In a customer-centric world, it is not enough to find someone with the necessary skills for the job, but to find someone with the necessary emotional competencies to do the job well. Especially in terms of frontline staff, it is important to present your customers with talent that are empathetic, adaptable, motivated and self-aware. These are the attributes that represent the customer service agents of the future.
FuturePeople’s Recruitment Trends Report 2017/2018identified that a balance between emotionally fit talent and innovative technologies will be key to success in Industry 4.0. Emotional Intelligence or EI is integral to this process in selecting the very best talent, who can effectively navigate social situations and read emotional signals to influence conversation and navigate customer expectation, ensuring customer satisfaction. It is the ‘personal touch’ of EI that makes it so prized – and who wouldn’t want a customer experience tailored to their needs?
In this way, you can utilise EI to drive business opportunities, increase customer satisfaction and drive repeat business, therefore maintaining a competitive advantage. Here are 4 great ways to actively recruit for Emotionally Intelligent, switched-on individuals – the Super-Agents of the future.
1. Focus your job description
Zero in on the key areas and emotional competencies that you are looking for. Through clearly defining the emotional and interpersonal skills that are required for the position, such as adaptability, resilience and the ability to ascertain customer needs, you can target self-aware talent whose Emotional Intelligence and keen social skills will strengthen customer service.
2. Align your interview questions
Direct interview questions can be beneficial to assessing a potential candidate’s emotional competencies. Questions that lead the applicant to describe opportunities where they have resolved conflict at work – or how they bring the best out of a customer transaction – are ideal as they target key behavioural areas such as self-awareness and empathy.
3. Listen to your gut
Ultimately, your instinct will tell you whether the applicant is Emotionally Intelligent enough just through engaging with them. Would you want to speak to this person as a customer? Do they seem naturally communicative, self-aware, and understanding of boundaries and social situations? If you feel like they are Emotionally Intelligent, they most likely will be.
4. Model Emotional Intelligence from the top-down
Start from the top by exhibiting your own emotional competencies, resilience and genuine care. Modelling Emotional Intelligence – and ensuring other senior staff follow suit – will see a trickle-down effect to your team who will be all the more engaged in response.
In the end, the true value of emotionally intelligent staff are the ways in which they navigate social interactions through understanding, predicting and adapting to customer behaviour to ensure above-and-beyond customer engagement and drive success.
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