The famous Nordstrom’s Department Store in  the US  is  well known for its  Employee Handbook which consists of  a  5  X  8  inch card with content similar to that below:

Welcome to Nordstrom

We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service.

Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use good judgment in all situations. There will  be no additional rules.

Does your organization provide outstanding customer service? If not, perhaps the first place to look is at your employee handbook.  Are your employees empowered to use their innate abilities and instincts to show their leadership and assist your customers to their full potential?

Excelling at customer service, is understanding that doing that “something extra” for the customer has a huge payback. Ironically, it doesn’t have to be a momentous act. For example, recently I had my van serviced and when I picked it up I mentioned to the service rep that I also had an issue with my rear wiper (which I forgot to tell him about)—it   only cleared half the window. The service rep immediately went outside with some WD40, added a little dab and voila, it worked – no hassle, no charge, no additional appointment needed. I was a happy customer.

So why do some employees instinctively seem to have the “customer service gene”?   While there are many factors that come into play with delivering  excellent  customer  service,  I  would argue that the customer service gene is linked to many of the competencies associated with Emotional Intelligence (EI). One EI competency is empathy. Empathy means the ability to view the world  from  another  person’s  perspective. If  a customer service professional (CSP) has high empathy, this may suggest that he has a natural tendency to focus on the needs of his customers. Being able to establish and maintain solid interpersonal relations with others, another EI competency, would also be beneficial to the role of the CSP.

Dr. Reuven BarOn, who developed the Emotional Quotient-Inventory™,  defines 15 EI competencies and groups them into 5 categorizes of awareness: INTRApersonal; INTERpersonal; Stress Management; Adaptability; and General Mood. From these categories, we can anticipate some link with customer service proficiency. Being a generally happy person, a  c ompetency  under General Mood, may lead the CSP to beginning his customer interactions with a smile.  Have you ever had to deal with a CSP who doesn’t smile?  Not one of my favourite things.  Sometimes it is easier to hire CRPs who possess these characteristics instead of having to teach them.  Conducting an EQi™, Dr. BarOn’s assessment to measure emotional intelligence, may assist with this process and lead to happier customers.

For more information on EQi™, please contact us.

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Linda Beck
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