Date of birth? Last name? Zip code? Have you ever had a conversation with a customer service person, and it went something like that?
A lot of people ask questions this way. The problem with talking in little bytes is, it sounds robotic. And it’s hard to create rapport with customers if you sound mechanical.
Think about the difference in placing a fast-food order where the person says, “Pull forward.” versus, “My pleasure. We’ll have your order ready at the window.” Which sounds better to you? These are both full sentences, yes, but the attitude is very different. The difference between talking in bytes and complete sentences is just as striking.
So it makes sense that one of the easiest ways to make your conversations with customers more warm and friendly is to speak in complete sentences.
Before we jump into that, let’s think about why we sometimes talk in fragments.
The temptation to talk in fragments is greatest when we have to ask a customer several questions before we can help them.
We do it because we want to quickly get through the questions so we can solve their problem or answer their questions. But remember, we’re not coming across as helpful. We’re coming across as mechanical and impatient. So while our intentions are good, we need better execution.
So when you have to ask your customer questions, I want you to do two things:
First, always ask your questions in complete sentences.
And second, use “please” and “thank you” whenever it makes sense.
It’ll sound something like this:
“Can I please have your last name?”
“Do you happen to have your claim number?”
“Thank you. One last question for you.”
When you speak in complete sentences, you not only sound friendlier, but the conversation will have a casual, natural flow, and this gives you the best opportunity to create rapport.
Continue the Conversation with Me?
I created a course for LinkedIn Learning focused on Building Rapport with Customers. In this course, I’ll show you how to pace customers, meaning, you’ll meet customers where they are emotionally, you’ll learn how yielding to customers helps the conversation flow, you’ll see how talking in complete sentences makes you sound friendlier, plus you’ll see how you can maintain rapport even when you have to give bad news.
And right now, my Rapport class is free! To access my no-cost courses for your team, go to Opportunity.LinkedIn.com and select Customer Service Specialist Learning Path, then select “Building Rapport with Customers.”