Customer relations are a function of the rapport that we build with customers. Rapport builds engagement with customers and that puts the customers in a frame of mind to converse with us about our product or service. So, when is rapport built? Rapport is essentially built when we add emotional value
What is emotional value?
Emotional value is added when best in class service practices are followed.
The service culture should be emotion friendly. The staff must have high self-awareness as well as self-regulation. Their social awareness must be high as must be their relationship management. All these are clusters of emotional intelligence.
These competencies should serve as the basis of the company’s service model.
Empathy should play a pivotal role in building customer relationships. It is through empathy that we are able to understand how the customers are really feeling.
Complaints should not dampen the spirits of the staff. Rather, they should be seen as opportunities for deeply understanding customers and gaining their confidence.
Connections established on sound emotional principles should be used to build rapport
How then do we define this emotional value?
When customers develop a positive feeling about a company’s product or services, the monetary worth of those feelings is defined as emotional value.
These are the feelings that result in the customer wanting to keep going back to the company and giving it business.
What lies at the root of creating emotional value?
The staff is an integral part of creating emotional value. It is necessary therefore to build in the staff the competencies for being able to provide emotional value. The inherent empathy that is a must for connecting with the customer at a deep level must be inculcated.
Building moments of truth
When there is a high level of involvement with the product or service, which means that the customers are heavily invested into it, then the interactions concerning the product are recorded as emotional experiences and these are known as moments of truth.
Reading the emotional impact on customers is important. They form an emotional association with the result that whenever the product or service is referred to, it elicits certain emotions. Therefore, the focus has to be on ensuring that the emotions elicited are as positive as possible.
What implications do the emotions have?
It is perfectly understood that all the needs of all customers cannot be met perfectly all the time. Even then, if the general feeling that they carry about the company is a positive one, through empathy created by the staff, chances are that they will keep going back to the company for business.
What are the findings regarding the importance of emotions to customers?
It is found that emotions play a more important role than what we traditionally regard as customer satisfaction. The good news is that even if a customer is dissatisfied, handled well that customer can become emotionally inclined towards the company and may continue business with the company. The easiest way to get to know what customers really value is to ask them. That is the method that will provide the simplest and the most straightforward answers. One factor that needs watching is customer expectations. The better the quality of the experience the customers have, the higher are their expectations. There is, therefore, the need to constantly raise the bar as this serves as a huge differentiator.
How can the customer service policy be made effective?
The single most important factor is that customer service policy must be made known to all the staff. All managers must define it clearly and must do so on a continuous basis. A shared understanding among all the staff is very important.
There should be an effective mapping of the receipt of each complaint and its resolution.
Emotions play a vital role in customer relations. The most loved brands are also the brands that sell the most. It is therefore important for all companies to maintain a sharp focus on Emotional Intelligence.
Article By: Milind Kher. He is an expert on Emotional Intelligence, is a doubly qualified NLP Practitioner, is an ICF certified Life Coach, and is an adept trainer in all aspects of the human mind and human relationships.