Building Customer Rapport
Try to smile more when you are with customers, the more you show your enjoyment in the relationship, the more at ease and comfortable your customer will be.
Genuinely Compliment your customer
Few people actually do this you can’t genuinely compliment a customer, don’t bother trying. Nothing kills rapport more quickly than a phony compliment.
Take a genuine interest in your customer
Most people see through feigned interest, and when they do, you’ll fail to build the rapport you desire.
Choose the right time to ask about their hobbies, family, interests, school, where they live, which sports team they support …etc.
Find commonality – try to find something you share with your customer to talk about and break all ice.
Another strategy to develop rapport with cusotmers is to listen actively, to give them your total undivided attention. Avoid interruptions and distractions like emails, pagers, people knocking on the door, open doors and ringing telephones. Make your customers feel as if they are the center of your universe. You not only need to listen to what your customers are saying, you need to listen actively. Active listening means paying attention, asking questions, restating the message to make sure you understand what the customers are saying, and looking and listening for the emotions behind the words.
Speak your customer’s Language:
Don’t try to impress your customer by using a lot of Jargon and technical terms from your industry, you will only end up confusing your customer and making him/her feel uncomfortable or worse making them feel ignorant.
Assume your clients know very little about what you do. Use clear and simple language to express what you have to offer or explain. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand some area of their business. Use analogies to their business to relate what you’re offering to what they do every day and to their specific needs.
Don’t disagree immediately
Another way for you to kill rapport is to immediately disagree with a customer or to appear argumentative. While agreeing with your customer can be a powerful tool for building rapport, disagreeing can be an equally powerful tool for destroying rapport. When customers say something you agree with, let them know you clearly and emphatically agree: “I couldn’t agree with you more.” When customers say something you may not agree with, don’t disagree immediately, no matter what you think. Focus instead on where you do agree, or try to see the customers’ point of view. Consider saying something like, “I agree with you that . . .” or “I can appreciate how you may feel” or “I never thought of it that way” or “That’s an interesting way to look at it.”
Choose your battles
When you do disagree with a client, make sure that you oppose the point, not the person. And keeping in mind that any battle with a customer has one winner and that's the customer, he/she can always take their business somewhere else and then you lost. You will not build lifetime rapport with customers by making them feel that they’re not intelligent or that they’ve made poor choices. You will build rapport by gently pointing out faulty thinking, sharing your expertise and offering creative solutions.
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