Types of Customers
Objective, Different Types Of Customer, and Handling Various Types Of Customers.
Created By: Roopesh Sekhar
- The objective here is to define the various types of customers, their characteristics, and needs.
- We would learn how to deal with these customers effectively.
- We would learn to identify changing moods and also to cope with them.
Types of Customers -
Customers can be generally classified into four broad categories, based on their attitudes. They are;
A] Talkative -
These customers are easily distracted and start talking about issues other than what is necessary. They are harmless customers, but spending too much time with such a customer can also effect your performance. In dealing with such customers, it is essential to follow the following;
- Always ask close ended or forced choice questions. This will give you a direct answers.
- Do not be rude or unpleasant with the customer. If the customer tends to talk about other things, ease into the conversation and lead it in the direction you want to follow.
- Be assertive. There is a very thin line between being assertive and aggressive. Under no circumstances can you become rude or aggressive.
- Paraphrase your understanding with the customer to make sure you have understood correctly. This is essential because the customer is also providing you with unnecessary information.
B] Assertive -
- These customers have a lot of knowledge and know exactly what they want. They are straight forward and do not take much time to make decisions. While dealing with such customers, it is important to;
- Be direct – Be as direct and factual as possible. Remember your customer knows exactly what he wants.
- Offer various options – Now, your customer knows what he wants, but you know how you can provide it to him. Always, bring these customers into the link so that you can add value by including them into the solution.
C] Irate -
- Almost anyone who’s been in a customer service position has had the opportunity of running into either an irate call or person...or a situation that, shall we say, is not pleasant. And even though it may not even be our fault, we still need to know how to recover the situation.
- Here are 7 Steps to Service Recovery that will help make your day a better one!
- It is your responsibility. If you have answered the phone on behalf of the company, you have indeed accepted 100% responsibility. At least that’s what the caller/customer believes. So get off the "it’s not my fault" syndrome. And get on with the "what can I do for you?" position.
I’m sorry -
"I’m sorry" DOES work. Every once in a while, I hear from a CSR that tells me they don’t feel they should say "I’m sorry" when it wasn’t their fault. Well, as stated above, in the customer’s mind, it is your fault. Saying you’re sorry won’t fix the problem, but it definitely does help to diffuse it immediately. Try it. You’ll see.
Empathize immediately -
- Empathize immediately. When someone is angry or frustrated with your company, the one thing they need is someone to agree with them, or at least feel they’re being understood. Be careful, though: "I know how you feel" is NOT a good thing to say unless you have been through exactly what they have experienced.
- Try – "That’s got to be so frustrating" or "What an unfortunate situation
Immediate action -
- IMMEDIATE action is necessary to make a service recovery. Don’t make a customer wait for good service. Get whatever it is they need to them immediately. Overnight service if it’s necessary. That’s recovery.
- REMEMBER: The motto: IT SHOULD NEVER TAKE 2 PEOPLE TO GIVE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE
Ask the customer -
Ask what would make them happy. In a few rare cases, the customer can be a most difficult one. If you have tried what you considered "everything," simply ask the customer: "What can I do to make you happy, Mr. Jones?" In most cases, it may be something you’re able to do. You just may not have thought of it. So go ahead and ask them.
Service Recovery -
Understand the true meaning of Service Recovery. Service Recovery is not just fixing the problem. It’s making sure it won’t happen again. It’s listening to the customer. It’s going above and beyond.
Follow up -
FOLLOW UP. After you feel the problem has been fixed, follow up. After you’ve made the customer happy, make an extra phone call a day or so later. Be sure to ask them: "Have we fixed everything for you?" "What else can we do for you?" Be sure they’re satisfied. When you hear: "Thanks, you’ve done a great job. I appreciate it." Then you know you’ve achieved SERVICE RECOVERY!
D] Abusive -
- These are the most difficult customers to deal with. What we have to realize here is that, the customer has a reason to be upset. While dealing with them it is important to;
- Never take the abuse personally
- Never retaliate to the customer, you could lose your job.
- Let the customer vent his anger before proceeding to solve his problems.
- Be polite and courteous at all times.
- If the abuse continues, let the customer know politely that you find the language offensive and that you would be able to solve his problem if he would refrain from using such language.