Tag Archives: Emotion

Use Your Emotional Intelligence to Connect to Your Customers

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive, control and evaluate a person’s emotions. As customer service representatives, possessing emotional intelligence is key in understanding and incorporating the customer’s point of view in your presentations.

There are four ways to navigate through your customer’s emotions:

  • Perceiving emotion. You can’t physically see your customer so you have to be a very active listener during the call. Take mental notes of what you are hearing and internalize the emotion being conveyed by the customer.
  • Reasoning with emotion. Once you recognize the emotion from the customer, you must use that emotion to spur cognitive activity and thinking. Using the emotion you perceive can help initiate thought processes.
  • Understanding emotion. Because there are a wide variety of emotions, there is an equally wide variety of reasons for expressing emotions. Ask yourself: why is the customer [insert emotion]? If they sound angry, don’t assume it’s your fault. They could be having a bad day. If they sound excited to speak with you, then they generally have an interest in what you are saying.
  • Manage emotion. Once you have come to understand what the customer is feeling and why, use that information to support your presentations. Respond appropriately to the emotion of the customer. If they are difficult, diffuse the situation. If they are happy and enthusiastic, continue that by offering features and benefits of the product. Never trade up your positivity to get on a customer’s level.

You are not trying to change the customer. Your job is to deliver a service the best and most effective way possible.

Empathize with them. Show them that you have concern for them as a customer.

The most important thing you can do during the call is understand the customer has a right to feel the way they do. Their emotions might not have anything to do with you. What you can control is the way you respond to the customer’s emotions. Offer support, show concern and engage with them in an appropriate manner.

Our customers matter. The more you make them feel like they do, the better your presentations and performance will be.

Don’t let emotion take you over. Leave that for the Bee Gees.

Some information from: http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell.htm

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Diffuse the Difficulty | Working with a Difficult Customer

At some point, you are going to come across a difficult customer or even co-worker. Those situations are often uncomfortable.

What do you do if you have an irate customer on the line or a co-worker screaming about something you did or did not do?

First, make sure you RESPOND to the situation instead of REACTING to it.

Reactions typically mirror the action and fuel the situation. Reacting to negativity with negativity only creates pain for yourself.You must realize that it’s about them, not you.

People promote negativity as a reaction from their own emotional state. Never take their words or actions personally. Don’t feed into it and don’t fight about it. Take a moment to think through your next step and try a positive response. Reacting with an impulsive remark will only create a downward spiral because you or the other person will be angry. If you respond negatively to a customer or co-worker, that negativity will then bleed into other areas of either the workplace or your life. Focus that “could-be” negative energy onto something more positive and productive. Both parties have the freedom of expression. Allow the person to talk and express their feelings. You also have a right to choose how you respond. Make the decision wisely.

You can choose peace or you can choose conflict.

There are several steps you can take when talking to a difficult person either on the phone or in front of you. Different situations may require different responses but here are a few that work:

  • Forgive first
  • Wait it out
  • Accept not always being right
  • Put yourself in their shoes
  • Learn from the situation
  • Observe others interactions
  • Avoid heated discussions
  • Give them a compliment
  • Have a method for distressing after the confrontation, for example, write it all down.

The biggest lesson is to not let the difficulties of a negative personality weigh heavily on your own outlook, otherwise, it will affect your attitude and work. Always remember the Golden Rule….