The Wendy’s effect: Why 50% of customers buy from brands with strong personalitiesOctober 2, 2020
E-commerce is here to stay, as long as retailers connect with consumers at the right timeOctober 12, 2020
Today’s interview is with Sandra Thompson, a published consultant, lecturer, course leader and trainer in the field of customer experience, emotional intelligence and, more recently, remote work. Sandra joins me today to discuss emotion, empathy and emotional intelligence in customer experience, the need for and value of empathy, the difference and relationship between emotion, empathy and emotional intelligence, why empathy and emotional intelligence is needed now more than ever, the role of technology and culture in all of that and if there is any downsides to all of this.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Language is the most basic form of personalisation and it plays a huge role in a customer’s experience – Interview with Allison McDougall of Amplexor – and is number 361 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at Pegasystems for sponsoring my podcast for the coming month.
Join Pega for a series of free online events focused on shaping the future of business and designing today’s tech to solve for tomorrow’s challenges. Whether your focus is one-to-one customer engagement, customer service, or intelligent automation, there’s a virtual event tailored just for you. You’ll watch live demos and hear inspiring stories from world-leading organizations in a time-zone that suits you. Register for a free Pega Discover event today.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Sandra:
- One of the things that has really stood out for Sandra over the last few months is tolerance.
- Organisations are now also stepping up now because people are expecting more because they’re done with the whole……’we kind of let you off for a little bit.’
- Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognise and understand emotions in yourself and in others. It is also your ability to manage your behaviour and your relationships.
- Emotional intelligence is formed of 12 competencies and is a skill that you develop over time.
- Check out the Goleman article on HBR on the 12 competencies.
- You can have empathy without emotional intelligence.
- Neuroscience says that everyone’s emotions are particularly unique to them.
- There’s a school of thought that says you might want to consider rational compassion rather than empathy or emotion when it comes to customer experience.
- Individuals and organisations need to build an empathetic musculature if they are to thrive going forward.
- I think the term empathy might be in danger of getting overused.
- People often can’t quite figure out what they’re feeling so often they tell you what they think you want to hear. This is supported by biometrics research.
- The organisations that do tend to have a more emotional intelligence or tend to have emotional intelligence built into their culture are the established remote organisations (like Automattic) and smaller businesses.
- Do large organisations lose emotional connection with each other as they scale?
- For large organisations that have announced that they are moving to working almost completely remotely it’ll be interesting to see how they manage that transition and develop their culture.
- To be successful, in the remote work space, people should be managed by task and not by time.
- Does being trusted help you relax into just being more attentive?
- There is a potential dark size to emotional intelligence which we need to be careful of as people can use it to disguise their true feelings and manipulate others.
- Check out Goleman EI where Sandra trained and 6seconds.org who have a lot of case studies on the financial benefits and the relational and the health benefits of being more emotionally intelligent.
- Sandra’s best advice:
- 1. Whenever something happens. First, pause and decide how you want to respond rather than reacting. Just take a moment to breathe and to tune in to what you’re feeling. Because, the reason why you’re feeling something could be for a number of reasons. Make that choice to respond. It makes a massive difference.
- 2. Write stuff down in a note book….how you’re feeling…even if it is only for two minutes a day. Neurologically the process of thinking and then transferring it to the written word will help you dramatically unload and understand how you’re feeling. You will also start to see patterns so that you can avoid certain circumstances or you can reframe those situations so you don’t feel that way anymore.
- 3. Before you go to bed, just write down three things that you’re grateful for, even if they’re tiny weeny little things. It will change your perspective.
- There is a huge opportunity to be more proactive when it comes to service.
- I do wonder whether or not our emotions will be displayed or will be more visible in the future so we know how people are feeling and we can serve them better.
- Sandra’s Punk CX word: Fearless.
- Sandra’s Punk CX brand: The Adventurists.
Sandra Thompson is a published consultant, lecturer, course leader and trainer in the field of customer experience, emotional intelligence and more recently remote work. Sandra has worked with a range of clients including: Waitrose, Open University, Arsenal Football Club, Aldermore Bank, Network Rail and Vodafone.
She published an academic paper on Emotional Intelligence and Customer Experience in 2019 and is the UK’s first Emotional Intelligence Coach trained by Dr. Daniel Goleman and his faculty.
Sandra lectures part-time in the topics of customer experience, people management and leadership at Pearson Business School.