Speaking on the phone to customers all day every day can become repetitive and boring. If you’re finding that your conversations at work are feeling repetitive and uninteresting, it could be leading to dissatisfaction with your job as a whole.
No one wants to feel bored at their workplace. Whenever you are interacting with customers, you have a chance to have interesting conversations with new people.
Tips for Building Rapport with Customers
Here are some helpful tricks for building rapport with your customers in order to make the most of these experiences.
Learn to Pronounce Their Name and Address Them Correctly
There is no sweeter sound than your name. The easiest way to build rapport with a person is by using their name. You may also want to inquire about their name if it is unique. One word of warning: don’t overdo this. 1-2 times during the conversation is enough. For example, avoid saying something like:
“Well Bob, I’m glad you’ve called us today. According to our research, it is difficult for your company to recruit and retain employees. The issue doesn’t have to be difficult to solve. What you have to do Bob…”
Be sure to learn how to pronounce difficult names before you meet the customer.
The worst thing you can do when you first meet a customer is mispronounce their name. We all make mistakes, and most people are understanding of that. However, it’s best to try to avoid this scenario. Before calling a customer with a difficult name, ask a coworker or manager if they have spoken with the customer before. If not, try to have them introduce themselves first.
It becomes your responsibility to pronounce their name correctly after that point. Could you please tell me your name again?” If someone’s name is not clear to you when they state it, you can politely ask them to repeat it by saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you please tell me your name again?” “Can you tell me your name again?” Most customers will appreciate your effort to address them properly, and this will set the tone for your relationship in a positive way.
Be Mindful of Pronouns
There may be some confusion when it comes to identifying the correct pronoun for certain names. When speaking to customers, you should always use the appropriate pronouns. Let the customers address their pronouns themselves to avoid any awkwardness or confusion.
If someone does not share their pronouns with you, and you are unsure of what pronouns to use, it is best to avoid using pronouns altogether. It’s unnecessary to use someone’s pronouns when you are speaking directly to them. This is simply a way to show respect towards someone and how they identify themselves.
Break the Ice by Introducing Yourself
engage in some small talk with your customer, rather than immediately discussing the problem they are having. Icebreakers can also be used to help improve your interactions with customers. The best way to establish trust with a customer is by sharing information about yourself that is not related to your role as their support rep.
If the customer’s problem persists, you should develop a rapport with them. If you start with a strong foundation, your customers will feel more comfortable working with you and your company in the future.
Be Empathetic to the Problem(s) They Are Facing
Most of the time, customers call because they’ve had a problem with your product or service. When dealing with customers, be prepared to show empathy for whatever issue they are having.
When you speak with customers about the same issue, it can be easy to overlook it as something normal or unimportant. You might get defensive when the issue seems small. Every customer interaction should be treated as if it is the first time and not related to past interactions. If you show that you care about the problems they are facing, they will have a more positive attitude.
Actively Listen and Respond Off-Script
When representatives are talking to customers, they might be reading from a script that has been written in advance. There are benefits to having a script handy in case you freeze up or can’t think of the right words. In other words, they should not be seen or thought about.
Customers can tell when you’re speaking from a script. When you use too much jargon in your conversation with customers, it can make you sound like you don’t care about them and that you’re just repeating a script. This is the opposite of what you want customer service and support to be. Get rid of the prepared speech and listen to the customer. I don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t think that is a good idea. I’m having a problem with my internet I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a problem with your internet. Can you explain the problem in a little more detail? You can make your conversation more welcoming and authentic by taking this one action.
Allow Angry Customers to Vent Freely
A customer support representative usually wants to have a response to everything a customer says. If someone is ranting and you want to stop them, you may cut them off and try to find a solution. It is sometimes best to let them go off.
Have you ever had the urge to just rant to a friend? You usually don’t want a simple answer to your problems and you don’t want somebody to show you that you’re wrong or make you consider the opposing perspective. The same can go for a customer. Let the customers who are angry air their grievances by simply listening to them. You can diffuse your angry customer when they are done.
Restate Their Problem in Your Own Words
It’s really frustrating when you explain your problem to a customer support representative in great detail, and they just say “I understand, but…” and then give excuses that make it sound like they don’t understand.
Instead of trying to fix the problem right away, actively listen to the customer’s complaint about the product or service. Try to restate the problem in your own words. Is that right?” Can you elaborate on the difficulties you’re experiencing when you try to open multiple applications? This allows the customer to either clarify what they meant- making the situation clearer to you- or confirm that what you understood was correct.
Mirror the Customer
Positivity is usually key on a customer call. However, it can be infuriating to be dealing with someone who is extremely cheerful. What if you’re having a bad day and you’re already feeling frustrated when a problem comes up with your new product? The last thing you want is to be on the phone with a customer support representative who is so cheerful that they keep reminding you to see the best in every situation.
Rather, take the opportunity to mirror your customer. If they seem happy, then you can also be happy and joking around. If they are very upset or angry, act sympathetically and understanding. You can still be friendly while matching their mood.
Congratulate Them on Important Dates
Do you have access to information like the client’s birthdays, anniversary, or other special dates? This is a great time to send well wishes. It may seem cheesy, but this does work. For example, staying in touch with your company milestones is a great opportunity to build a strong relationship. You could send an email and write, “Wow! You’ve been in business for ten years. On this special milestone, we’d just like to remind you of our appreciation for your continued business. To show our appreciation, we’d like to offer you a discount on your next order.
Ask Their Advice
If you want to build rapport with someone, a great way to do that is to ask for their advice and suggestions. This makes the customer feel valued and helps to establish a connection with them. If you’re traveling to meet someone, you may want to ask them about good places to eat or what local attractions there are. Make sure to tell them how useful their advice was next time you see them.
Admit to a Damaging Flaw and Address It
What you want to do here is admit to some damaging flaw regarding yourself or your product. This will make you more relatable and trustworthy to your customer. The flaw helps you deepen your connection. This is a great way to build trust between you and the client. Just avoid admitting something too damaging. Your flaw should be minor and easy to fix. “Before we get started, I need to be upfront. We’re having a serious problem with logistics right now. We will need more time than usual. If you’re okay with that…”
Pay Attention to Your Facial Expressions
You want to avoid having a face like thunder. Avoid making facial expressions that show you’re bored, conceited, arrogant, or any other negative emotion. Smile, but don’t overdo it. Ideally, you should look happy, animated, and like you care. The best way to create a good customer experience is to be genuinely interested in what the customer is saying. Do this even when you’re making a phone call.
Sum up What They’ve Said
You should occasionally summarize what has been said during the meeting or call. This makes the customer feel reassured that you are taking the time to listen to them and pay attention to what they are saying. Can you confirm what we discussed on the sales call? I just want to make sure I understand correctly.
Maintain Eye Contact
This goes without saying. That being said, some people struggle with eye contact. If you know someone who is always looking for new opportunities, then you should look at the space between their eyes. Also, avoid too much eye contact. Find natural places to look away. A great technique is to look up and to the left. This makes it seem as if you are interested in what they are saying.
Make Eye Contact With Every Person in the Room
Are you a professional speaker? While you are giving your speech, try to look at each person in the audience. Do this for a few seconds, then move on. When you are talking to someone, act like you are only talking to them.
Stand When Making Calls
Did you know that some radio personalities prefer to stand while broadcasting? The reason they choose to stand is because it provides them with more energy and makes them feel more alert. There are several reasons why this helps. When you stand, your vocal cords tighten and your voice sounds higher in pitch. Being on your feet rather than sitting is a great way to increase your energy and power. The next time you phone a client, try experimenting with this. Stand up and walk around the room to see how your mood changes.
Use Jokes, but Be Careful
A great way to lighten the mood is to tell a joke. While this can work, be careful. Your joke should be funny. Jokes that fall flat can dampen the mood. Also, make sure to avoid inappropriate or off-color jokes.
Don’t Keep Them Waiting
When meeting somewhere, arrive first. If you have to leave the room for any reason, or if you need to transfer a client to someone else during a call, do it as quickly as you can.
Apologize after Making Mistakes
You should apologize to angry customers quickly and upfront. An honest apology can help to calm them down. It also goes a long way toward rebuilding goodwill.
Never Break a Promise
Building trust with clients can be incredibly difficult. One mistake or broken promise can destroy years of mutual trust. If you don’t want to disappoint your clients or customers, always meet their expectations. Do not lie to or deceive your clients in any way. Be reliable. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you follow through on your promise. This applies to everything from delivering a product to showing up for a meeting or phone call.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
In general, it is a good idea to avoid making claims about yourself that are not believable or setting goals that are unrealistic. Instead, you should under-promise and over-deliver. This is a great way to impress potential and existing clients. Building rapport with clients is essential to maintaining a good working relationship and ensuring they will continue to use your services.
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