The Five Insights of Emotional Intelligence in Customer Service Used By the Best CSRs

Kate Nasser

A current online article, 10 Things You Would Like to Say to a Rude Customer claims that the world is becoming more uncivil and that rude customers are wearing down customer service reps (CSRs).

The first half of the claim may be true. The second need not be. You and your entire team can start each customer service day with 5 emotionally intelligent thoughts to deliver the best customer service. If you choose the 10 thoughts in the article noted above, then you are choosing to become part of the uncivil world.

My passion and work for 20+ years has been emotionally intelligent (EI) people-skills for the best customer service and teamwork. Trust me, great people-skills emerge from the right mindset. What you are thinking when you are with the customer will become your customer service persona and affect your daily happiness. If right now, you want to say to me "they ruin my daily happiness", then you are embracing their mindset and living their life.

Choose Your Mindset – Not Theirs

Before you start each customer service day, choose and fill your mind with the 5 best emotionally intelligent (EI) customer service thoughts. It will also transmit to every customer--the "rude" ones and the civil ones. So just as a satellite receives and sends signals, your mindset can do the same.

1. Put Your Mindset on the Right Channel to Get a Clear Picture
If you set your mind purely on the emotion coming at you, you will most likely view the transmission emotionally. I hear the emotion so that I can empathize. Yet my mind is tuned to what the customer needs not to the emotion.

2. Empathize Emotion; Don’t Analyze It! Trying to analyze or justify a customer’s emotion in the few minutes you have to deliver service is not feasible or logical. It takes therapists years to analyze a client’s emotions. Yours is to deliver service, not to change the customer.

3. Don’t Trade a Shiny Heirloom Coin for a Slug. Why trade your positive mindset for the negative one coming at you? If you had a valuable heirloom coin and someone walked up and offered you a slug coin, would you trade it? Hardly. Hold on to your positive outlook. It will give you and your loved ones a lifetime of happiness.

4. Positivity Beats Equality! During a recent workshop a technical support rep asked me "Why does a customer acting badly deserved to be treated well?". I replied, "Because it works. Treating the customer well gets you to the end goal. Positivity beats equality as a winning strategy in customer service. Treating the customer badly will not get the customer to treat you well and it will veer you off course from business success.

5. Recharge Your Battery. It takes energy to speak positively and energy can drain. Did you ever notice that you get less patient as you get tired? Most people do. So make sure you recharge your battery after work and throughout the day. Heck even cell phones lose their strength and we plug them in and give them juice. Do the same for yourself. You deserve it!

Remember, inner strength is its own billboard. When you find yourself thinking the 10 thoughts in the article noted at the beginning of this post, you are spraying graffiti on your own billboard--your precious mindset and happiness. The customer has not ruined your day. You have chosen to live their emotion. Live your life, not theirs.

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