When you’re interacting with potential clients and customers on a daily basis, it’s easy to feel like you don’t know what to say.
Sometimes you think you know exactly how to handle a situation and it just doesn’t go the way that you thought it would.
That is why, today, we’re going to be talking about emotional intelligence and some tactics that you can use to navigate online communication more effectively.
In addition, we’ll discuss how a single interaction can evolve into a global reputation of a company.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
There are five key attributes of people with emotional intelligence across multiple industries: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Each of these are relevant for someone who wants to send the right message about their brand.
Let’s break down a few of these and explain how they pertain to having an online presence and regular interaction with customers and clients.
Under the category of social skills, there is communication. Specifically, being able to communicate clearly and collaborate with people.
If we break this down even further, we’re talking about self-regulation as well, which means being aware of your feelings, being able to address them, then being able to communicate your thoughts articulately with others in order to come to a solution.
When you’re in marketing, particularly a brand that commonly interacts with the public, these skills are imperative towards forming a good line of communication with your audience.
In addition, you must be aware of the fact that people’s image of a company is formed through their interactions with representatives of the business.
For example, if they feel that they aren’t being heard, they’re left confused as to how to solve a problem, or they’re being met with unhelpfulness in general, that is the feeling they will have about the company overall.
When you’re interacting with customers, you really have to think about it from their perspective, which brings us to empathy.
Being able to understand why someone is reaching out to you or why they might want to voice a concern is an invaluable skill.
Being able to converse with coworkers, customers, and potential clients daily is pretty commonplace. As such, it’s vital that you feel confident in your ability to do so.
There is a back and forth to communication that can only be accomplished through empathy.
Someone states their thoughts or opinions; you receive them and understand them; you think of an appropriate response; and then you give your feedback.
None of this can be accomplished if you aren’t willing or able to think about how the other individual involved in the conversation might be feeling.
It’s especially hard when you’re communicating online. Sometimes people aren’t quite as clear with their speech online as they might be in person.
So, in this case, it’s doubly effective you think in an empathetic way. Think of their need to solve an issue and via which avenue they might be trying to accomplish this goal.
If we simplify it even further, you must think of the two of you as a team. You can’t solve anything if you don’t work together.
They might throw a lot of questions and/or problems at you, but it’s your job to understand how they’re feeling and work together to find the best possible solution that works for both sides.
Now, if you’re able to put yourself in the shoes of your conversation partner, you should be able to understand the other half of the equation — yourself.
Empathy and good communication are two huge pieces of the puzzle, but you should also understand how things that you say can be perceived by people.
Usually, if you have good empathetic and communication skills, self-awareness will also fall into place, but it’s important to note it separately too.
In many cases like this, where you might be publicly addressing individuals online, you have to think about how the world will view your statements.
That means you’ll spend more time thinking about the real message that you’re putting out there. It’s easy to type a response and click “send,” even if you’re doing your best to be empathetic and communicative.
However, are your statements representing you and your company the way that you want them to?
Will they be interpreted properly by your entire community?
Are they something that you’d like to have existing in the public eye forever?
I don’t say that to scare you or send a dramatic message, but it is somewhat accurate. Once you post things online, they’re there forever. If you send a message that you later regret, it’s quite hard to take it back.
Important Components of Global Corporate Reputation
Now that we’ve discussed traits of emotionally intelligent people and how they relate to online communication, let’s talk about how they can affect your global reputation.
As we talked about above, an interaction with one representative of a company can completely skew one individual’s view of a business.
That could be for better or for worse. Although it may not seem like a huge impact, it undoubtedly can be.
Not only can customers spread information and share their experiences easier than ever, but news travels fast.
In an era that is so plugged in and connected constantly, things can spread faster and wider than you intend in an instant — especially through the media.
Many companies launch marketing and PR campaigns that include videos, interviews, newsworthy articles, and more. These outlets can certainly transform the reputation of your business overnight.
All of these different forms of media, including social media, can be used to send your company straight to the trending pages.
However, if you’re not using an emotionally intelligent point of view, your campaign could backfire on you and send unwanted attention to you and your brand.
Of course, this could also weigh heavily on public opinion of the company and also affect their overall reputation.
Although it can be possible to come back from a nasty reputation, it is difficult.
Especially if you are a small brand, it can be hard to erase a bad experience from people’s memories or do something positive to win their loyalty back.
As such, it’s important for us to remember how powerful and meaningful our individual interactions with each other are.
Just because we can put something out into the world, doesn’t mean that we necessarily should.
That’s why taking time to work on your emotional intelligence, as it pertains to online communication and marketing campaigns, is crucial to the success of any brand.
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Devin Morrissey lives in Daly City, CA, where he writes about small business and SEO. When his laptop updates or his Wi-Fi is down, Devin modifies his friends’ cars and hunts for vinyl records.