Trust plus comfort. That’s what rapport means, says Neil Strauss.
Have you ever felt so connected with someone before? Have you ever felt so comfortable with anyone that you openly tell them everything about you?
Well, that’s what you call rapport.
When you say rapport, it pertains to a harmonious and meaningful relationship with people. If you have a rapport with the people around you, it means you can understand them and vice versa. Rapport is a result of communicating well with others– being able to express yourself and your feelings towards people while letting them express themselves.
Rapport comes from the French word “rapporter” which means to bring back. We can see that rapport is essential for relationships because it contributes to the “give and take” process. When there’s rapport among people, they all speak and listen without judgment. In rapport, there’s fairness. No one takes much or less.
Rapport is crucial in almost all aspects of our lives, from personal, professional to business relationships; it’s essential to build rapport with each person that we meet. In this blog, we will focus on building rapport with your customers.
Table of Contents:
What does it mean to build a rapport?
Before we dive into what you can do to build rapport with your customers, let’s first talk about “building rapport” — its essence, meaning, and origin.
When you say building a rapport, it means developing a connection, friendship, and mutual trust with someone. It might sound easy, but not all people are good with it. With that said, some people concluded that rapport is somehow a natural gift given to a few people only. It’s either you’re able to build rapport with people or not.
While it’s true that there are people who are naturally excellent when it comes to relating and communicating with others, it doesn’t mean that building a rapport is limited to some people only. It doesn’t require you to have a natural gift to build a rapport with people. As long as you’re willing to, you can always start developing and building rapport with anyone. You can become effective when building rapport with others through proper training and practice, even with your customers.
Let’s suppose you’re one of those people who struggle with building rapport, or you’re someone who wants to improve rapport with customers. In that case, there are plenty of ways you can try to start establishing a connection with them.
What are the ways to build rapport with your customers?
Establishing rapport with clients is essential for any business, whether you’re a rookie or already a successful business owner. Rapport helps you gain your customer’s trust and make them buy from you again and might as well recommend you to others. An established relationship with your clients doesn’t only make your business grow; it also helps your clients succeed.
Below are some hacks you can do to start building a rapport with your clients!
Make your first impression impactful
You probably heard the saying “First impression lasts.” already. It has been a mantra believed by many, and even studies show that a first impression can impact a person for months, affecting their judgment of someone’s personality. People’s first impressions can indeed affect your future relationship with them. Make sure that when you first meet your clients, you’ll leave them the feeling that they want to meet you again.
To help you with that, here are some first impression “must do’s” for you:
Smiling releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of happiness. That’s why it helps you feel relaxed and happy. To add, we cannot deny that a smile is also contagious! Remember when someone smiled at you, and you just smiled back without hesitation?
That could happen to your clients when you smile at them as well! In that way, you’ll make them feel relaxed and happy while having a conversation with you.
- Make eye contact
Make sure that you look them in the eyes when you talk with them.
Eye contact plays a vital role in communication. It lets people know and feel that you’re telling the truth and that you’re interested in talking with them. On the other hand, it also helps you keep your client’s attention to you while you are speaking, making them more engaged with your conversation.
- Wear appropriate clothing
Dressing up isn’t just a part of our basic needs now. The way we dress affects the impressions of others about us, whether we like it or not. Let’s suppose you want to leave a remarkable impact on your customers. In that case, you should dress up appropriately whenever you’re meeting them. One tip, dress up according to what image you want to impress your clients.
- Maintain a good posture
A good posture helps you display confidence towards your customers. It helps them know that you’re confident about what you can do for them and how good your products or services can work. Maintaining a good posture while talking with your clients will positively give a good impact for you and your business.
Words of affirmation is one of the five love languages mentioned in the book written by Gary Chapman. Words of affirmation convey respect, love, and appreciation to other people. And just how important other people in our lives are, so as our clients. Make sure you make them feel important by acknowledging their achievements– telling them they’re doing great or how much you appreciate them. You can also try complimenting their new hairstyle or the beautiful outfit they wear.
Tell your story
Storytelling is a powerful way of marketing and communicating with your customers and target market. It helps them know you and your business without looking at boring slides and presentations. According to the American Management Association, storytelling is the fastest way to build rapport with people. The reason for this is that when you tell your story, it feels more personal and intimate, giving your clients the feeling of trust and comfort. So the next time you meet with your clients, let them know your story.
Listen to their stories and concerns
As mentioned above, rapport requires a give-and-take relationship. It’s not always you who speak or initiate the conversation, and it’s not always your clients who’ll listen. Let your clients talk. Let them express themselves and allow them to speak of what they want or need from you.
On the other hand, you should also show that you’re interested in learning their stories. Never make them feel that you’re bored or tired of addressing their concerns.
Remember their names
Calling people by their names, especially their first names, is a great and powerful way to establish rapport. It makes them feel like you want to connect and relate with them. I bet you’ll also prefer it when people call you by name, don’t you?
According to Dale Carnegie, a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Therefore, your clients will surely love it when you remember to call them by their names the next time you talk with them.
Make everything convenient for them
Our clients should be our top priority when it comes to our business. If we want to retain them and build a long-lasting connection with them, we should make ways for them to access our services conveniently.
And to give you an idea of how to make things convenient for your customers, here are some tips for you:
- Use online transactions
The best way to make transactions faster and more convenient is by doing it online. When you do your transactions online, your clients can get the most out of your service whenever and wherever they are.
With that said, you can also try using online documents such as online PDF forms, Google docs, and more. These tools are known to provide convenience, especially when grabbing consumer information.
- Provide answers to their FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Answering questions from clients is a great way to communicate with them. It helps you assess their needs while allowing them to enjoy your service and products.
- Provide support
Customer support helps you solve problems while maintaining a relationship with your clients. With that said, every business needs to provide support for its clients. See to it that you give them your contact number and assign a department or team to assist them with their concerns immediately.
- Development Research
We all know that technology is rapidly changing. Meaning there will always be a development that could add to your clients' convenience. Make sure you’re not left out when it comes to the latest tools, software, and gadgets that can help you serve your customers better.
- Ask them (through a survey)
When it comes to building rapport, your customers' comments matter, one of the best ways to know what makes the process convenient for them is conducting survey research.
Give the gift of good rapport through convenience to your clients with PlatoForms
If you want to develop rapport with your clients, it’s essential to give them the convenience they deserve. In that case, you can lean on PlatoFormsPDF tools! PlatoForms allows your clients to conveniently complete forms online for a smoother transaction process. Sign up here.
Building rapport with your customers is not an easy task. It requires dedication, empathy, and more time until you learn how to get connected with them.