Why Is It Important to Establish Rapport with Clients?

Why Is It Important to Establish Rapport with Clients?

build rapport with clients

If you’re in sales, customer service, marketing, consulting, running a small business, or work with an agency, or in any kind of customer/client-facing role, it’s likely you’ve heard of the importance of building rapport with clients. But what exactly does it mean to build rapport and why is this important? In this article, we will explore the importance of building rapport, its benefits, and how to foster this type of symbiotic, trusting relationship with clients.

Establishing rapport with clients boils down to one simple, yet crucial concept: Trust. Building trust with clients is a lengthy process, and no easy feat, yet paramount in any kind of business partnership. Putting in the work to build and maintain trust between you and your client is proven to be rewarding in a myriad of ways. Let’s unpack them.

Benefits of Building Rapport With Clients

Trust is a difficult thing to build, and an easy thing to lose. The world’s most successful businesses focus on building rapport that will allow them to offer a more intuitive product and maintain the trust customers put in them by continuing to invest in the business relationship. Let’s explore a few measurable benefits of building and maintaining excellent rapport with your clients.

1. More Sales

A whopping 89% of customers will make a repeat purchase after a positive customer service experience. Customers are more likely to invest in your product when you’ve invested in your relationship. If you’ve built rapport with your customer, they will enthusiastically reach out to you again and again for help, advice, and new products or solutions, even if you’ve yet to deliver results.

2. Better Reputation

A 2020 Walker study found that a great customer experience will trump price and even product quality, differentiating your brand with an immediate reputation for great and long-lasting relationships. Happy and trusting clients are more likely to provide positive reviews of your business, and recommend you to others, giving you the opportunity to win over even more clients.

3. Stand Out From The Competition

While some companies are forced to focus on simply keeping up with trends and staying current, others are taking advantage of the rapport they’ve built with their clients to work smarter, not harder. Consumers are loyal to both the best products and services, and businesses that value transparency, authenticity, and longevity of customer relationships.

How to Build Rapport With a Client?

Now that we understand a few of the crucial benefits of building excellent rapport with clients, let’s discuss a few easy practices you should be implementing to ensure excellent rapport with a customer.

1. Ask Questions

Ask your client rapport-building questions about their personal view of their company and business goals. Listening carefully will give you a clear idea of client priorities, and unique insight into how to meet their needs. Examples of rapport-building questions include a more personal line of questioning like,” I see you attended X university! What did you like best about your time there?” Asking informed questions to build rapport shows the client you are dedicated to offering a tailor-made product and long-lasting relationship and will take their goals to heart – and to the bank.

2. Listen Empathetically

Practice active listening, and make note of keywords, critical issues, and primary goals. By closing your mouth and opening your ears, you are also opening the door for more trusting future communication and a long-lasting relationship, where your customer feels comfortable seeking you out for advice, or future work.

3. Establish Common Ground

Using small talk to find common ground is a great way of establishing rapport with clients, and showing a genuine interest, which is a tough thing to fake! A rapport-building question about a detail of the client blog or website is a great way to demonstrate a common interest in their business and success. Asking open-ended questions will help your client “open up,” and share personal experiences that you might share, for a firm and trusting foundation to your relationship.

4. Mirror & Match

The “mirror and match” technique draws on the truth that we prefer to interact with people who we perceive to be similar to ourselves. What we say is negligible, when our body language and voice portray disinterest or a lack of understanding. The most successful communicators watch and mimic the body language of others, adopt a similar temperament, use similar language, and attempt to match the tone, tempo, and volume of the other person’s voice. Science says that employing these methods of connection results in stronger intimacy, trust, and client rapport.

Rapport-building questions are an easy way to make a personal, more long-lasting connection with existing and potential customers. If a company culture of excellent customer relationships sounds like it could benefit your business, contact ListenTrust today, or read on to learn more about how establishing rapport with clients through the use of bilingual customer service can future-proof and globalize your business.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP of Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

Personalized Customer Service

Personalized Customer Service

Storefront employee delivers personalized customer service.

Customer service is a necessary part of any business, but it is also a way for a brand to set itself apart from the competition. A company that steps up customer service with personalization will enjoy the same benefits as when a regular customer walks into a brick-and-mortar store. Tailored, personalized, and memorable customer service leaves a lasting impression that also offers the highest level of customer service and improves your brand’s overall standing. 

What Is Personalized Customer Service?

It may be easy to assume the personalizing customer service means using a script to add the customer’s name in the opening line or something similar, but there are more nuanced ways to add personalization. Personalized customer care also means adapting to a customer’s needs and expectations. Instead of having customers fit through the business’s service funnel, the business should react to each customer’s needs. However, what one customer prefers might alienate others or be insufficient. No two people are the same, so no two customers should want or need the same things. Keeping everyone as happy as possible with the methods they prefer gives customers a choice of ways to interact and ways to speak up if something isn’t going right. 

Benefits of Personalizing Customer Service

Personalizing customer service may seem like an impossibly detailed task, but there are multiple ways to achieve your goal, some of which are explained below:

Attainable Expectations

Customers today expect personalization and customized experiences, but there is also more worry over data privacy than ever before. Typically, businesses use customer data and feedback to tailor future experiences, but not everyone wants to hand over their data. When done correctly, companies can safely use and store customer data to create personal experiences customers want without data misuse’s shady downsides. When companies track purchase history, service interactions, feedback, and more for the business’s betterment, the company can offer better service exactly how that customer wants.

Faster Customer Service

Personalized service may sound like it takes more time, but personalized experiences help resolve issues faster once the system is up and running. When customer service agents know everything about a customer, they can anticipate or prepare for likely questions. Having the answers and customer preferences at the ready makes each interaction much more efficient and gets the customer to their desired end much faster.

Balance Between Agents and Automation

Automation is a technology we have been dreaming of for years, and AI is now a core part of many business strategies, but we cannot forget the human side of customer support. Each method has the best use situations. Sometimes a customer does not want to talk to a live human agent for a simple issue they can fix with a chatbot or phone tree. Other times, customers want to let out their frustrations with a product to a live human or need help with a more complex issue than automated systems can handle. When it is clear a human response is needed, the transition must be fast. A customer who wants to talk to a person will not suffer through a long winding phone tree for awfully long, nor should they have to. Moving from an automated system to a live agent should be fast and seamless, preferably with only the bush of a button or voice command. Tracing customer preferences over time can help determine which customers want to speak to an agent and which do not so you can provide personalized service without any interruptions.

How to Provide a Personalized Experience

You cannot control your competitors’ prices, size, or any other factors, but you can make your business better in different ways. Providing a personalized experience for your customers is useful for various reasons. Still, it can help customers return to your business rather than move to a competitor, as most people would rather do business with someone who knows your name rather than a faceless company. For many customers, better customer service, including personalization, is enough to keep them loyal to your business over other options. You can get creative with ways you personalize experiences for customers; below are just a few examples of ways you can personalize the customer experience and enjoy the benefits:

  • Reward and recognize loyal customers with over-time programs.
  • Know your customer’s name and proper capitalization.
  • Reward feedback with messages when feedback is considered or implemented.
  • Offer free classes, trials, or demonstrations so customers can see exactly what they are buying, which eliminates doubt or quality concerns.
  • Send a personalized, handwritten note to customers with orders for a pleasant surprise in the box or on their birthday as an inexpensive way to reach out.
  • Recognize or feature customers’ experiences on your website or social media pages to reassure potential customers and encourage other customers to leave testimonials.

Personalized customer experiences and support are a fantastic idea that can be tricky to get right. The line and blend of automation and human intuition can be hard to find, but your customers will appreciate you are trying and eventually succeeding. You may need help along the way, and the experts at ListenTrust are here to help you get personalization precisely right.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

5 Ways to Deliver Great Customer Service

5 Ways to Deliver Great Customer Service

Businesses may wish that selling a fantastic product was all it took to find success with customers, but there is more to the equation. If your customer service is unhelpful, inconsistent, hard to use, or next to nonexistent, you will see the negative impacts on your bottom line as customers learn to stay away or not bother in the first place. Customer service may not be the most exciting aspect of a business, but it is a vital one that is key to long-term success. Everyone has heard of customer service, but when it comes time to set up your own customer service, you must ensure every customer has a great experience with planning and procedures. 

 

What Is Customer Service?

Customer service is something everyone hears about, but not everyone can nail it down into an actual definition. While everyone can have a slightly different expectation of ideal customer service, the general definition is support for customers, before and after a purchase, to help customers have a pleasant overall experience and solve any issues that arise.

 

What is Greate Customer Service?

Most businesses offer some level of customer service, but there is a wide gap between offering customer service hardly anyone uses and having excellent customer service that customers do not actively avoid. Excellent customer service relies on a few different metrics, like required customer time investment, the time to resolution, how helpful are the customer service agents, and how friendly are the customer service agents to talk to. Great customer service should get a customer to a solution without waiting on hold for hours or bouncing from department to department for answers. Much of customer service comes down to the agents and how empowered they are to go above and beyond for each customer. Support teams should go beyond solving the question in front of them and try to go above and beyond to create a memorable winning experience that puts your brand above the competition.

 

How to Deliver Great Customer Service 

Delivering great customer service is the ultimate goal, but there are multiple different ways to offer great service. Combining different methods and policies will add up to make your customer service even better. Below are five ways or areas you can improve your customer service:

 

Keep a Positive Attitude

Customers often call customer service for help with a problem, and no one wants to talk to someone who is clearly in a bad mood. Customer service agents’ attitude set the tone for the call and can have a significant impact on whether customers enjoy the experience or not. It is much easier to have an agent give a happy or positive tone on phone calls, but text-based communication can be much harder to interrupt. Customer service agents should know how to make text-based messages come off friendly with welcoming language and exclamation points to fit everyday social online communication. It may feel like your agents are coming off as overly friendly or excitable, but that is much better than customers leaving with the impression agents are cold and don’t want to help them.

 

Know the Product or Service

Customer service is mostly there to solve customer’s problems with products or services, and support agents should know enough to solve these problems. If you know all the positives to market and sell your product, you should also know how to fix it if something goes wrong. Customer service should be the resource of information for customers, so agents must know everything they can about the products and fix them so the customer can quickly get the right answer.

Listen to the Customer

Sometimes the easiest part of customer service is the most forgotten as many customer service agents forget to listen to the customer. Sometimes the issue is an easy fix, but the customer just wants to be heard, which is the more important service. Service agents may save time by quickly solving problems and rushing to the next customer, but you will endear your brand to more customers by taking the time to listen. When you stop and listen, you can hear what the customer needs from you, and they may have a suggestion for a product no one else had voiced yet.

 

Ask and Use Feedback

Any customer service interaction is the perfect time to ask for feedback to show you care about customer opinions and improve your business even further. Asking for feedback or suggestions makes customers feel valued beyond their money, and there is a variety of ways to ask for feedback. Send surveys, questionnaires, follow-up questions, and ask customers directly for any suggestions before, after, and a few months past a purchase. However, you must use the feedback and suggestions for the time investment to be meaningful. Review feedback to identify areas with recurring suggestions, weed out suggestions that, while well-intentioned, won’t work for your business, and note changes you can make to adapt the suggestions to fit better.

 

Get to Know your Customer Better

Providing customer service becomes easier once you know and understand who your customers are and what they want from you. A better understanding of the situation, your customers, and common issues combine to give the customer service agent much more power than a typical cold call. All it takes is a few simple questions to get to know a customer and often give you information about your competitors. Sometimes customers won’t feel comfortable talking to or offering feedback to another person, which is where surveys come in handy. A survey lets the customer express themselves without fear, and the business receives unfiltered feedback. The more information a business knows about its customers, the better the service will be because the agents are also better-informed.

 

 

Customer service is a vital part of a successful business that is worth taking the time to get right. Many different elements go into excellent customer service, with each element taking time to dial in. Learning how to use customer information, feedback, existing frameworks, and more is a tricky task, but the experts at ListenTrust are here to help make the process as easy as possible. Contact us today to learn how ListenTrust professionals can help you improve your business’s customer service. 

 

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

What Is Live Chat Customer Service?

What Is Live Chat Customer Service?

For years, phone calls and emails were the other methods of customer service, but live chat customer service is the new method in town. The communication app lets you talk with a customer service agent in real-time using a chat window. This lets customers find solutions to their issues faster and helps customer service agents help more customers in one day. Live chat service might be a relatively new invention, but it has quickly become an option that customers expect. Customers prefer using live chat instead of fighting through a phone tree. Live chat’s dynamic nature helps the customers feel a better connection, so they are not just another number in the system.

 

How Does Live Chat Work

Live chat might sound like a complicated technical proposition, but it is reasonably straightforward. When looking for a live chat program vendor, look for one with the features you need to provide quality support to your customers and a reasonably affordable subscription fee. Once you have confirmed your subscription, adding the live chat window is as easy as copying and pasting the code into your website’s backend. Once you publish the new code, your live chat box will appear on the page.

For the opposite side of your website, the live chat box is remarkably easy to use. Customers need only click a button, and the chatbox will open where users can directly type their questions. That question is then connected to an agent, commonly working on a call center chat team, who then works to fix the customer’s issue. Online chat windows are recommended so the customer can continue to browse while getting support. Chat windows that lock your customer into that window until the chat closes are functional but needlessly limiting.

 

Benefits of Live Chat

Live chat support is a newer technology, and many businesses may be hesitant to invest in another new age tool, but live chat is worth the minimal hassle it requires. Adding live chat to your website might not be at the top of your priority list, but it should be. Live chat is not just another tool to slap on your website, as live chat support provides valuable benefits that every company should take advantage of.

 

Competitive Advantage

While live chat is still relatively new, not every business adds it to their website when they should. If you add live chat to your website, you are now ahead of the pack and leading the charge in better customer service methods. Adding live chat lets you provide 24/7 support, which few other businesses can tout. Always having support available also endears your company to customers and makes customers loyal to your brand.

 

Afordability

Setting up phone and email systems to handle customer support takes time and money, while live chat is a rather painless addition to any website. Adding and maintaining live chat is inexpensive, and because customer support agents can handle more than one chat at a time, you save money with live chat by saving resources and time. Canned replies let agents rapidly send out solutions to common problems, so agents can focus their efforts and maximize their paid time on more complicated issues that a canned response cannot solve.

Cart Abandonment Prevention

When customers reach the shipping and delivery stage of checkout, they may be confronted with information and prices that vary by location. Instead of leaving customers to find the information for their location on their own, they can reach out to live chat for clear answers directly from your company. Instead of a customer abandoning the cart because they could not figure out shipping questions live chat supplies the customer an answer in minutes. This only demonstrates the power of live chat where customers no longer give up because they can’t find answers with site navigation as live chat gives them the answers right away.

 

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Customers overwhelming support and enjoy using live chat. Looking at the history of customer service, this is shocking. Customers do not want to wait for an email reply in two to three business days or spend two hours on the phone to get support; live chat fixes those problems. Live chat is fast, free for the customer, and combines the best of both email and phone support. Customers can attach media files to illustrate issues, the natural conversational flow of live chat mimics a phone call without the fear of a phone call, and live chat is anonymous, so customers don’t feel the need to beat around the bush when it comes to asking questions. There are so many elements of live chat that customers love, so it is no surprise that live chat is becoming the preferred customer support method.

 

Personalizes Your Brand 

Your service team is the customer frontline, as your support agents are likely some of the only people from your company that a customer will interact with. Live chat will often let you personalize your window so you can expand your brand. Add agent names and images to create a personable experience for customers. Putting a face and a name to a text conversation helps customers feel genuinely cared for. You can even customize the chat window’s design to suit your brand identity better. You can even work with smart routing modes, so a customer is connected to the same live chat agent each time to deepen the relationship.

Live chat is a fantastic service you should add to your website, but not all live chat services are created equal. Read more to learn about why ListenTrust is the best choice for your customer chat services. We have the industry experience and technical skills to ensure your live chat support is the best it can be. 

 

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

Integrating Technology to Cultivate Customer Experience

Integrating Technology to Cultivate Customer Experience

Our last two posts discussed the importance of connecting with customers through their preferred channel of communication. We know how important it is to meet the consumer at the right place during their buying journey, but we also want to discuss the value of integrating technology along the way to help create a seamless customer experience and increase conversions.

Using Expected Consumer Behavior to Curate Communication

Reflecting over the last several years, marketers were apprehensive about including the URL on infomercials because they thought it would turn people away from purchasing. However, these customers were the information-seeking consumers who wanted to go to the website to learn more before buying. Now we’ve tapped into that new, discerning buyer, a demographic that buys differently than the impulsive buyer. They want to ask more questions and they want additional options for purchasing. It is the information age’s technology that helped create these new habits.

At ListenTrust, our goal is to understand the type of customer that is calling before we even pick up the phone. We want to know how likely they are to purchase so we can best route the call and keep overall costs down. As we aim to get the ratio of calls to conversions as low as possible, we often leverage smart routing tools through IVR. ListenTrust also operates as a performance-based call center, meaning our customers only pay when we convert. So, as the marketer continues to drive calls, we implement the use of smart technology tools to continue driving conversions.

In this consumer landscape, it is also important to have additional ways for people to place an order, which is why we’ve become interested in the use of chatbots as another way to connect with customers on the internet, social media or via text. With chatbots, the system responds with predetermined conversation triggers, or users can get routed to a live agent if they need further assistance.

 

How Can ListenTrust Maximize Your Marketing ROI with Technology?

We’re a forward-thinking company that strives to find the best method of incorporating technology to help maximize ROI. Our main goal is to understand the consumer mindset and habits that indicate their purchase preferences and technology helps us do that in a way that greatly benefits both parties. When we learn how to, and only, handle callers who will purchase, we are more efficient for our clients and our company.

So how do we transition to meet the new buying habits of consumers? It’s something we should already be doing. The trend has manifested and we need to start looking at it that way, collaborating with each other along the way and launching campaigns to meet it head-on. 

Get Results with ListenTrust Today!

Interested in testing it out? Contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

Call Center Solutions: 10 years working with Non-Profits

Call Center Solutions: 10 years working with Non-Profits

This time of year, I am looking forward to attending the 12th Annual Bridge Conference in Maryland where I”ll meet with various nonprofits regarding their call center strategies. Having previously attended as Listen Up Español, we are excited to let our nonprofit colleagues know about our new services available in English and Spanish, as well to introduce them to our new company name and logo. 

Why Our Client’s Trust us with their Direct Response Marketing Investment

 

ListenTrust has been working with the nonprofit industry for more than ten years and we have call center solutions that really bolster nonprofit efficacy by helping them gain an increased number of loyal donors. While we previously only managed Spanish language calls for nonprofits targeting the U.S. Hispanic market, we are now taking calls in English throughout the United States and Mexico. As a trusted partner for Hispanic marketing and Direct Response television campaigns in Spanish, we’re now managing bilingual campaigns and we’re kicking butt in English. 

Why ListenTrust Agents Make All the Difference

ListenTrust agents have the unique ability to help nonprofits increase their donor pool, a direct result of the effort we put into our intensive agent training process during the initial onboarding of our clients. To make the campaign work seamlessly and to make callers more comfortable, we intensively train our agents to adapt to the nuances of the nonprofit so they can become true brand ambassadors. We even send our agents to the client’s location to help fully integrate them into the nonprofit culture so they can master the brand messaging and reflect the mission and values of the organization as a true brand representative once they return to the center and begin taking donor calls. 

We have worked with nonprofits on various types of campaigns such as one-time radio campaigns, telethon events, ongoing donor campaigns or other events where there might be a spike in calls. To deliver the highest quality on each campaign, we even route calls based on agent performance, a strategy that helps us get more conversions by utilizing our best agents. 

As we implement these strategies, we always aim to be a flexible partner that helps our nonprofit clients gain donors and reach their fundraising goals in the most valuable way. 

Contact Us Today to let us Help Bolster your Next Campaign Donor List

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.