10 Ways of Building Rapport with Customers
Look at this survey from the General Social.
What percentage of people are trustworthy?
The average response was 30%.
But when they asked, what percentage of people that you know are trustworthy?
The average response was 70%.
Simply knowing leads to trust.
What is Customer Rapport?
Customer rapport refers to the establishment of a positive relationship between a business and its customers, characterized by trust, understanding, and effective communication. Customer rapport is a crucial aspect of any business, as it involves building and maintaining a positive relationship with consumers. This requires a deep understanding of your audience, their needs, and their preferences.
By taking the time to establish and maintain a strong rapport with your customers, you can create loyal and long-term relationships that will benefit your business for years to come. This will also help you to build trust and credibility with your customers, which is essential for building a strong reputation and attracting new customers.
As a customer success manager or a customer experience professional, you want your customers to trust you, which means you must build a rapport with them.
How to Build Rapport With Customers?
Let us spend some time understanding why you need to build customer rapport.
If your organization doesn’t deliver high-quality customer experience consistently, it is almost impossible to stay ahead of the competition. One of the important aspects of good customer experience is knowing how to build rapport with your customers.
By developing a good rapport with your customers, your customers are more likely to trust you, communicate openly, feel confident in your abilities and product knowledge, respond well to closing a sale, and recommend your business to others.
Professional speaker and consultant Michele Payn-knoper says, building rapport with customers is critical to show them “you’re sincerely interested in a mutually beneficial relationship, critical to selling solutions.”
According to Zendesk, “developing rapport with clients can go a long way toward building customer trust and improving satisfaction rates. But you have to show genuine interest in your buyers. Otherwise, your attempts might come off as insincere.”
Building Rapport with Customers: 10 Effective Strategies
Let us now jump into the best way to build customer rapport.
Here are ten ways to build customer rapport.
1. Personalize Customer Relationships
Do you know the different customer personas that you have? Segment your customers into distinct personas and figure out what channels of customer conversations appeal to them.
For instance, your 20-somethings may choose social and chat over other forms of communication with short conversations. Maybe, your 45+ audience would prefer telephony and emails over others with long conversations.
Besides, in terms of offerings, 20-somethings may prefer a mobile application, whereas the 45+ may prefer websites over apps.
Assume that you are a bank – 20-somethings may prefer a card co-branded with their favorite football or cricket clubs, whereas 45+ may prefer their cards to provide them premium lounge access during their airport visits.
Imagine offering a personalized experience to your customers based on their personas. Your 45+ customer visits your site, and your site opens with cards they can choose from for their needs, specifically focusing on lounge access. They click on it, but they don’t go ahead and register.
Now you know they are interested in your ‘select’ card but didn’t sign up. The next time they visit, your site pops up the message – we have waived the annual fee on this card for all signups that happen on that day.
I am sure the customer would be happy to sign up, and you can build a lifelong relationship.
These are only pointers, and segmenting your customers may provide you with more opportunities to improve rapport through personalizing your offerings and, therefore, the relationships.
2. Always Hear Them Out and Respond
Most people hate it when they are not listened to. Don’t pretend to listen. Instead, spend time actively listening.
Once you have listened, clarify whether you have understood what your customers are saying. It could be a new need, service, or support issue.
Once you have listened and agreed with what your customer is saying, it allows you to provide them the reassurance they need.
Active listening allows your customers to think highly of you and your organization, enabling you to build rapport and lifelong relationships.
Is there any better feeling than being cared for?
3. Use Omnichannel Communication
You can reach us 24×7 on call, email, chat, and social.
Wouldn’t your customers love this?
However, this may not always be possible, but you can choose the appropriate channels your customer personas would want to reach you. Be available on them, and ensure that all those channels are integrated. Your customers will not have to repeat themselves to multiple people in your customer experience function.
Look at this message as an example.
“Thank you for writing to us. You can expect a response from us within 2 hours for any query you raise. In your case, since this is outside of our office hours, please allow us 4 hours to respond to you.
Be rest assured that our experience engineers will be on it as soon as they clock in and ensure that your needs are addressed immediately.
In the meanwhile, you may look at our FAQS on this link. Most likely, the issue that you are facing is addressed there.
Every customer would understand the situation here, and it helps you build rapport with your customers.
You can also check our article on: Customer Sentiment Analysis
4. Be Truthful
In your zest to please your customers, don’t overpromise. When you overpromise and don’t deliver, it definitely disappoints your customers.
Let us assume that your customer is asking for something you cannot deliver.
What do you do?
You ask them to wait, and you can evaluate alternate solutions. Alternatively, you can see if it makes sense to include what they need as a part of your product roadmap and let your customers know the timelines.
There is no better way to build rapport with your customers than being truthful.
5. Seek Active Feedback
When was the last time you asked your customers why they bought from you or stayed with you?
Did you ask them what they disliked about your offering?
Ask these, and you will be surprised by the responses.
It would give you pointers regarding what you can do to better your rapport with the customers and also allow you to position your offerings per your customer’s feedback.
Be in constant touch with them, and see how well they use your offerings. It would allow you to suggest how else they can use your offerings.
“The most significant reason most products fail in the market is poor user adoption of your offerings. The more you get them to use it, the more likely you would be successful.”
Seeking feedback would allow you to improve your rapport with your customers and help them maximize the benefits of their purchases.
How often have you worked with your customers in co-creating?
Often, you would identify a market gap and develop a product. Before you roll out your product, you tend to offer it to beta customers, seek feedback, and incorporate those changes before your big rollout.
This step is very close to your beta customers. However, here you would collaboratively define problems, devise solutions, and design.
This would allow you to get closer to your customers. Eventually, these customers would become your advocates or evangelists.
7. Own Your Mistakes
Have you ever seen anyone who has never ever made a mistake?
No right. I am sure your customers also would not have seen anyone like that. I am pretty sure that they also make mistakes.
Mistakes are what make us human.
So, what is the best way to get out of the mistakes that you have committed?
Own your mistakes, and provide solutions for the errors to your customers.
Owning your mistakes is the easiest way to avoid mistakes from happening again and improve your rapport with customers.
8. Community, Community, Community
Be a part of forums, associations, communities, and clubs your customers are a part of. I am not asking you to stalk your customers but to be a part of communities where you can add value.
This would allow you to deeply understand what they need and what they care about when running their businesses.
If you can find common grounds to match your offerings with what they care about, you have a win-win situation for both of you.
Start actively scouting for places you should be a part of, and improve your rapport with your customers.
9. Positive Networking
Be a part of your customer’s network. Reach out to them on platforms like LinkedIn.
Wherever possible, pass on contacts and connections to them that might help their business without expecting anything in return.
“The best time to network and form relationships by helping others is when you don’t expect anything in return immediately.”
Feel free to reach out to your customers when an opportunity shows up, and they can recommend you and your services to those opportunities.
Nothing works better than asking for help. Isn’t that the reason why homo sapiens are better than most other species?
10. Build Trust
Build trust at every given opportunity.
The customer would like you more when you genuinely tell them that your offering may not be a direct fit for their needs and that they should probably look at something else.
Unless you offer value, take a step back and tell your customers the truth; they will love you and trust you for that.
This would result in great rapport and lifelong relationships.
You would be the first one they would approach for all their needs.