Improving The Customer Experience Through Emotional Intelligence & Social Data

26th March 2014 1 Comment

What’s the secret to the success of your company, IQ or EQ? Shorthand for “Emotional Intelligence”, EQ is defined by self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.

The idea of EQ was first applied to business in an article written for The Harvard Business Review in 1998. Daniel Goleman studied nearly 200 successful, international companies and found that while traditional traits related to leadership (intelligence, toughness, vision, etc.) are indeed important components of success, EQ is the quality that distinguishes truly effective leaders.

EQ is the New Black

In fact, emotional intelligence has become so ubiquitous that successful companies are getting ahead by dedicating precious time and resources to company culture, team building and a myriad of programs designed to connect and inspire.

And EQ isn’t just for internal culture. When you consider the importance of the EQ experience for customer service and positive brand perception (Zappos, anyone?), it’s clear that emotional intelligence is as relevant to the success of your brand as your employee’s job satisfaction. Customer experience is the new black, and the companies that are getting it right are using empathy and EQ to rule the catwalk.

EQ is Smart Business

In a recent webinar for DataSift, analyst and author Brian Solis elaborated, noting that “we are fundamentally changing as human beings how we consider decision-making, how we influence decision-making, how we are influenced by those people and the information around us.”  Empathy is the missing key that enterprises need in order to unlock a more specific, advantageous understanding of audiences and markets

Consider what conversations are in social networks, and in apps, and in review sites. Conversations are shared experiences. By tapping into or plugging into those experiences we can learn context, and as a result, gain empathy. Empathy is a powerful catalyst for transformation. The real challenge is it necessitates a fundamental re-think of how you do business, how you do process, how do you get people engaged and how do you think about audiences.

Connecting the Dots: An EQ Toolbox

Which is all well and good, but what tools can provide us with concrete value to extract that empathy value from those social sources, especially those already employing social technologies?

With access to unprecedented amounts of data, analysts can become mired in overwhelming volume and unwieldy formats, while more charts and graphs collecting dust on your desks. Instead, it’s important we start to frame the data in order to indentify how it fits with the different areas of our business. Segmentations like product type, geography, language and demographics reduce an overwhelming flow of disconnected points into more manageable data sets, potentially revealing unrivaled insight into the state of your brand, your customers’ preferences and your competitors’ activities.

Power to the People

In terms of emotional intelligence, context is the new respect. Context is the key to expressing empathy in actionable ways that will allow a dialogue, a relationship, with those behind the data.

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