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Emotional Intelligence: the Key to Customer Satisfaction

Published on
14 December 2016

Companies are always on the look out for the best methods, services and ideas to satisfy their customers. By implementing a variety of processes, companies can help improve the customer experience. However, at the heart of any customer-oriented approach lies a fundamental factor: emotional intelligence. 

The importance of socialization

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to our ability to interact with people. “Can you understand others? Do you know how to express your emotions and manage emotions shared by others? EI is all about learning how to control and manage emotions.” explains Joelle Majdalani, a DBA student at Grenoble Ecole de Management.

To better understand the link between EI and customer satisfaction, Joelle studied a group of undergraduate students at business schools in four American universities in Lebanon. By analyzing the teachers’ EI and the students’ satisfaction, Joelle was able to highlight the importance of EI in improving the student learning experience.

High emotional intelligence improves performance

“If you simply lecture students, they’re easily bored. However, if you’re in a small classroom with personal interaction, students are motivated and engaged. We noticed that this is all the more true when teachers demonstrate a high level of EI. Classes with emotionally intelligent teachers had less misconduct such as absenteeism or surfing the internet during class time. You can easily transfer this to the business world. Think of the teacher as a manager and students as employees.

A good manager knows how to engage employees. He or she is always optimistic and motivates employees through positive encouragement.” says Joelle.

Emotional intelligence creates satisfied employees

“And satisfied employees create satisfied customers!” adds Joelle. The good news is that EI can be both an innate ability and a trained one. Joelle highlights that group activities are the best means to develop individual EI. By engaging in group training, employees interact with their peers and learn how to compromise or adjust in a social context. When these skills are acquired, they help create a positive work environment and therefore a better customer experience.

“To conclude, I would also note that it’s important to think about EI during the recruitment process. If you already have managers or employees in place, you can definitely train them on EI. But if you’re recruiting for a new position, make sure to consider how emotionally intelligent a candidate is!”