Having a genuine interest in another person’s situation and empathizing with that person comes easily to most people. That’s the basis of building a strong rapport with customers for any company. Essentially, building strong rapport means creating a common connection based on trust, which is important for providing a good service to the customers and increasing sales.
Know the Name
First thing’s first, it’s important to get all of the details about the customer that is (usually) on the phone. The most important detail here is the customer’s name so that they will feel like a real person – both for the customer and for whoever is representing the business on the phone. It’s also important to get the name right, and if it’s a name that’s not too common, it’s much better if it’s written down phonetically as a reminder, instead of it being read off the system on a screen.
Communicate With the Face
Although most of the time, customers are communicating through the phone, or in some cases, via instant messages or a chat, it’s important to communicate effectively and include body language – even if it’s just the face. When talking on the phone, taking a moment to smile before picking up a call is easy to do – it also creates warmth in the voice which customers can hear and feel more appreciated.
See Things From Their Perspective
Empathizing with a person is usually an easy thing for many people. However, when it comes to customers, it’s also especially important to be able to show that empathy as it creates a mutual understanding and builds trust, which are essential when building a strong rapport.
Whenever a customer reaches out to a company, it is because they have a list of priorities they need to share with that company. Taking on those priorities when talking with a customer, along with mirroring them, is going to make the customer feel as though the company knows what the customer is looking for and is going to take care of their needs.
Let Them Vent
The most difficult customers are the ones that are angry. They are also the people that are most difficult when it comes to building a strong rapport. However, that’s not impossible, as long as the company representative lets them get all of their frustrations out first. Interruptions only lead to more irritations, so wait until the customer is finished to empathize.
Take on Their Problem
Whenever a customer talks about an issue that they have, it’s important to acknowledge that issue and then proceed to signal that the company understands their concern. Doing so in this particular order is going to make the customer feel that the issue is no longer something they have to deal with on their own and the company will take care of it.
Address the customer however they introduce themselves. While the system screen may show something different, continue addressing them however they introduced themselves. It’s also useful to use personal experience to build rapport with a customer and adapt each approach with each customer to whatever fits the situation.
For many consumer facing companies, customers are the lifeblood of their success. They’re what keeps a business thriving and successful, so it would only make sense for companies to build a strong rapport with their customer base. Simple as it may sound, building meaningful relationships with people takes time, effort and strong Consumer PR. Maintaining those relationships sometimes feel burdensome. But the rewards of forming relationships with the right people can be great. To help build a strong rapport with customers, follow these five tips:
Lying to promote your product or service is never a good idea. When you get caught, negative ramifications for your business quickly follow. People like honesty, and if your can’t be honest about your service, you’ll have a hard time attracting customers. Honesty paves the road for lasting, meaningful relationships.
Follow the Golden Rule
Treat others how you want to be treated. This is such a great rule for life, in general, but too often it’s forgotten. When building a customer base, put yourself in their shoes and make sure they receive the attention, service, and respect you expect to receive.
Be mindful of body language
Body language says a lot about a person, and the wrong kind of body language scares away customers. Instead of standing with your arms crossed and an unpleasant look on your face, keep your arms uncrossed and smile whenever there’s a customer in your vicinity. Make eye contact and interact with the customers helping them feel comfortable about you and your business.
Treat customers like people, not numbers!
Remember customer names and something about the individual. This helps you remember how your business can cater to customer’s needs. In addition, remembering the little details goes a long way in retaining customers and making them feel special and valued. Customers who feel valued and important are more likely to stick around for the long haul.
Conduct business with a lighthearted attitude and don’t allow anyone to be rude to the customers. Keeping a more casual, lighthearted atmosphere in your business helps customers feel more at home and comfortable, and, therefore, more open to communicating what they need.
Every relationship with a customer is different and unique, and each one deserves your time and attention if you want to keep them around. Just be yourself and be genuine. The rest fall into place, and soon you’ll have a booming customer base and thriving business!
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