The QA Quagmire—Is there a Difference Between Service and EQ?

Can service be stellar while failing in the EQ arena?  Or vice versa? 

Defining terms can help pry apart these two skillsets, because most training on excellent service delivery assumes that excellent EQ automatically accompanies excellent service. But does it really?

EQ is defined by those in the know as "The demonstration of genuine, individual care & recognition; the delivery of “wow” moments and stepping above and beyond the expected to create unique moments that make a lasting impression; smiling; proper verbiage; anticipatory service." 

But these all reflect the style of service, while only obliquely hinting at emotions.

So what then are emotions, particularly in the hospitality environment, beyond how a person expresses his or her feelings or attitudes toward someone or something? 

A person naturally feels pain and often anger when hitting their thumb with a hammer. That is an emotion. 

Where do emotions come from? The person himself—he is the one who is generating anger at the pain, missing the nail, etc.

What is the person generating? Energy. This is what emotions are: Energy wavelengths put out by individuals in response to things they experience. Look it over next time someone—or you—express an emotion.

There are many emotions. They stack up in a scale—high to low. If a person does not know and use this relationship between the emotions, they cannot possibly use EQ effectively. EQ is a huge subject that needs to be shared widely if we are to succeed at engaging with guests. EQ underlies all the service that is offered; it is the secret sauce in any relationship, once a person understands.

So, in my view, the answer to the question is "Yes!" 

Someone can provide wonderful service in terms of technique, timing, etc. at an emotion that does not align with the guest's emotion, and so fail to engage successfully with the guest.

Likewise, a person can provide brilliant emotional engagement and such poor service, that they do not impress the guest, either. No matter how engaging an employee, if they are serving the food an hour after it was ordered....

That’s the way it looks to me. What’s your take

Care to share your own examples of a disconnect between EQ and superior service, with the result of poor guest engagement? 

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