respect diversity #custservThe world is shrinking. Thanks to rapid advances in technology, distance is no longer a deciding factor when making a decision to purchase or reach out for support. Just as quickly as the world is shrinking, it is also becoming more diverse.

The concept of diversity is commonly used to define demographics such as gender, age, and culture. But it can also be used to define preferences, learning styles, and approaches. When customer service and support representatives acknowledge and respect diversity, they will be able to provide better service and support, and increase customer satisfaction.

Acknowledge Diversity to Build Rapport

When customer service or support employees acknowledge diversity, they quickly build rapport with customers. Building rapport is a critical step in the service or support process. Making the effort to build rapport shows a sincere interest in the customer’s satisfaction, and it is much easier to satisfy a customer once good rapport is established. Customers are very diverse. They have a wide variety of personalities, beliefs, values, and experiences. It is important to note the uniqueness of each customer and adjust the customer experience to best suit the individual.

How to Acknowledge Diversity

Acknowledging diversity is the quickest way to build rapport and show customers that their satisfaction is important. Here are three easy ways to quickly and effectively acknowledge diversity, and build rapport with customers.

1. Listen Actively.

Listening and hearing are not one and the same. Listening is the process of absorbing information and understanding what is heard, so that the customer experience can be tailored to the customer’s needs. Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound. Customer service and support representatives with good listening skills will be able to quickly build rapport, diagnose the issue, and recommend a timely solution.

2. Mimic the Customer.

Customers relate best to customer service and support employees who display similar communication traits as they do. Employees who slow or speed up their speech rate to match the customer’s, and use the same terminology as the customer to describe an issue, quickly set the customer at ease and increase the effectiveness of the interaction.

3. Be Authentic.

Customers quickly sense when a customer service or support employee is not taking their request seriously. Customers also sense when an employee is not being sincere in his or her efforts to aid them. An easy way to acknowledge diversity and build rapport is to show understanding and concern by paraphrasing the customer. Paraphrasing shows the customer that his or her needs are being heard, are important, and will be addressed appropriately.

Acknowledging diversity and tailoring the customer experience to meet each individual customer’s needs is a key component to providing world-class customer service. Arming service and support employees with the communication skills necessary to effectively build rapport will increase customer satisfaction and reduce customer attrition.