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The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Customer Service

Utilizing Emotional Intelligence Tools in Building Authentic Relationships

Shep Hyken interviews Robin Hills, Director of Ei4Change. They discuss the importance of emotional intelligence in customer service and customer experience.

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Top Takeaways:

  • In customer service and sales, we build authentic relationships and help our customers to make the right decisions using their logic and emotions.
  • The most fundamental part of emotional intelligence is understanding what goes on inside our minds. We have to understand our own personalities and emotions so we can understand others.
  • Self-awareness is knowing what you are good at and identifying your limitations. Know how to minimize your weaknesses and connect with people at a deeper level using your strengths, focus, and preferences.
  • Self-regulation is knowing how to manage your emotions to deal with and adapt to the environment that you are in.
  • Self-awareness and self-regulation help us to modulate our emotions, adjust our pace, and ask questions that enable us to better serve our customers.
  • Emotional Intelligence involves how you engage with clients, build empathy, read the emotional climate that you are in, and adapt.
  • Sympathy is not empathy. When you are being sympathetic to others, you are expressing your own emotions and taking on a superior role. Empathy is taking on an equal role and understanding things from the customer’s perspective.


“Emotional Intelligence is how you combine your thoughts with your feelings to make good quality decisions and build authentic relationships.”

“Customer service is not about you. It is about serving people according to their needs.”

“You don’t need to agree with your customers to show empathy. You need to understand their perspective, viewpoints, and how it affects their interaction with the world.”

“Robots cannot do customer service the way humans can. They do not have the human essence that makes us capable of empathizing with others.”


Robin Hills is the Director of Ei4Change and author of The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business and The Authority Guide to Behaviour in Business.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What is Emotional Intelligence?
  1. How important is Emotional Intelligence in customer service and customer experience?
  1. What is the difference between sympathy and empathy?
  1. Why is empathy important to customer service?
  1. How do self-awareness and self-regulation relate to customer service?

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