Effective ways to build rapport with customers
Building rapport over the phone with customers can be difficult. An experienced customer service agent knows it’s all about your tone of voice, having a genuine interest in a customer query and empathising with the customer. Here are some tips to increase customer satisfaction levels.
Research indicated that customers can differentiate between different vocal intonations. Smiling affects how you speak so having a “smiling tone” when you pick up that phone to say hello is key to delivering a great customer experience.
Let the customer vent their frustration and use this time to plan how you are going to resolve the situation.
Repeat the key points of the conversation so you both are working on the same page. “To clarify Tom…” This reassures the customer that you are listening and have understood the situation without the customer having to repeat the details.
Before you put the customer on hold to confer with a colleague if the situation requires, you should inform the customer what you are going to do, give them a time-frame. “I am just going to confer with my colleague, would you mind holding for 30 seconds…”
Keep your focus
Don’t let things in the office or colleagues distract you when you are on a call with a customer. Stay 100% focused on your call, a customer can tell if they do not have your full undivided attention.
Adapt your customer approach
Not all customer can be approached using the same style adapt your style to suit each call. If a customer introduces himself as Chris but on your CRM system it says Christopher then use Chris in this instance as it is obviously he prefers the less formal version of his name.
Be informed about the product or service you are taking calls on
Having in-depth knowledge of the product or service helps you to offer a better customer service experience and can increase first call resolutions, and build rapport with customers.
A genuine apology can defuse a difficult call. It allows an agent to build rapport with a customer and remember to keep that “smiling tone” in your voice.
Don’t dwell on the tough calls
Not every call is going to be pleasant, there are going to be difficult customers. The most important thing is to leave these instances in the past and move onto the next caller, as each customer is different.
End the call nicely
Ask the customer is there anything else you can be of assistance with. The customer is made to feel that you care about giving good service not just finishing this call as quickly as possible.
Being respectful, helpful and building rapport with customers is essential to providing good customer service. Not all calls are going to be pleasant but these calls can also be a learning experience. Remember always ask yourself how would you like to be treated if your roles were reversed. For information about our contact centre or market research services contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.