Businesses will need to test and train for emotional intelligence to be competitive in the customer engagement economy, says Linda Simonsen, the CEO of Australia’s number one contact centre people specialist, FuturePeople.
According to Simonsen, there is a reality gap between the customer experience that customers want and the customer experience they get. This is particularly the case in businesses with contact centres at the hub of their customer engagement efforts. The reality gap is due in part to the lack of emotional intelligence skills needed to deliver great customer engagement.
Simonsen says that the industry agrees emotional intelligence skills are both needed and lacking. A recent survey conducted by her company with contact centre managers from across Australia revealed that 87% of contact centre managers believe emotional intelligence-related skills will be the defining characteristic of long-term contact centre staff. 61% believe that difficulty recruiting the right people with the right skillset will be a key mid-long term trend.
In addition, Simonsen says that in a typical business 22% of the staff deliver 45% of the performance and 8% are under-performers. However, in the middle are the 70% of staff who are merely average. “These are people who are technically sound, but deliver no +1 effort,” she says.
“Using EI, we can begin to engage these average performers and dramatically lift their performance. And the good news is, emotional intelligence is a set of skills that we can test for in the recruitment process and also train, post hire.”
At a webinar to be held on Thursday 10th April, Simonsen and Dr Ben Palmer, founder and CEO of people performance specialists Genos International will explain how emotional intelligence can help businesses get the new competitive advantage and turn average contact centre performers into master customer engagers.
- The bottom line impact of employee engagement
- How emotional intelligence drives employee engagement
- The scientific EI framework and,
- How to develop the EI skills of leaders and agents that are critical for customer engagement.
Dr Palmer has a PhD in Psychology from Swinburne University, where he received a Richard Pratt Scholarship and also developed the first Australian assessment of emotional intelligence designed specifically for workplace applications.
Simonsen is the founder and CEO of FuturePeople, and has spearheaded the company’s development of the first cohesive, contact centre industry-specific, EI training framework.