Almost all companies will watch market drivers that include pricing and product innovation, but they must realize that customers have moved beyond the realm of shopping through only traditional and rational forces, and, lean significantly on their emotional experiences associated with a brand.

Therefore, it is important to tune into the emotional needs for achieving the ideal customer engagement because if you wish to create a loyal customer base, you need to pay attention to their experiences attached to your company.

New customers bring in constructive criticism and new selling points with their recommendations and this sort of customer engagement will act as a huge booster to the profit margin of the company, as well as their ROI and share price.

But, you must take note that not all the customers will have the same form of emotional response because not everybody is the same with the same reaction.

In order to understand what each individual customer wants, the front-line employees and managers should be armed with tools and best call center software that will work in their favor of calculating the emotional intelligence of the customer as well as their own.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify emotions of your own and respond appropriately to the emotions of the others or the customers in a healthy appropriate manner hence it is vastly different from logical and calculation intelligence.

In all sorts of businesses and especially in a customer to employee situation such as the call center, it is increasingly becoming accepted that this emotional intelligence has a great and deep impact in Human Resources.

Despite it, there are fewer companies who employ customer satisfaction programs with the help of proper call center software including features such as call recording that will train the service representative and agents to handle and respond to the customer emotions.

Allowing employees to be knowledgeable about this process of emotion capture of the customer will allow room for a massive improvement for both the people joined by a phone call, that is the customer and the agent speaking to the customer.

Gauging how a customer is responding to the agent will help understand the opinion of a customer about the company itself, while at the same time help in weeding out the inept agents who can be trained further for improvement and agents who are best fired from the company.

Instead of asking a customer how he or she should feel about the product (which often leads to resentment arising from the lack of freedom to judge a product) agents should be interested in finding a product that will make them feel better about the company overall using efficient tools such as call center software solutions that allow for in-depth interaction with the customers.

Such a form of service should be beneficial in the longer run, helping agents sell more products and connect to more people instantly. Customers on the other hand will obviously want to speak to an expert who can relate to him or her and give them details of a satisfactory product they need.

Apart from using helpful systems like robust cloud call center software solutions, here are some tips to make that happen:

1. Recognizing that it’s the customer’s emotional intellect, not you, who will ultimately decide the duration of the engagement that they will have. Simply put, the higher their satisfaction the better the interaction and the better the interaction the more the chances of customer returning to your company for further information.

2. Emotional intelligent has five different parts comprising self-awareness, motivation, empathy, social skills and self-regulation. Understanding this crucial step and feeding the information to superior software for assessment will help your agents establish a bond with the customer easily.

3. It is important to know that you must pick individuals for your company based on not only their career maps and resumes but also based on their temperament, such as whether they are moody or hot headed, where they able to treat your customers with respect even if the customer is out of line for the moment, and whether they are team players or not.

4. Any member of the team who uses inappropriate social cues, such as abusive behavior and being rude, or behaving condescendingly with the customers and superiors, must either be trained for act better or fired from the company.

5. Positive wording, calm professional demeanor, and an understanding attitude for the distressed customer (if any) is the correct way tap solve a customer’s tone, because it takes years to have a loyal customer but just a second to break that loyalty.

6. Your employees must be emotionally aware of what is wrong or right with the customer before making a decision immediately by letting the customer talk for as long they want to before summarizing their problems or issues.

7. The awareness of what temperament your customer is in is the easiest way to communicate personally yet impersonally with the customers they are handling. They should not be hesitant is offering apologies and gratitude at any cost and be warm and courteous to them even if things are chaos on the other side.

8. They should never ever tell the customer what they should buy and how they should feel, even if it is simple phrases like ‘calm down’ because that will cause the customer to feel trapped in the decisions the agents make for them and even more restricted when it comes to expressing emotions.

9. Emotionally intelligent customers will do everything he or she can to express their needs without the unappreciated help of your agents. They come with the knowledge of what to look for in your company so leave the decision to them unless expressively asked for.

10. The focus should always be on the customer and the customer alone. Your agents should not have any issues or bias against any customer regardless of their gender or age or nationality and definitely should not judge them based on their purchasing power. They should be able to treat all customers equally.

11. Involve your employees into training procedures which will help in increasing their emotional quotient or intelligence by selecting a proper software tool. If you are unsure about the pricing of the software tools you will need to help you train the employees, a proper research of call center software pricing should be more than enough to help you out.

12. You can use data from call center management software that give insights in to customer behavior to conduct classroom training programs to help your employees review and learn about different customer scenarios that might arise, such as dealing with an angry or confused customer.

13. Agents should strive to move past the purchasing transaction and aim to bond with the customer through various information such as, online activity and challenges.

14. Use live chats, phone calls and emails to help the customers who have problems on the purchase of your products. Have a lot of options open to them so that they can feel comfortable in their own way.

15. Customer engagement boosts profit of your company, increases its margin, share price and ROI. For the engagement of your customers. An exceptional buying experience is an absolute requirement. Use call center software solutions comparison charts to pick out the best software to let you handle this easily.

16. To explore emotional intelligence, ensure that team work is present where one member of the team is helping the other, weaker member to overcome the challenge of handling a customer. It will help them work together and solve issues faster.

17. Think about ways your agents can implement the customer to turn loyal to your company. One of the ways this can be done is listening and incorporating consumer feedback via email from individual customers and showing them gratitude as soon as they complete the survey.

The Case Study

We have done our best to highlight the importance of understanding the emotional quotient or emotional intelligence of the customer and how this can be harnessed to help your company understand and work in an efficient fashion.

However, it is not only important to understand how to improve the agent’s understanding of the emotional intelligence of the customers but it is also important to understand how it actually works. Therefore, we have taken the liberty to provide you with an example that will help you to understand the finer details of the process.

The case study for today is FedEx Express who revolutionized their services with the sole goal of a thorough people first leadership using the data gathered via the gauging of emotional intelligence.

They integrated emotional intelligence assessment and development into a process of six months for all their managers all around the world for building skills and turning inept leaders to experts in any given situation.

This process led them to have an increase in 8 to 11 percent in core leaderships, with at least 10 to 50 percent increased improvements in key emotional quotient and leadership outcomes where 72 percent of the participants experienced larger increases in decision making, 60 percent increases in the quality of life and 58 percent of the total group have reported major improvements in influence.

The Challenge

FedEx Express is the largest cargo airlines in the world, moving over seven million cargos from all across the world and housing around two hundred and ninety thousand employees, with over six hundred flights in a day.

The founder, Fred Smith believed that the key to success of this ambitious company was the people, both the employees and the customers, and the bond of trust and loyalty between them, hence the idea of a people first leadership.

His goal was to create leaders that are better at making an influence and make concrete decisions that are quick but immensely accurate so that it builds a culture of dedication and drive for top notch performance in a sustainable manner.

For measuring the performance and the leadership of the managers FedEx Express will administer “SFA”, which is an annual survey where all the employees are encouraged in providing feedback about their managers.

This SFA have themes which include respect and fairness of the managers towards their subordinates along with listening and trust. This survey was not like any other survey in the sense that it took out the logistical part and added in leadership qualities all about relationships and emotions.

The Solution

The leadership training of FedEx Express was state of the art, but it was quickly realized that just using the established rules of the company was not enough to build trust in between the employees and consequently with the customers, hence the FedEx Global Leadership Institute is constantly charged with the continuous upgradation and innovation in keeping with Fred Smith’s level of high and higher standards.

FedEx Global Leadership Institute is located near Memphis, which is near to the company’s primary office in Memphis, TN, where it serves as the Leadership University of FedEx Express. In 2005, Global Leadership Institute introduced a new program to train the managers in considering the impact they are having and an impact they would like to have as leaders on their group.

To achieve this end a core component of the LEGACY course was created which was dedicated in creating a module solely kept aside for emotional intelligence, using the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment or the SEI.

The results from LEGACY were immensely positive and helped improve the existing system because of the Six Seconds Model as an actionable process.

Action Based Emotional Intelligence:

Most of the approaches to emotional intelligence are theoretical and easy to understand yet to actually implement it one needs to be familiar with the Six Seconds Model which trains the framework of emotional intelligence on a day to day basis, thereby improving not just constantly but daily. This model offers a three step process which specifies ways to improve and learn quickly in three steps:

1. Step 1: Knowing yourself was the first step that the participants of the program was asked to consider. Knowing yourself means an increase in self-awareness of personal and professional emotions and understands what reactions are appropriate and what emotions are completely misguided. It was enacted with the help of Enhance Emotional Literacy and Recognize Patterns.

2. Step 2: Choosing yourself wat h next step of the program, which asked the participants of the company to shift from an unconsciousness reaction to intentional response by choosing to pause and consider what you are saying to the customers.

This was enacted with the help of Applying Consequential Thinking with the help of proper Navigation of Emotions. Engaging is Intrinsic Motivation and Exercising Optimism within yourself.

3. Step 3: Giving yourself in alignment with moment to moment decisions and having a larger sense of purpose was the final step of the training which strove to have positive impacts. It was done through the enacting of Increased Empathy and Pursuing Noble Goals.

After the review of the data from LEGACY from 2009 and 2010, The Global Leadership Institute identified areas of Emotional Intelligence that were required immensely to strengthen the overall bench strength of the company and produce capable leaders who will move up the ladder to success quicker.

Holding back the confidential details the culture at FedEx was focused completely on the speed, which is what you would expect from a company of cargo airlines. The need for speed had to be balanced to a careful and successful decision making process to have a success which is sustainable and not just momentary sense of success.

With this in mind the company’s leader Shannon Brown provide to the company what they wanted: a world class leadership program that will enable the company to crack the position and enter the top five companies of all time.

With the commanding support of the Managing Director named Dennis Reber and Manager of the Global Leadership Institute, Ray Murphy, and FedEx decided to increase the emotional intelligence focus of the leadership training and create a new course of action called the LEAD1 to put the emotional intelligence easily into action at the front lines itself.

FedEx Express Managers were made to be a part of this program to engage in a people first foundation to build their relationship careers along with relationship with their respective customers.

The Final Result

The implementation of LEAD1 was extremely positive, with the managers expressing an increased, previously unexploited ability to push the strategy of FedEx and the People First leadership aimed at by the founder himself.

The insights and skills provided by the participants proved that with these skills they now are experts in the fields and can shape the future of the company for years to come without any difficulty. They are committed to staying at the edge and leading the company one step at a time.

Emotional intelligence training might take a while but it should be kept in mind that at the end of the training it will help your employees of your company feel better equipped and handle the customer properly, which will leave them coming back for more.

Case study link:

www.6seconds.org/2014/01/14/case-study-emotional-intelligence-people-first-leadership-fedex-express/