Falling truly, madly, deeply in…. rapport? 😍

A key foundation for delivering service is to create rapport with customers. Building rapport is about establishing relationships (however short) that are built on empathy, understanding and good communication. In everyday language, we are likely to say, ‘we’re on the same wavelength’.

Research shows that people who are truly, madly, deeply in rapport tend to ‘pace’ each other. They tend to adapt how they talk, how they move and even what they talk about.
The good news for all of us who want to improve the service we give our customers is that we can ‘pace’ them to achieve great rapport.

At Service Animals™ we like to think of a radar when it comes to creating rapport. A typical radar starts by sending a signal out, picking up a response to that signal and therefore working out how close (or not) other objects are. That’s how building rapport in service can work. Here are 4 simple steps:

1. Make (or ‘ping’) the first move.

Send a signal out by proactively making a connection with a customer. Use clear, simple signals such as a smile, open body language and informal words. Just by greeting customers with a ‘Hello, how can I help you’ – with a broad smile can then help us read the signals coming back.

2. Observe their body language

Watch their face (even if you are just talking to someone virtually) – how expressive are they? To what extent do they use their hands? Even if you can’t see someone, you can still pick up some clues about body language through sounds they might be emitting such as sighs, yawns and so on.

3. Pace, pace, pace.

And armed with the understanding you have gained in points 2 & 3, get ready to pace your customer. Remember pacing doesn’t mean mimicking. It is about adapting your own style to be closer to your customer’s in terms of your body language, your words, what you talk about, how you talk and listen.

4. Listen to the words they use and the way they use them

How fast do they speak? Do they pause to listen? What do they talk about – e.g. do they focus on results (‘this is what I want to happen’) or their feelings (‘this is how I want to feel.’)

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Service Animals™ is brought to you by SignalCX, a consultancy focusing on customer experience. For nearly 4 decades, we have worked with some of the world’s best brands to design and enable great customer experiences. The SignalCX customer experience journey will help you develop a culture that has the customer at its heart, with employees who are energised and excited and a growing body of customers who love the way that your organisation makes them feel. Apart from this lovely warm glow, you will achieve tangible, measurable and bottom-line driven results.

Service Animals has been developed and refined for the past 30 years, and has been used by almost a million people around the world. Its roots lie in the psychological theories of Carl Jung, but this model has been honed through years of work with psychologists, clients and our own team members. Service Animals is the only tool that focuses on how we all use our individual communication styles to form the service experience we deliver to customers and colleagues.

To find out more, just get in touch!