Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying techniques that build rapport, part of Customer Service Foundations.
Building rapport with your customers is an essential skill. This video covers basic techniques that can be used in nearly every situation. Chance are, you're using a lot of these skills already, so be on the lookout for familiar techniques. I also encourage you to identify a few new ideas that you can try as well as techniques you know, but could use more often. A great starting point is to think about how people build rapport with you, when you are a customer. What is it that people do to make you feel welcome? What steps do they take to build a positive relationship with you? I like to think of one of my favorite restaurants as an example.
Some of the techniques they always use to create rapport are warm greetings, personalized service, and thanking me for my business. When my wife and I arrive for dinner, our server greets us with enthusiasm, shakes my hand and even gives my wife a hug. Servers from other sections even stop by our table to say hi. Their menu changes several times a year, but they're always willing to personalize their service by making my favorite dish. Even if it's not on the menu. When it's time to leave, our server always thanks us sincerely for coming in.
It's no wonder we go there a lot. They have great food, but more important, we always leave feeling like a million bucks. So let's start a list of techniques that we can use with our own customers. My local restaurant gave us the first three. Warm greetings. Always greet your customers with enthusiasm to make them feel welcome. Personalized service. Try to learn your customers' interests and preferences, so you can make them feel special. A sincere thank you. Let your customers know that you appreciate their business.
Here are six more techniques that you might want to try. Make the first move. Initiate contact with customers by greeting them first, rather than waiting for them to come to you. Learn and use customer names. This makes customers feel special by letting them know you are focusing on them as an individual. Tell customers your name. Rapport is a two-way street, so customers will feel more comfortable with you, if they know you by name too. Find something in common. Maybe you follow the same sports team or come from the same hometown. Whatever it is, we tend to like people who share our interests.
Focus on one customer at a time. We all know that customer service can be hectic when things get busy. Even so, try to be fully present with each customer so they don't feel ignored. Follow up. A great way to show customers you care is to follow up with them after providing service. Was everything okay? Is there anything else they need? Now, it's time to put these techniques into practice. An easy way to do this is to download the worksheet that came with this chapter. Review the list, and ask yourself three questions. What techniques do you do well already? Check those off the list.
What techniques would you like to try or try more often? Make a note to experiment with each one of those the next time you're serving customers. What techniques would you add to the list? Try to add at least one more of your own techniques. It might be something you're already doing now or perhaps it's something you discover after watching this video. I have one final piece of advice for building rapport with customers. Be yourself, don't worry about trying to copy someone else's style, let your own personality shine and it can help you create authentic connections with the people you serve.
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- What is outstanding customer service?
- Identifying your customer
- Creating a customer service vision
- Enhancing likability in person, over the phone, and via email
- Actively listening to customers
- Going the extra mile
- Taking ownership of problems
- Diffusing angry customers
- Using data to evaluate and improve your customer service<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.