Posted 06.11.19

In a report by McKinsey, it was revealed that ‘70% of customers reduce their commitment to a sale following a negative customer service experience.’ Companies and businesses that invest in customer experience have a clear advantage over their competitors. 

In the modern world of work, there are a large number of businesses and companies that are investing in every aspect of the customer journey because of this. In contact centres, customer service agents are often the first person a customer speaks to, so it is important that they recognise the value of delivering outstanding customer service. One way they can achieve this is by using emotional intelligence.

What Is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and regulate emotions. By using it, contact centre agents can transform the customer experience by giving themselves a deep insight into how and why a customer thinks or acts a certain way.

For example, say a customer calls and they are angry about a bill due to their financial situation, an agent who uses emotional intelligence will be able to empathise with the caller, and turn a negative situation into a positive one. It’s important that contact agents have a basic script to follow, but it’s equally important that they can recognise situations which may require them to go off-script to help the customer. 

Why should you hire agents with emotional intelligence skills?

As mentioned above, the customer service agent is often the first person from your business that a customer interacts with. Therefore, this interaction is where emotional intelligence, or the lack of, will be felt most strongly. Understanding a customer’s emotions plays a key part in building brand loyalty, which can contribute to the success of a business. 

Hiring someone who already understands emotional intelligence, and how to use it effectively, can have a massive impact on the quality of service your customers will receive. These agents can solve problems, inform customers about new products, as well as spreading the good word about your company. The possibilities to delight your customer are endless! 

What makes a good customer service agent?

To succeed in business, you want your contact centre environment to be customer-oriented and focused on emotional connections. When it comes to hiring these agents, what do you need to be on the lookout for?

The way how a person acts or conducts themselves in a job interview is a good starting point. How do they sound and come across in normal conversation? Do they have examples of previous experience in a contact centre? According to TalentSmart, it’s likely they’ll have good emotional intelligence if they were a top performing agent in a previous role.

You could also test candidate behaviours and their ability to deal with challenging customers. Run through some simple call simulations with interviewees to gauge their reaction to scenarios they might find themselves in. 

For example, can they handle an angry customer who has an issue with their bill? Can they handle a sad customer who can no longer afford their current tariff? The interviewees that can, will show they have the capability to use emotional intelligence in your contact centre.

We’re here for you.

When you next hire for your contact centre, look for applicants who show they have the people skills needed to implement good customer service into your business.  

If you’d like to spend less time wading through CVs and more time hiring the right people, the Cordant People Contact Centre solution could be for you. Find out more and contact the team here.

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