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As a CSM, you know first-hand that working with customers involves more than answering their questions, guiding them through onboarding and product implementations, and ensuring their ongoing satisfaction with your organization. It’s also about the little things: the openness a customer feels with you when you’re not talking about work, small anecdotes about your weekend before a call, and the personal relationship that grows between you and your customers.
Having a strong rapport with customers doesn’t come immediately. You could be the best CSM out there when working with clients through product issues and guiding them through the customer lifecycle and still be at a loss when establishing a personal relationship with your contacts.
Here are a few tips for building a strong rapport with customers:
1. Establish strong lines of communication: All CSMs tell their customers to reach out if there are any questions or problems. But how often do you mean this? Make it easy for customers to reach you, even if there is a simple question on the table, to normalize communication and establish a strong feeling of engagement.
2. Build trust: Trust is one of the critical elements of a strong rapport with customers because, without trust, customers could feel as though they were talking to another suit at your organization. Set the stage early to let the customer know you have their best interests at heart and are there to help them achieve their goals, not the other way around.
3. Ask about more than just professional topics: Having a personal relationship with customers is vital for building rapport. Without being overbearing or insensitive, start customer meetings by asking about people’s weekends, their families, or personal interests. This personal introduction can make customers feel comfortable and at ease with your team.
4. Follow up, even if you’re not meeting any time soon: If there is a break in your meeting schedule or a customer is in ongoing ‘maintenance mode,’ still reach out to check on how things are going. This doesn’t need to be an intense, drawn-out check-in, but making sure a customer feels okay with their status and doesn’t need anything can give a much-needed personal touch to an otherwise somewhat clinical customer relationship.
You can get more information on how to go beyond the product and establish lasting, strong personal relationships with customers with these additional resources from ClientSuccess: