Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as Emotional quotient (EQ) and Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ), is defined in Wikipedia as the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).

 According to an article I read this weekend on the importance of Emotional Intelligence experts predict the indispensable employees of the future will be those who harness their emotions.  With research predicting that 30% of tasks in 60% of occupations could be computerised, robotics threatens to eliminate thousands of jobs.  Statistics show that telemarketers, data entry clerks and cashiers are the most vulnerable to technological change.

Coming from a telemarketing angle I have a couple of trains of thought on this.  Firstly with B-C telemarketing we are already seeing evidence of the change to robotics with the automated voice at the end of your mobile telling you they know you have recently been involved in an accident – when you haven’t.

I answered a call just like this one from an undisclosed number whilst I was out for a run on borrowed time a couple of weeks ago.  The reason I stopped running and took the call was in case it was from one of the two clubs my children were at and they were trying to get hold of me, but no it was just as I described above. The recorded human voice scripted conversation (can you call it that?) even allowed time for me to answer hello back to her greeting it sounded that genuine.

It’s frightening to think of the number of vulnerable people that are being taken in by calls like this.  It’s even more frightening to see the research saying there’s going to be more.

From a B-B point of view there is no way you can be a great telemarketer without having great emotional intelligence.  You have to immediately pick up and react to the tone of the voice that picks up the call to answer you, otherwise you risk your reputation.   And please let us realise the importance of data entry clerks, the only way they are able to get valuable information that our country cannot live without is by asking for it nicely human voice to human voice.  And don’t even get me started on automated checkouts, every single time I try to use one at the supermarket my emotional intelligence quotient goes right out of the window……….

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