How to build Rapport with your Customers?

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Building, maintaining, and sustaining healthy, happy customer relationships is key to the survival of a business. Building rapport with consumers and converting them to be loyal clients is an invaluable tool, but before it can be done, brands first need to listen to their followers.

How customers currently feel about your brand, and what they’re looking for or expecting from it can be best understood through customer satisfaction metrics. There are several different types of metrics that we used to judge customer feelings and perceptions. These include, but are by no means limited to:

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score

NPS is often considered the ‘go-to’ metric for customer satisfaction. A continuously moving score, groups customers into a ‘type’ dependent on their likelihood to recommend the company, its products or services. These three types of people are called promoters, passives and detractors. This gives an indication of the perception and satisfaction of the company by those who have actually used or bought from it.

Customer churn rate

The customer churn rate is the rate at which customers purchase from or work with a luxury brand and then move on to do the same with another company. This is most frequently used for businesses who have subscription services or encourage repeat custom as it allows them to understand their rate of customer retention vs customer recruitment. Using this metric, customer retention is always being the goal as it’s cheaper and more conducive to a profitable model.

Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Score

CSAT is a favourite metric of American companies and refers to the percentage of customers that are satisfied with their brand experience when polled. There is no set scoreboard or benchmark for CSAT and so it can be used as is best suited to the business but is calculated easily through the number of customers who say they are satisfied divided by the number of customers surveyed, x100. From here, those who aren’t satisfied can be surveyed further to uncover and resolve any issues.

Once the stats are in… what next?

Customer satisfaction statistics are one piece of the puzzle, but they’re never the full picture. The data collated should be verified, ideally before collection to ensure the customers and their experiences are genuine but, if not, at least before analysis. After this, the answers provided and any issues, concerns or pain points raised can be read and analysed.

Using the data collected and turning it into proper business intelligence allows areas for work to be highlighted and then prioritised so they can then be improved, amended, changed, or completed.

To best understand the data given, professional analysis tools should be used. These can be sourced from a variety of different companies, but amongst the most effective are third-party review and feedback business software. These companies have built-in analysis software working behind the scenes to verify customer reviews and have survey facilities that can present data on trends, themes and relevant customer satisfaction metrics, along with practicable action points for improvements and innovations. From here, a plan can be made for the business to work on these areas and do what they can to improve onward customer satisfaction as a result.

Using improvements to build customer rapport

Using Improvements to build Customer Rapport

Where improvements are made, customers should be informed, particularly if they are changing around an area that was of specific concern to them. Rapport is then built through the importance of communication and establishing trust between both parties – both consumer and company.

Although there may be no need to say sorry unnecessarily, being honest and admitting where the business may have fallen short or seen room for improvement is no fault, and consumers will respect a brand that is always trying to do better and achieve more. Highlighting continual improvement and striving to be the best is a positive trait and business value so should be communicated regularly.

The ability for a business to listen, work and act upon feedback is important and, sadly, quite rare. It requires proactivity and resource on the behalf of the business, and so is too often lowered down the priority list rather than considered a key component to make your business more successful. Implementing cycles of continuous improvement into everyday business processes demonstrates true commitment to customers and will build trust in the customer base as they know and believe that the business is prioritising them. This too can help see a business through its own growth phases from an infant brand through to emerging, developing, and maturing talent.

With satisfaction comes loyalty and repeat custom as well as a recommendation, none of which should ever be underestimated in their value to businesses. Satisfied customers will tell others and will return themselves – a win-win for a profitable business model, positive business growth, and a healthy bottom line.

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