8 ways of building rapport with customers
Building rapport with customers is all about common ground. By establishing shared interests, companies can cultivate positive, long-lasting customer relationships.
The travel industry is fortunate enough to include a number of friendly, outgoing individuals. Within the sector, most sales agents and managers have a naturally enthusiastic and helpful disposition, which allows the majority of client interactions to be productive and pleasant. After all, cultivating a positive relationship with clients fosters trust and loyalty. However, even the most talented customer service representatives are likely to come across challenges. This article covers the eight key ways of building rapport with customers in both positive and negative scenarios.
1. Ask people their names
This is basic – but building rapport with customers starts from the ground up. When supervising customer service agents, ensure they ask the customer’s name. Therefore, the customer feels a valued and personalized approach.
2. Be honest
Again, this is customer service 101, but it is amazing how often it is forgotten. If a customer asks a question that a sales agent does not know the answer to, it is important that they do not panic. In this situation, they should be honest with a customer and make sure that they will find out the right answer. Subsequently, the agent should escalate the inquiry to a senior member of the team. As a result, the client knows the company is eager to meet his/her needs in an authentic way.
3. Make recommendations
If the customer have just started researching their holiday, customer service agents should make sure they make plenty of recommendations. Not only is this an excellent upselling tactic, but it is also a great way to follow up by offering further information.
4. Be accommodating
A key way to make people feel comfortable is to match their conversational style. When communicating with potential clients, staff should learn to read the situation: Does the customer want to get off the phone quickly? Or would they rather shoot the breeze a little before closing the sale? Be sure to match a customer’s speed and energy levels – this is key to building rapport with customers, as it makes them feel like you have a connection.
5. Remember trust is key to building rapport with customers
Customers trust businesses that deliver. Therefore, it is essential that staff keep their promises. This can include anything from calling in a specified window to delivering a discounted price. In the light of this, sales agents should be careful not to make promises they cannot keep. Many salespeople get caught up in the excitement of closing a deal and make commitments they cannot deliver on.
6. Be empathetic
Empathy is a crucial part of building customer rapport. The best sales agents know their customers’ aspirations and are genuinely invested in nurturing trust and understanding. Once these needs are established, the agent will go out of their way to meet them.
7. Be a good listener
No matter how genial and outgoing a sales agent is, it is likely that they will encounter dissatisfied customers. In these scenarios, it is important for an agent to listen: interrupting clients or being defensive will only make them more irritable. Once the customer has spoken, then the agent can explain how to resolve the issue.
8. Learn to say sorry
A straightforward, sincere apology is a key to diffusing a difficult situation. Saying sorry is the first step to showing empathy, meeting customer needs, and re-building rapport with customers bad experiences.
Building rapport with customers is about cultivating trust and understanding. In order to deliver the best customer experience possible, sales reps need to display empathy, sincerity and a genuine interest in the customer’s needs. With this treatment, customers will feel valued and understood.