One of the most important aspects of customer service is building rapport with customers. It’s not enough to simply be friendly. You also need to know how to build a strong connection that makes them feel comfortable and confident in your ability to help them.
This blog post will explain what rapport building means, why it’s so important in customer service, and share practical tips to help you improve your skills in this area.
Why is building a rapport important in customer service?
Rapport is essential because it helps create a positive emotional connection between you and the customer.
When customers feel comfortable and confident in your ability to help them, they’re more likely to trust you. When customers feel comfortable and connected with you, they’re more likely to trust you and be willing to work with you.
It also makes the customer experience more positive, leading to repeat business and referrals.
When you are trying to resolve an issue, rapport building is essential. If the customer feels comfortable with you, they’re more willing to work with you in order to find a solution that works for both of you. It also helps them feel at ease and less stressed when there’s disagreement or conflict over what should be done.
For example, imagine you’re trying to help a customer who is angry and frustrated. If you can build rapport with the customer, they will be more likely to listen to what you have to say and less likely to react defensively. This will make it easier for both of you to work together towards a resolution.
Building rapport is especially important when dealing with upset customers. If they don’t trust you, they won’t be willing to listen to your suggestions or take your advice. However, if customers feel you are trustworthy, they’re less likely to lash out or take their business elsewhere.
Let’s take a look at a hypothetical situation. You’re a sales rep at a company that sells home appliances. Your customer has just received an appliance that is not working properly and is angry about it.
If you can build rapport with the customer, they will be more likely to trust you when you explain what’s going on and your plan of action. This will help keep them from becoming frustrated, and it may even help resolve the issue more quickly.
Helps customers feel at ease
By establishing a good rapport, you help the customer feel comfortable with you. This can be especially helpful when they’re dealing with a difficult situation or have a lot of questions.
It makes them more likely to open up and communicate openly with you, which can lead to a better overall customer service experience.
For example, let’s say you work at a financial institution. One of your customers has just had their account hacked and is extremely upset. As money is a stressful issue for many people, your customer may feel uncomfortable discussing their personal finances with you.
However, if they trust and like you, they will be more likely to confide in you and trust that you will help them resolve the issue.
Leads to repeat business and referrals
Good rapport can lead to repeat business and referrals. When customers have a positive experience with your company, they’re more likely to come back and recommend you to their friends and family. Happy customers are a valuable asset, so it’s important to do whatever you can to keep them satisfied.
A common example of this can be seen in a restaurant setting. If a customer has a positive experience at a restaurant, they’re more likely to come back and recommend its food and service to their network. This is why it’s so important for restaurants to have friendly and attentive staff members who can easily build rapport with the customers.
Regardless of the industry you are in, rapport building is an important part of customer service you should try to incorporate into your day-to-day interactions.
How to improve your rapport-building skills
There are a few things you can do to improve your skills in building rapport with customers. Here are a few tips:
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Customers can tell when you’re faking it, and it will only make them feel uncomfortable. Be yourself and let your personality shine through.
Be friendly and patient
Smile and make eye contact. Use open body language, and take the time to listen to what the customer has to say. Sometimes it takes a while for customers to warm up to you. Just be patient and keep doing everything you can to build that connection.
Make sure you understand them
When the customer is speaking, listen carefully to understand what they’re saying. Don’t interrupt them, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need further clarification.
Avoid judgmental comments
Even if the customer is making a mistake, don’t criticize or judge them. It will only make them feel defensive and less likely to listen to what you have to say. Try to be understanding and helpful instead.
What is the key to building rapport?
The key to building rapport with customers is to put the customer’s needs first. When you prioritize the customers’ needs and make sure you’re taking care of them, they will be much more likely to be cooperative and understanding.
Building genuine, human-to-human connections through conversations can go a long way toward creating loyal clients who are willing to refer others and return for future business.
Listen to this audio tutorial to learn how to use the art of small talk in customer service!
Rapport building takes time and practice
Keep in mind that rapport building takes time and practice. It’s something that everyone can always improve on, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come naturally to you at first. Just keep practicing, use these tips to guide you, and eventually, it will become second nature.
Remember that a good rapport is essential in customer service. So make an effort to improve your skills in this area. It’s certainly worth the time and effort!
To learn how to build rapport with your colleagues and customers, check out the following articles:
How to Quickly Build Rapport With Customers
How to Make a Good First Impression at a Job Interview
Start Off Strong: How to Make a Positive First Impression at Work
How to Motivate and Build Rapport with Your Employees
How to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty