This week I delivered a web seminar entitled “How to Talk to Customers.” One of the techniques I shared in this program was “Pacing.” Pacing is simply pacing the customer by mirroring their words, sense of urgency or need (or lack) for detail. This morning I had a perfect example of pacing at Starbucks in the drive-thru. I’ll tell you about my experience in just a second.
When I watch my daughter and her friends together, they tend to talk alike and display similar body language and energy. What they are doing, without even realizing it, is mirroring one another. Research shows that pacing or mirroring helps to build trust and rapport. Close friends do this instinctively. So do charismatic people. You can establish trust and rapport with your customers by intentionally, but subtly, pacing their words, tone or body language.
Now, let me tell you how Starbucks paced me this morning. When I pulled up to the window at Starbucks, I ordered, “I’ll have a Venti Hazelnut Macchiato with Skim Milk.” Starbucks employees at this location often repeat back to me, “I have a non-fat Venti Hazelnut Macchiato.” That is accurate, as Skim is nonfat. But this morning the Barista repeated back verbatim my words. Instead of saying “nonfat,” she said exactly what I said, “I have a Venti Hazelnut Macchiato with Skim milk. Will there be anything else for you?” What she did is paced me or mirrored me.
Pacing is a simple and powerful way to make personal emotional connections with customers and to establish rapport and trust. Subtly pace your customer’s words, tone, energy, sense of urgency or body language and you’ll deliver a more refreshing and memorable customer experience.
You can sample an excerpt from my “How to Talk to Customers” webinar below.
On Demand Webinar – A video recording that you can download immediately and have forever.
How to Talk to Customers: Empathy, Tone and Making Personal Emotional Connections
The biggest problem with the customer experience in most companies is how employees talk to customers. All too often, employees come across as indifferent, cold, uncaring, rushed or rude. This employee “attitude problem” can be the tipping point that sends customers to the competition. This attitude problem is what drives customers to tweet and blog about a poor customer experience. The great news is, with the right training, monitoring and coaching, employees can learn how to soften tones, truly convey empathy, make customers feel taken care of and even make memorable personal emotional connections with customers.
In this extended training event, Myra shows your employees, step-by-step, how to talk to your customers. You’ve gotta read this outline!