Know what emotional intelligence (EQ) is.
Understand the benefits of using EQ to improve CX.
Some practical ways to incorporate EQ in your business.
If your business’s customer experience needs improvement, start leveraging the power of emotional intelligence. Also referred to as EQ, this tool can work wonders at increasing customer retention — and creating a consistently positive sales environment that encourages customers to prefer your brand over rivals. Join us as we navigate what EQ is, how it levels up the customer experience, and some simple ways to implement EQ in your business.
EQ is also known as “emotional intelligence”. It’s defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions while noticing and influencing others’ emotions. Four key traits of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. As a small business, it’s important to cultivate these qualities in yourself and your team if your goal is to create an empathetic sales environment for your customers.
How Does EQ Improve the Customer Experience
Customers that are emotionally connected with your brand are more than twice as valuable for a small business than customers who are simply satisfied with it, as Harvard Business Review contributors Alan Zorfas and Daniel Leemon articulated. “Emotionally connected customers not only generate greater value, but in every interaction become more and more convinced that “this company gets me.””
Customers that feel connected with your team and brand are the ones who will stick around. According to Forrester’s 2015 CX Index study, “emotion was the #1 factor in customer loyalty across 17 of the 18 industries [surveyed].”
The emotional states of your employees play a key role in creating a positive, empathetic environment for customers that will help them feel heard and that they belong. “How your employees interact with your customers determines how the customer will feel about your company,” said psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of the bestsellers “Emotional Intelligence,” “Working with Emotional Intelligence,” and “Social Intelligence.”
7 Ways to Enhance EQ to Improve Your Business’s CX
Regardless of where you and your business are with EQ, there is always room for improvement. Here are seven practical things that you and your team can do to help your customers feel more emotionally connected during every interaction.
1. Seek to respond instead of react
When faced with a frustrating situation with your staff or client, pause and take some deep breaths before you say or do anything. Give yourself a minute to consider the situation and how best to respond in a way that presents your business in a positive light and that puts staff and customers first. Think whether what you’re about to say and do will build relationships with those around you.
2. Put yourself in your customer’s place.
If a customer has negative feedback about a service or product, or about a rude encounter with one of your staff, try to see things from their perspective. Even if they’re complaining about something unreasonable, you can always acknowledge the real emotions they’re feeling even if you think it’s something they shouldn’t be having an issue with.
3. Practice active listening.
When listening to a customer who is expressing a concern or frustration, repeat their words back to them to confirm that you’ve heard what they’re saying. And refrain from interrupting them.
4. Apologize for mistakes, then correct them
Be open to admitting when a mistake has been made, whether the mistake is yours or a team member’s. Then do what you can to rectify the problem and make the customer happy.
5. Thank your clients and follow up with them.
Don’t take your customers for granted. Thank them for their business and follow up with them after a purchase or service call. These two practices go a long way in making a client feel important and taken care of.
6. Encourage customer feedback (and loyalty).
Welcome comments and suggestions from customers, whether that’s a “suggestions” box in your store near the checkout or front desk or setting up an automated customer survey email that triggers once a client has purchased something from your eStore. And incorporate a reward program if you’re not doing so already. This could take the form of offering customers 20% off their next order, after they’ve purchased a certain amount from your store.
7. Tell a story with your messaging and keep customers’ emotions in mind.
Leverage storytelling marketing in the messages and ads your business promotes. Regularly share your business’s mission and why you do what you do. And connect with customers emotionally whenever possible. Remember their names, respond to every review, inform customers of changes you’re implementing based on their suggestions, add a FAQs page to your website.
Emphasize the Personal in Your Marketing
EQ is the special something that can push your business forward. Need more ideas on how to boost customer engagement and improve your responsiveness to customer feedback? Check out these following on-demand training sessions from Technology Therapy® Group.