Lesson 3: Relationship Building

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Lesson 3: Relationship Building

  1. 1. Lesson 3: Relationship Building Mama’s Subs
  2. 2. Relationship Building • Mastering relationship building involves six steps: 1. Establishing rapport 2. Interacting positively with customers 3. Identifying customers’ needs 4. Making the customer feel valued 5. Maintaining ongoing relationships 6. Handling different types of customers
  3. 3. Relationship Building • By the end of this lesson you should know: • How to effectively establish rapport with your customers • How to create and maintain positive interactions with customers • How to identify what customer’s needs are • What you can do to make a customer feel valuable • How to maintain ongoing relationships with customers • How to handle different types of customers
  4. 4. Step 1: Establishing Rapport • Establishing rapport begins the moment you start communication with your customers • How you establish rapport depends on your customer interactions • It also depends on who your customers are, what they expect from Mama’s Subs, and how Mama’s Subs can enhance customers’ lives
  5. 5. Establishing Rapport • Be friendly • Treat customers with a warm, welcoming attitude • No matter who your customers are, everyone appreciates someone who is friendly • When you smile and offer a friendly greeting, you put your customers at ease • You show them from the start that you are approachable and willing to help • Be interested • Being interested means listening when customers respond to you • It also means responding accordingly to what the customers have to say • When listening to customers, think of ways to brighten up their day; it is an effective way to show you are interested
  6. 6. Establishing Rapport • Be considerate • Being considerate means showing kindly awareness or regard for customers’ feelings • For example, if a customer is having a bad day, you should respond to them by saying, “I’m sorry to hear you’re having a bad day. What can I do to make it better?” • Even if you cannot personally understand or relate to what the customer is saying, you can be considerate in your response • Be trustful • The best way to demonstrate that you can be trusted is by being honest and ethical in everything that you do • Being trustful also includes treating people with dignity and respect
  7. 7. Establishing Rapport • Find common ground • When you listen to your customers’ statements and responses, try to find something you have in common • To a customer who is having a bad day, you might respond by saying: “I’m sorry to hear that you are having a bad day. I had one of those days yesterday.” • The customer will appreciate that you can relate to their experience • Even if you did not have a similar experience, you can find other ways to relate • Empathize with the customer, ask questions, show interest • Complimenting a customer on something they are wearing is also a good way to find common ground • E.g., “I like your watch, sir.”
  8. 8. Step 2: Interacting Positively with Customers • Once you establish rapport, continue building your relationships by interacting with your customers in a positive manner • When you are positive and upbeat, customers will respond similarly • At work, be the person that brings others up
  9. 9. Interacting Positively with Customers • Be helpful • Show your customers that you care • Do something to make your customers feel good about themselves • Set a personal goal to help someone every day • Even when a customer does not directly ask for help, if they seem like they need assistance, offer it to them • Be committed • When you commit yourself to your customers and to Mama’s Subs, you will look for ways to make things better • No matter what you do on your shift, strive to do your best • Give your customers your all • Customers will respond positively to a hard worker
  10. 10. Interacting Positively with Customers • Be a problem solver • Be part of the solution rather than the problem • Look for answers when customers have problems • Don’t merely focus on what is wrong, do something about it • People who focus on problems complain; people who focus on solutions find ways to make things better • Be credible • This means being knowledgeable about the products at Mama’s Subs • Customers appreciate employees who are knowledgeable • Learn everything you can about the food and services we offer here at Mama’s Subs • If you need additional knowledge, ask your manager for help
  11. 11. Interacting Positively with Customers • Believe in your products • You need to believe in the food and services we sell at Mama’s Subs • Otherwise, you will not come off as sincere • Believing that our products will help improve the lives of our customers e.g., by helping a busy mother save time by purchasing quality food for their children) is crucial for doing the right thing for them • It does not matter whether you make the subs, take the orders, or check customers out; truly believing in our products will help you promote yourself, the products, and Mama’s Subs in a positive and sincere manner
  12. 12. Step 3: Identifying Customers’ Needs • Customers come into businesses for various reasons • Sometimes they are not very clear about their needs • When you deal with customers, your job is to uncover their needs
  13. 13. Identifying Customers’ Needs • Ask questions • In lesson 2, you learned about open and closed questions • For a review, click here to return to lesson 2: http://www.slideshare.net/nikiwild3/lesson-2- effective-communication-33164675 • Use open questions to get the customer talking • Questions that begin with “what”, “why”, and “how” encourage customers to talk • Used closed questions to clarify answers to open questions • These include questions that begin with “who”, “would”, “how”, and “where” • Notice that “how” can be used for either open or closed questions
  14. 14. Identifying Customers’ Needs • Summarize customers’ needs • After you have asked enough questions to determine a customer’s needs, summarize your understanding of what they have told you • Start your summarization with, “From what I understand…” • If your understanding is incorrect, ask more open and closed questions until you get it right • Recommend appropriate solutions • Make sure that your recommendations are based on what the customer told you • Refer to things that the customer said when making recommendations • EX: “Our lighter options at Mama’s Subs are perfect if you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. They are low calorie, low fat, and we use whole grain bread bread.”
  15. 15. Identifying Customers’ Needs • Handle objections • This can be accomplished by using the suggestions in lesson 2 about dealing with customers who say no • Link to lesson 2: http://www.slideshare.net/nikiwild3/lesson-2- effective-communication-33164675 • Listen to their objection, acknowledge it, follow up with a question, consider the customer’s answer, and respond appropriately
  16. 16. Step 4: Making the Customer Feel Valued • When you make customers feel valued, you are on your way to building strong relationships • At Mama’s Subs, we strive to make the customer feel important and valued
  17. 17. Making the Customer Feel Valued • Go out of your way for customers • Do what you can to help customers • Try to give customers more than what they ask for • When a customer asks a questions, give them more than a one-word answer • Help those customers who do not openly ask for help but need it • When you go out of your way for customers, they notice • Validate customers’ decisions • No matter what type of sub, side item, drink, or deal the customer decides on, validate their choice • For example, when a customer picks a certain sub, respond with something like, “Good choice. That sub is one of my favorites.” • Instill positive feelings • Never make a customer feel bad about their decision • Always encourage the customer and make them feel good about their decisions
  18. 18. Step 6: Maintaining Ongoing Relationships • Once you build strong relationships with customers, your work is not done • In any relationship, you have to work to maintain it • Customers come back a second, third, and fourth time because you established a relationship with them
  19. 19. Maintaining Ongoing Relationships • Remember your customers • Nothing makes a customer feel more valued than being remembered • Acknowledge your repeat customers by saying something to show you remember them • EX: “Welcome back to Mama’s Subs, ma’am!” • Customers who do repeat business at Mama’s Subs appreciate being recognized • Learn customers’ names • When customers come into Mama’s Subs repeatedly, make it a point to learn their names • Addressing the customer by their name will let them know they are important to you and the restaurant
  20. 20. Maintaining Ongoing Relationships • Remember something about your customers • Everyone appreciates an employee with a good memory • It shows your customers that you value your relationship with them • EX: “Hi, Mrs. Johnston! Hope everything’s going well with your new house.” • Learn your customer’s preferences • If you deal with customer’s repeatedly, get to know what they like • If you have too many customers to remember each ones’ tastes, you could start a card or computer file and note your customers’ preferences
  21. 21. Step 6: Handling Different Types of Customers • Most of the customers at Mama’s Subs will be average people with average needs • Some customers, however, will test your skills and your patience • In addition, you will have to interact with customers who are disabled or from a different ethnic background than you
  22. 22. Handling Different Types of Customers • The pushy, obnoxious customer • Maintain a professional demeanor • Speak softly and control your voice inflection • Remain calm • Do not take their behavior personally • The timid, indecisive customer • Help draw these customers out and get them to talk more • Ask open questions • Listen closely to their responses and guide them to give you an answer about their decision • Be sensitive to these kinds of customers • Help them feel more relaxed an comfortable • Do not be pushy or use a forceful tone
  23. 23. Handling Different Types of Customers • The overly friendly, flirty customer • Keep your end of the conversation on business • These customers can be difficult to handle because they do not see their behavior as inappropriate • It is up to you to control the conversation • The culturally different customer • We live in a society that incorporates many cultures and customs • Yet people often do not know how to talk or act in the presence of a person with a different background • Displaying kindness, smiling, and being honest translate across cultures • Try to make yourself aware of different cultures by researching them
  24. 24. Handling Different Types of Customers • People with disabilities • Treat them like you would anyone else • Make eye contact and speak in your normal tone and pace of speech • As you continue with the customer, if you notice that you need to slow down, speak up, or enunciate more, do so • Treat them with the same dignity and respect you would anyone else

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