Customer Personalities: Five Different Types of Customers You Will Face
If you are a businessperson, chances are you’re going to deal/have dealt with tons of different personality types on each day. Customer service representatives have the arduous task of interacting with every of these personalities on a daily basis, therefore, they, alongside business owners must know how to categorize each customer and adapt to their idiosyncrasies to get business done smoothly.
One thing is sure: the easiest way to lose customers is to use a single script approach to dealing with every customer.
If your business is online, it also matters, because there is no sure-fire right way to engage a customer due to the varying nature of each one. All sorts of customers visit your website, so the best way to prove your customer care as competent is to know how to cater to each customer regardless of differences.
While each customer is unique, every customer has traits that make them fall into any of these five basic personality types.
- The Directors
This type of customers is easily the most noticeable, so used to being in command that you can spot them as soon as they step in through the door. They are decisive, proactive and results-oriented. The director has a goal, and all he does is think of the best way to achieve it. Director-type customers simply walk up to your desk, tell you what they want and expect you to deliver.
This customer model knows what s/he wants, how and when s/he wants it done. Directors are demanding bordering on intimidating. They usually need little guidance and are often unwilling to consider other points of views asides theirs.
A director is assertive, likely impatient and will almost always refuse small talk, so take care to avoid too much niceties or delay and do your best to answer questions clearly and succinctly. Keep your suggestions brief and give them space to make their own decisions.
- The Analysts
Customers who fall into this pool are usually the ones to devour as much information as possible and spend time making their decisions. This kind of customer doesn’t want to make a mistake, so they will assess all possibilities and criticize several options before concluding. An analyst is most likely to be from any of the following fields: accountancy, science, or engineering where research and accurate analysis are fundamental. Analysts love facts and are very particular about details. They have no problems going through [even the most mundane of] information that other customer types never bother about. They will read manuals, how-tos, extensive reviews, product descriptions and whatnot and compare several options before making a decision.
Like the director personality, they already have an idea of what they want, and will painstakingly cover every base in getting it. A lot of times, they’ve done their homework before they arrive at your office or pick up the phone so they are less likely to be affected by small talk or prolonged pitching.
How to deal with analysts? Feed them facts and information. In many cases they might know more than the salesperson, having already done enough research, so best not to make any statement or argument unless you can back it up. These usually have a reason for everything, so it might be a good thing to ask why they chose a certain product or came to your store. The good thing about these customers is that they know a lot more than your regular customers, so you have less work to do convincing them. But it also means you have to be prepared to answer quite some technical questions, so that you don’t get caught off guard.
When dealing with analysts, best to give them room to explore their options. If you try to rush them into making a choice, they might get offended.
- The Dreamers
These love visualizing things. As the name implies, they are more interested in the big picture above all. Engage them in great storytelling and watch them jump right into spread-eagled. They are the direct opposite of the analysts. Spend too much time talking about numbers and details and they’ll doze off, wake up and walk right out on you ─ life is short.
Simply tell them how much the product or service will improve their lives. All you need do is make them love the product without being a geek, and you’ve got them.
- The Socializers
These love to talk, like to go out and love to be seen. They are easily the most exciting customers. They want to laugh and make jokes with everyone from the moment they walk in the store. They want to like you, and they want to be liked in return. This means that if they don’t like you or sense the slightest hostility or indifference on your part, they’ll turn their backs on you. They are chatty, friendly and occasionally flirty. They are also self-centered so complimenting them will go a long way to getting them to do business with you. Loyalty also doesn’t mean much to them as they thrive on being friends with everyone; once they walk into your store all sunshine and laughter, be sure that they’ve done the same in twenty other stores.
If you want to get business done with a socializer, give them the red carpet treatment. Note that business with this personality type transcends just business. Engage them in conversations and gossip, compliment them, fawn over them—just try not to bore them with details. The disadvantage to dealing with socializers is that you have to remember so much about them to sustain good rapport. But if you get off on the right foot, it’s the first step in the right direction.
- The Collaborators
Also often known as relaters. They are egregious customers with a strong sense of belonging. They want to be taken as an extension of your company. They’ll most likely use “my” when they want to refer to relations with you (e.g., my store, my deliveryman, etc.). These can become valuable referrals via word-of-mouth promotions. Careful though, one slip and they’re telling everyone how incompetent you are.
The easiest way to do business with the collaborators is to ask them their opinions of things, include them in any possible way so that they can feel a connection to your business. Show them that you care, and they’re yours. They are usually the most pleasant customers. If they come in a group, give them enough time to confer with themselves and reach a collective decision.
Understanding different customer personality types will enable you to be more effective in catering to customers’ needs, but do not treat this list as a set-in-stone standard. Along the line, many customers will blur the lines or be crosses between two or more personalities, but this list presents an idea of the best ways to make—and sustain—an impression.