EQ in customer service – 10 ways to apply it

The value of EQ in customer service cannot be overstated.  Drawing from over four decades immersed in the trenches of customer service and sales, my journey from the frontline to becoming a seasoned expert has been both a personal and professional.  During that time I’ve repeatedly observed the transformation of UK customer service from mere transactions to deeply engaging experiences is a testament to the power of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the workplace. It’s about the small, yet profound, ways we can enhance not just the customer experience but also enrich our team’s engagement and operational impact.

So you’ll understand why I was so interested to read a recent article featured in CustomerThink by Syed Balkhi (Founder, WPBeginner) looking at the impact of EQ in our daily interactions with customers.  You can read his article here   https://customerthink.com/eq-in-customer-service-10-ways-to-apply-it/ where he highlights 10 specific areas where you can leverage EQ to elevate every facet of customer service as follows;

  1. The Art of Active Listening

Active listening is an art; it’s about engaging with the customer’s story, feeling their pulse through their words, and responding not just to their spoken needs but to the unvoiced expectations they harbor. It’s the small affirmations, the nod, the eye contact, and the summarizing of their story back to them that bridges gaps and builds trust.

Remember – listening is NOT waiting for your turn to speak! 

  1. Empathy: The Heart of Connection

Empathy has always been the cornerstone of meaningful interactions. It’s about seeing the world through your customer’s eyes, feeling what they feel, and then going a step further to show that their emotions are understood and valued. This is not just about resolving a complaint; it’s about acknowledging the human experience behind it.

Remember – people buy people FIRST!

  1. Adaptability: The Dance of Service

In the world of customer service, rigidity is the antithesis of growth. Adaptability and flexibility are about moving with the customer, tailoring your responses, and evolving your approach to meet the kaleidoscope of human emotions and needs that come your way. It’s a dance, one that requires grace, patience, and an open heart.

  1. Self-Awareness: The Mirror Within

Decades of service have shown me that the most challenging customer is not the one across from you but the one within you. Self-awareness is about recognizing your reflections in the mirror of your interactions. It’s about understanding your triggers, your strengths, and the vast landscape of your emotional responses. This inner clarity is what enables you to navigate even the stormiest of customer service interactions with calm and grace.

Remember – your external world is a direct reflection of your internal world.

  1. Resilience: The Phoenix’s Lesson

Resilience is born from the ashes of challenges faced and overcome. It’s about embracing the lessons hidden in every setback, finding the silver lining, and rising anew. This resilience is what fuels a positive, growth-oriented mindset that is contagious, inspiring your team and your customers alike.  Remember – what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.

  1. Solving Problems: The Collaborative Quest

The essence of problem-solving in customer service lies in seeing problems as shared quests. It’s about gathering around the table, customer and service provider side by side, and charting out the path to resolution together. This collaborative spirit turns challenges into opportunities for deepening trust and loyalty.

  1. Personalization: The Signature of Excellence

After years of interacting with countless individuals, I’ve learned that the most memorable experiences are those tailor-made to fit the unique contours of the customer’s world. Personalisation is the signature of service excellence; it says, “You matter, and we see you.”

Remember – you’re serving a customer, not a life sentence!

  1. Appreciation: The Echo of Gratitude

Gratitude, expressed genuinely and frequently, is the echo that resonates long after the interaction has concluded. Recognising and appreciating the customer’s choice to engage with your brand reinforces their value and nurtures a lasting relationship.

  1. Boundary Setting: The Framework of Respect

Boundaries are not barriers; they are the framework within which mutual respect and understanding flourish. Communicating limitations with clarity and empathy ensures that interactions remain professional, respectful, and ultimately more productive.

  1. The Follow-Up: The Thread That Binds

The story doesn’t end with resolution; follow-up is the thread that binds past interactions to future loyalty. It’s a proactive step that shows customers their worth extends beyond the immediate transaction. It’s about caring for the narrative arc of the customer relationship.

Reflecting back over my journey it’s been one of continuous learning and application of these principles, a testament to the transformative power of EQ in crafting service experiences that resonate on a human level. I’m grateful to Syed for his reminder that these principles aren’t just strategies; they are the essence of a service culture that values emotional intelligence as the bedrock of genuine, lasting connections.

Until next time……keep FIT!

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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