Building rapport refers to creating a positive connection and trust with someone over the phone. Whether you manage customer support in-house or own a contact center, you must learn to build rapport with customers.
Building customer rapport increases loyalty and brings repeat business. 59% of consumers say they will continue to buy a product from a brand they trust even if their competitor is getting better reviews.
However, making someone trust your business is not easy, owing to the huge number of options modern customers have.
Six powerful ways to build customer rapport
1. Learn to Address Customers Correctly
When on a call, the first thing you should do is confirm the customer’s name instead of directly inquiring about their problem. It makes the customer feel good and instantly relaxes them (even when they are angry). Also, use the customer’s name whenever possible during the conversation as it increases familiarity.
It is also important to address them correctly. The worst thing you can do is mispronounce their name. Most people will understand that mistakes happen. However, if they are in a bad mood, it will backfire. If you are not confident about how to pronounce their name, ask them, “can you please let me know how to pronounce your name correctly?”
2. Show Empathy
By showing empathy, you can create trust and mutual understanding and show the customer they are a priority.
When an agent shows empathy to a customer, even a simple interaction can become more impactful. It makes the customer feel like their concerns are being taken seriously and that the company is doing its best to resolve their issue at the earliest.
Some examples of empathy statements are
- I completely understand how you feel
- A few of our customers have had this issue. We are working on it to ensure it doesn’t repeat again
- You are right. Even I would feel the same if I were in your position
- I want to make sure that I am understanding correctly. You have had issues with [their problem]
3. Let Angry Customers Vent Freely
It’s difficult to build rapport with angry customers. They are already dissatisfied with the experience with your company. Thus, let them get it out all first.
Even if you have the solution to their problem, it’s best not to cut them off in between. If you interrupt, the customer will only get more irritated, thinking you don’t care about them.
Once the customer is done, show empathy to indicate that you have understood their situation. And then, provide solutions to the customer. Additionally, use the right words and phrases when dealing with an angry customer.
4. Mirror the Customer
Mirroring the customer is a way to tell them that you agree with their thoughts. It helps increase customer satisfaction.
For instance, if a customer seems to be in a joyous mood, you can take the opportunity to crack jokes and be positive. However, if they are upset or angry, you can sympathize with them to show you understand their situation.
You might need to train your agents to understand the tone, rate, style, and language used by the customer during a call to better mirror them.
5. Provide a Sense of Reassurance
Make sure to convey a sense to the customer that their issue will be taken care of right now. Or, if it will take more time, reassure the customer that you will stay connected with them until they have their problem solved.
Providing this extra comfort that you are doing your best to resolve the issue as soon as possible has proven to build rapport with customers.
6. Avoid Overpromising
When speaking on the phone with a customer, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of overpromising. You might have received plenty of calls regarding the same problem and want to ensure the customer doesn’t get angry. Thus, you make promises which are not on your hand.
When it goes to the senior authorities and they deny the resolution you offered, the customer will be disappointed. Hence, avoid promising anything that is not in your hands. Instead, request the customer to wait for a minute while you ask your senior if the solution you thought can be provided.
Building rapport with customers boosts your brand’s credibility and increases word of mouth marketing. Follow the six ways mentioned above to build rapport and take your contact center to the next level.
Did we miss anything?
Are there any other ways that you use to build rapport with customers?
Let us know in the comments!