13/12/2016 6m

How I Came Face to Face with the Fierce Emotional Intelligence of Piktochart

Do you think you are emotionally intelligent? What about your company? Having higher levels of emotional intelligence has been linked with better mental health, job performance, and leadership skills. As a testament to this, I recently went through a great demonstration of how a successful company (Piktochart) applies emotional intelligence to its customer experience (CX) operations. After reading my experience, I bet you will be impressed as much as I did.

Before jumping into the story, here’s a definition of emotional intelligence:

“Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.”

-Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

As a term, emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ), first appeared in a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch. It started to gain popularity in 1995, thanks to the book written by Daniel Goleman. EI is currently measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), which is based on a series of emotion-based problem-solving items. Here are principles that determine your EI level (they apply to companies too!):

  1. Self-awareness: Can you recognize your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals? Are you aware of their impact on others? Do you use gut feelings to guide your decisions?
  2. Self-regulation: Can you control or redirect your disruptive emotions and impulses? Can you easily adapt to changing circumstances? And do you have social skills in managing relationships to move people in the desired direction?
  3. Empathy: Do you consider other people’s feelings especially when making decision?
  4. Motivation: Are you driven to achieve for the sake of achievement?

Depending on how much a person or a company meets the above criteria, they are labeled as having high EI. And having high EI pays off. Really well. According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, 90% of top achievers have high EI. And these people with higher EI annually earn $29,000 more than people with lower EI. Just think about a company of 50 high EI people; it totals to 1.45 million a year! Not too shabby, right? These facts shouldn’t be a surprise for you; highly emotionally intelligent individuals are better at social relations, perceived more positively by others, have better work performance, and also do better in negotiations. The experience I went through recently you’ll be reading below has a lot to do with this link between success and EI.

First things first, I’m a content marketer and I use infographics. A lot. But, our designer (Fehmi the Awesome) is too busy sometimes to help me out. So, deciding to act like the strong and independent marketer I am, I wanted to try my hand at creating infographics on own. On December 12, I signed up to Piktochart. Everything was great, the sign up process went smoothly until it was time to fill in the sign up survey. Type in email address. Done. Click on confirmation link. Done. “Are you here for work?” Yep. Choose your organization type. Clicked on startup. Choose your position. Clicked on the marketing lady avatar with glasses. Hold up! There is something wrong here, I thought.

I attached the screenshot I took. Can you see what’s wrong at first glance?

Yes, I’m a dinosaur that’s still using Windows 7.

Here’s a hint: Look at the avatars. There are 5 options for positions: “C-level/founder” (male avatar), “project manager” (another male avatar), “account/sales manager” (yet ANOTHER male avatar), “marketing/communications/PR” (finally a female avatar!), and other (three dots, figures). “You’re a woman in a marketing position, so why are you yapping?” you might ask.

The reason is simple: There should be two male and two female avatars. Show the ideal 50–50. Unless you live under a rock, you must know that there are more efforts to bring gender equality to workplaces, especially to the IT sector. World Economic Forum initiatives, UN Women efforts, Craig Newmark’s “Women in Tech” program, Jess Erickson’s “Geekettes”, to name a few. A tiny detail like underrepresentation of women at a sign up survey is part of the gender disparity problem we are all battling. They are invisible to most, yet tiny details inherently reflect and shape our opinions. Remember Facebook’s controversial right wing biased hoax news issue? They are one of the supposed causes behind Trump’s win. Details matter.

Anyhow, I digress.

I was troubled and wanted to let Piktochart know about this issue. Being an insider, I knew that marketing strategies of most companies today revolve around “customer-obsession”. So, I had high hopes about my voice being heard. However, I wasn’t ready for the fierceness of Piktochart’s EI fuelled team.

After sending a mail to Piktochart’s support team together with the screenshot I took, I carried on with my other tasks. After all, most business mails are answered in 32 hours. Working on a blog draft, I got bored and just like any other mail addicted person out there, I checked my mailbox.

Here it was: Cara from Piktochart’s customer delight team had sent a reply to my mail in 16 minutes. That’s a handsomely short time for a mail reply right there, isn’t it? The team knew the importance of speed and how much people like fast responses. It was the first sign of their high EI.

In the reply, Cara had written that they recognize the problem and they’ll work on the survey avatars ASAP. My complaint wasn’t brushed aside and there was a promise of real action. This is how high EI companies react to problems; they figure out mutually beneficial solutions. Plus, I was given a free t-shirt as a token of appreciation of my feedback. Here’s the critical part though: It’s going to be shipped to right where I live with no costs for me. And I live in Turkey. Isn’t this really amazing especially when you think about how even some Amazon products aren’t shipped to Turkey?

This experience was a great demonstration of how a high EI company and its teams handle their customer experience operations: Fast. Responsive. Right attitude. Aware. Caring. Non-dismissive. Makes changes. These are the qualities that principles of EI above describe. And I definitely recommend anyone or any company to adopt these tenets to improve their EI.

The big bucks aren’t hidden in customers’ wallets, they are right in people’s hearts.

Peace out.

Greetings from Pisano. I’m one of the marketing managers at Pisano and all we think about is how we can help you in providing the best customer experience out there. Are you ready to surround your business with happy customers? :)

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