Is your staff consistent in their decision-making? Given a fixed set of circumstances, would all of your staff act the same way? For that matter, could you guarantee that any one staff member would make the same decision every time? If you are like most businesses, the answer will be no. Emotional Intelligence can give you better insight to your business, your staff members are only human, and emotions play a major impact on their decision-making.
An Israeli study showed that even judges, supposedly bastions of consistency, make differing decisions depending on how hungry they are. As judges tire and get hungry, they slip towards the easy option of denying parole, say the researchers. If judges, who sincerely and genuinely make every effort to be impartial, are still fallible to hunger pains, then what hope is there for consistent practices by workers in less sensitive industries?
Understanding the Impact of Emotions in the Call Center
If you operate a call center, you probably have trained your staff to operate in a consistent manner. Your phone agents will have set procedures to go through, even an outline of a script, as they try to solve customer service issues. In theory, for similar requests, two agents should be able to produce similar results.
In cross-sell scenarios, Agent A could encourage Customer A to purchase additional product during a 9 am Tuesday morning phone call and Agent B should be able to persuade Customer B to purchase an additional product during a Friday evening call. However, both the agents and the customers are human beings, with human emotions and frailties.
The reality is that the emotions of both the agent and the customer are likely to have a major impact on the eventual outcome. We all have days when nothing seems to go right, and phone agents are no exception. If you do not monitor your agents phone calls, how do you know whether their behavior on a given day is simply a result of them having a bad day, rather than a symptom of a serious performance issue? Gaining Emotional Intelligence in your call center can give your business the edge it needs to increase performance.
Using Predictive Analytics to Gain Emotional Intelligence
RankMiners Predictive Analytics can help you judge the emotional state of your agents. Your QA team cant personally listen to every call that your agents make, and using random selection for quality monitoring only gives you limited insight to how calls are going. However, RankMiners Predictive Analytics can systematically analyzing of 100% of your calls.
The majority of the calls will be fine, or Average, with no intervention necessary. In those case where emotions seem to have waylaid sense, making the call Bad and in need of intervention, the voice analytics software can pick up those emotions and flag the call for review. You can use predictive voice analytics to gain Emotional Intelligence, allowing you to fully and subjectively understand your agents behaviors. Did they just have a bad day, or is there an unfortunate trend appearing?
Suppose you have just received a complaint from an angry customer with whom you are trying to do more business. He complains that your agent was impolite and aggressive to him. As a manager, you ask yourself, is this an aberration from a stressed and busy agent, or is this typical of that agents way of dealing with customers?
This is just one example where RankMiners predictive voice analytics would have flagged this conversation before the customer complained, given the emotions expressed during the call. By being able to quickly establish and access trends for individual agents, the analysis of the unstructured (voice) call data will certainly make it clear to you whether this is normal practice for that agent, and whether you need to implement additional training.
Turning Emotional Intelligence into Business Actions
Traditionally, phone agents have viewed the feedback process as adversarial. However, by implementingtools to gain Emotional Intelligence in the call center, it will helpimprove performance byremove the subjective interpretations from evaluations. Now actions will be perceived astrying to promote each agents ability to succeed and ensure a fair situation for all.
It can only be a good thing if you can even out the effects of differing emotions on client-agent interactions. Ideally, of course, this should be able to work both ways. If agents can have real-time information clarifying client emotions, this will make their job much easier too. For example, there is little point trying to negotiate a repayment schedule with a client who begins the call in a distressed or angry state.
So, how do emotions impact your business? Intensely. Emotionally driven humans interact with other emotionally-drive-humans, giving much potential for engagement and relationship as well as conflict. If you can use technology to gain Emotional Intelligence to maximize engagement and minimize this conflict, it can only lead to an improved outcome for all parties.