Photo via Flickr user Barta IV

Small talk—it’s not just about the weather anymore!

Everyday chitchat can be a great opportunity to create meaningful connections with customers. Here are some ways to break the ice:

Location, location, location. Collecting a physical address or telephone area code can create the perfect jumping-off point for a conversation. What do you know about the customer’s area? Have you been there? Maybe you have plans of visiting. If so, talk about it!

My aunt lives in Tempe! So much delicious food there—have you been to Casa Reynoso?

If not, ask about it!

You live in Missoula, Montana? I’ve heard that’s a great little college town. How do you like it there?

Background noise. Busy folks don’t always have time to wait for the most opportune moment to make a phone call, and sometimes life happens in the background. No problem! If the dog barks, ask what kind it is. If you can hear their kids playing, give props to the caller for their multitasking parental skills or mention that you have your own little ones at home.

Ask open-ended questions. Forgo the standard, “How are you today?” since it often leads to dead-end responses like, “I’m good.” Instead, ask about your customer’s plans for the day, weekend, or upcoming holiday. Open-ended questions allow conversations to transpire, and the more there is to talk about, the easier it is to find common ground!

How do you make connections with your customers? We’d love to hear your connection-making tips—share with us on Twitter, @callruby!

Photo via Flickr user Barta IV