The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Customer Service

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  • 0:03 Emotional Intelligence Defined
  • 0:33 Building Relationships
  • 1:19 Improving Social Perception
  • 2:06 Enhance Empathy
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

Have you ever experienced a situation where the person you were dealing with did not understand or try to understand what you were feeling? Understanding what people are feeling is essential in customer service and can be referred to as emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence Defined

Imagine that you are at a restaurant and receive the wrong order. When you let the waiter know that the order is wrong, he does not seem to be listening or to care about what you are saying. This leaves you unsatisfied and frustrated that he did not try to understand what you were feeling or why you were upset.

The waiter was lacking emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand how others are feeling and to convey that you understand their emotions. Let's take a look at how emotional intelligence plays a role in customer service.

Building Relationships

Emotional intelligence helps build relationships, which is a great way for a company to ensure that customers return again and again. For example, at a local coffee shop a customer comes in everyday at the same time and orders the same drink. The barista notices this and prepares the drink in advance for the customer. Within a few days, the barista and the customer are on a first name basis. The barista was able to perceive the customer's needs and act in a way that showed understanding, which led to building a relationship with the customer.

Understanding other people's emotions is a key element in relationship building and if this element is missing, it will make it difficult to make a connection with another person. No one wants to have a relationship with someone who does not care about their emotions, especially in a customer service setting.

Improving Social Perception

Emotional intelligence also plays a role in social perception. Social perception is the ability to read into cues from other people. These cues can include body language and the tone of a person's voice. When a person has a high level of emotional intelligence, they are able to identify how another person is feeling and manage the emotions of other people. It will also help them to be more socially perceptive by noticing cues that customers are giving about their emotions.

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