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How to Build Rapport: Techniques & Example Statements

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner

Allison has a Masters of Arts in Political Science

Building rapport is important for all business relationships. This lesson discusses techniques for building rapport and also provides sample statements for using key techniques.

Building Rapport

How can you connect with customers, build trust, and increase customer satisfaction? By building rapport! Rapport is a trusting, friendly relationship in which people can connect with one another and understand each other's feelings. Building rapport is actually the intentional process of establishing rapport.

Now that sounds easy, right? Not necessarily. Building rapport can be challenging because people do not yet know one another and not everyone is quick to trust others. In order to become successful at building rapport, there are techniques that can help any businessperson increase their rapport-building skills.

Techniques for Building Rapport

Using rapport-building techniques can help build trust and can assist in creating a friendly environment. Taking advantage of as many techniques as possible is important to establishing a good foundation for positive rapport.

First, asking the name of the customer and then using the name are important for creating a healthy business relationship. When people hear their name they feel valued and humanized. Using this technique can start to build trust between you and the customer.

Some great ways to ask and use a name include:

  • Can I have your name so that I know how to address you?
  • Great, I'm happy to help. Can I have your name?
  • Thanks Anna, I am happy to help you today.

As the customer continues to talk, active listening, or fully hearing and understanding what the person is saying, is essential for building rapport. This means saying 'hm' and 'ah' during the conversation. It also means responding to what the customer said. If it's a phone call and the customer says they've already called five times, the response should acknowledge that they have already called five times to resolve the issue. Actively listening to customers shows them that their thoughts, feelings, and concerns are important. It also can assist with building trust because the customer will know that you understand them and are interested in what they want or need.

Let's look at some other examples:

  • So, just to make sure we are on the same page, you are looking for _____, is that correct? (Fill in the blank with the product or service you believe is correct, recapping what you've understood from your conversation).
  • I want to make sure I understood you correctly, I understand you are having trouble with _____.
  • Mhm, okay, so you have already tried to contact _____ to resolve this?
  • Can you tell me more about _____?
  • You said that you liked _____. Did I understand that correctly?

Throughout the conversation, ask questions to help get to know the customer and understand customer needs. Asking questions also shows that you're interested in the overall customer experience. Whether the customer has a problem that needs to be resolved or needs help finding the right product, questions help ensure that you accurately serve their needs. While active listening shows concern for thoughts and feelings, asking questions shows customers that you are interested in them as a person.

Consider these questions:

  • What activities do you use your sneakers for?
  • How has your day been?
  • What are you looking for in _____?
  • How long have you used this service?

The questions should be purposeful, relevant, and related to the conversation. You want to start by asking how they are and then hone in on questions which help you to meet their needs.

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