The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Customer Service

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Practical Application: List of Questions for Assessing Emotional Intelligence

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 Emotional Intelligence Defined
  • 0:33 Building Relationships
  • 1:19 Improving Social Perception
  • 2:06 Enhance Empathy
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
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.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account