In the contemporary era of customer service, the contact centre industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, placing a higher emphasis on building effective rapport with customers. A study conducted by Salesforce in 2021 revealed that 84% of customers consider the experience a company provides as important as its products and services, suggesting that effective rapport building can significantly enhance the customer experience. Learn how to Build Rapport on the Phone – A Guide for Contact Centre Agents
Rapport building over the phone, however, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. The lack of non-verbal cues, which typically account for approximately 55% of communication, necessitates a focus on verbal skills and empathetic listening.
Here are eight key points to successfully build rapport in phone-based interactions in the contact centre industry.
The first step towards building rapport is empathetic listening. This involves understanding the customer’s perspective and emotions. It’s not merely about resolving their problems; it’s about making them feel understood and acknowledged.
Use Positive Language:
Positive language can transform the dynamics of a conversation. It can turn potential conflicts into productive dialogues. Instead of saying “I can’t do that,” try phrasing it like “Let’s see what we can do about this.”
Personalise the Conversation:
Personalising the conversation can significantly contribute to building rapport. Use the customer’s name and remember details from previous interactions. A study by Accenture in 2021 found that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognise them and provide relevant offers and suggestions.
Show active interest in the customer’s concerns. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to express their feelings and summarise their points to show understanding.
Maintain Clarity and Pace:
Speak clearly and at a pace that matches the customers. A calm, clear voice conveys confidence and reassurance, making the customer feel comfortable.
Maintain professionalism throughout the call. Courteousness, articulation, and knowledge build trust and create a positive impression.
Be Proactive in Problem-Solving:
Show your eagerness to solve the customer’s problems. A survey by American Express found that 70% of customers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service.
A follow-up call or email can make a lasting positive impression. It shows customers that you care about their experience beyond the initial interaction, contributing to long-term loyalty and retention.
Without rapport, interactions become transactional, devoid of any personal connection. This can lead to decreased customer satisfaction, negatively impacting customer retention rates. According to a survey by Bain & Company, a customer is four times more likely to switch to a competitor if the problem is service-based rather than price- or product-based.
Effective rapport building on the phone is a critical skill that can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and retention in the contact centre industry. By employing empathetic listening, positive language, personalisation, active engagement, clarity, professionalism, proactive problem-solving, and follow-up, contact centre agents can foster meaningful relationships with their customers.
This not only leads to immediate resolution of issues but also encourages future interactions, contributing to a sustainable customer base and business growth. After all, in the era of customer-centric businesses, the mantra ‘customer is king’ still holds true.
#buildingrapport #saleskills #customerserviceskills #bettercx
To find out more, visit www.qcontact.com
Or book a demo here: https://www.qcontact.com/book-a-demo