Learn why you have to acknowledge your customer's emotion, be it anger or excitement. See how linking the communication chain can establish rapport, keep the conversation moving forward, and defuse anger.
- Let's say this is a live workshop and instead of watching me online, you're in the room with me along with 50 other people and let's say I start the training off with good morning and I'm met with dead silence. How do you think I'd feel if I opened with an energetic greeting and no one said a word? I'd feel awkward, embarrassed. I'd probably be thinking this isn't going to go well. Whatever I'm thinking, it's negative, right? And my next response will be dictated by the negative feelings in my head.
I might not be my best as a trainer because I'm a little embarrassed and feeling rejected. Here's where I'm going with this. When a customer expresses anger or frustration and that isn't acknowledged, they're likely to get even more upset because what you've done is reject them. On the flip side, acknowledging concern is a tool to help you create rapport with customers especially when they're upset. It helps you build rapport because you're right there with the customer emotionally acknowledging what they've said or what they're feeling.
Now, this isn't just a customer service concept. Psychologists talk about what they call the communication chain. The communication chain says that when a person puts out a verbal message, they expect a response. That first message is a link in the communication chain. If there's no response to the link, the chain is broken. When we talk to friends, we naturally link the communication chain. If your friend is upset, you acknowledge this and respond with empathy. So if you have a customer who expresses concern, be that anger or frustration and you don't acknowledge it, your break the chain.
So how do we keep the chain linked? Here are some good examples of how to acknowledge your customer's concern. I realize this whole thing is frustrating for you or I don't want you to worry at all, we'll get to the bottom of this or this is no more acceptable to us than it is to you. Acknowledgement works not only when customers are upset but in everyday interactions. If you worked in insurance for example and a customer called to insure their sports car, instead of going into your normal questions to get the customer set up, you could acknowledge their new purchase like this.
You got yourself a new Camaro, nice. Whatever the situation, acknowledgement is about matching your customer's energy and when you match their energy, they will feel a sense of rapport with you.
- Identify how to build a rapport with customers through acknowledging concern.
- Explore the rapport building technique of yielding to customers.
- Break down how speaking in complete sentences during a customer service call helps to build rapport.
- Examine the ways to build rapport through a customer chat interaction.
- Identify the best ways to use rapport to disarm angry customers.