Working in a sales or customer service position, we come across all types of people. Sometimes we encounter customers who we instantly click with, making the interaction smooth and enjoyable. Other customers, we seem to clash with or are completely frustrated by them, making the interaction more challenging.
Much like people in the other areas of our lives such as family, friends and colleagues, the customers we interact with all have different experiences, characters and styles of behaviour. No two customers are the same however, there are generally four different types of customers we encounter on a day to day basis. Understanding these general customer types, can help us recognise them and adapt to their style of communicating and making decisions, to help make our encounters more successful for us and for them.
For example, there is the fast paced type of customer who tends to be very focused and doesn’t like to wait around to be served. They can be assertive and often seem demanding in their expectations of you and your service. The good news is, these customers make decisions very quickly and often know exactly what they want.
Then we see the customer at other end of the scale, who can be indecisive and take a long time to make a decision. They don’t like to be rushed and need a lot of reassurance. They also need to know you are sincere about helping them and if they feel you genuinely care, they will often become a loyal customer for life.
We are all familiar with the customer who loves to talk. They treat everyone like their new best friend and are more than happy to stop for a chat. They are optimistic and have great energy therefore, it can be fun interacting with them however you will bore them if you provide too many details, as they prefer to keep things light and upbeat.
On the other hand there is the customer who loves to know all the facts. In fact, they have often done a great deal of research prior and like to see that you know what you’re talking about. They sometimes ask a lot of questions but prefer to keep things professional and on task.
Because we don’t know what type of customer we are going to encounter next, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable. Rather than having, a ‘one size fits all’ approach, interacting with customers in a way that works for them, is going to provide the customer with a positive experience, as well as provide a better outcome for you and the business.