10 Types of Customers and What They Need

As a customer support agent, you will interact with different types of consumers, each with their own temperament. Customer service isn’t one-size-fits-all, so being familiar with the various types of customers you might have to help can give you a leg up. Here are the top ten types of customers you should be able to identify in order to adjust your approach to best deal with a specific need.

1. Loyal Customers

This will probably be your favorite type of customer. Having been a part of your customer base for years, the loyal customer is the joy of the sales department. Yet there is added pressure for the support team to be aware of and able to handle any specific needs this customer might have. Since they already have a preference for your company, loyal customers can be a way to foster organic marketing if you can get them to share their story on social media.

When it comes to loyal customers, you need to be proactive. That means getting ahead of an issue before it escalates or even happens. And even if the issue they have isn’t completely your company’s fault, offering some discount or loyalty reward can be a great way to appease loyal customers and increase the likelihood that they will tell other potential customers about your business.

2. Impulse Customers 

This is one of the more interesting types of consumers because they are quick to buy when something catches their eye, but aren’t always the best at reading the fine print. So in situations where these types of customers get a product that isn’t exactly what they thought it was, they might be impulsive in calling customer support as well. The impulse customer does sometimes have a legitimate support concern and so initially they should be approached as you would any other ticket.

When dealing with such client types, be sure to keep in mind what they are most likely going to be looking for assistance with product use cases, warranty issues and return policies. Therefore, it’s important that you show them empathy rather than trying to make the sale.

3. Discount Customers 

Discount customers play an important role in turning over a company’s inventory. Therefore, discount customers are a key contributor to a company’s cash flow. This type of customer seldom purchases products at full price and shops around for the best markdowns. Discount customers are resilient to upselling, are usually the least loyal segment of customers, and generally move on when better markdowns are available elsewhere. 

When working with such types of clients, it’s important to give them what they are looking for. If you are having a sale or, for example, Black Friday is coming up, consider sending them some promotional materials or be proactive and call them to share the news. This way you will be able to turn them into loyal customers.

4. Need-Based Customers

Need-based customers are driven by a specific need. In other words, they enter the store quickly, purchase what they need, and leave. These customers buy for a specific need or occasion and are hard to upsell. It is important to note that need-based customers can be easily drawn to other businesses.

When your agents are communicating with such types of customers,  it is important to initiate positive personal interaction with this customer segment in order to retain them. Converting need-based customers to loyal customers is attainable with proper positive personal interactions.

5. Wandering Customers

Wandering customers draw the largest amount of traffic to the company while making up the smallest percentage of sales revenue. They have no specific need or desire in mind and are attracted by the location of the business more than anything else. These customers enjoy the social interaction of the shopping experience.

When working with wandering customers, we do not recommend spending too much time trying to appease this segment since this can draw away from the more profitable segments. Although this segment generates the least amount of sales revenue, providing insightful information about products to these customers can stimulate interest and ultimately result in a purchase.

6. Researchers 

Researchers are the types of customers that will find any information they can about the product they are looking for and they will not hesitate to spend a lot of time doing it. For them, every detail is important. The good thing is that they know what they want and are willing to spend more money to get it. 

When encountering researchers, it is important to give them exactly what they are looking for i.e. information. It is very important that your agents are super knowledgeable about the products you are selling since these types of customers will grill them about even the most minute details.

7. Unsure Customers 

These customers can range from “tire kickers” to people who are simply sitting on the fence. They have a genuine need for a specific product and will react well to agents providing them with more information on making a good decision. The good thing is that with unsure customers, they will come back to you if they had a good experience since they already know you offer quality products. 

It is important to understand what’s preventing these unsure customers from making a purchase. This can be simply accomplished by asking them or putting their mind at rest with some sort of warranty or guarantee that their purchase is protected and you stand by your product.

8. Lapsed Customers 

There are different types of customers out there but they all have a specific time window for making a purchase. If you miss this time window, the customer will simply put off making the purchase and it will be really hard to activate them. Therefore, you want to avoid the lapsed customer at all costs. 

Now, let’s say that a customer has lapsed. What do you do? Well, you will need to get proactive and contact them with relevant information. If you know the product they were looking for, consider calling them and inviting them back to make a purchase.

9. Unhappy Customers 

These are the customers that are really frustrated and unhappy about your service or the product that they bought. They usually received bad customer service and, in general, did not have a good experience with your business. These are really the types of customers you want to avoid because they can tell their friends about their negative experiences and cause damage to your reputation. 

When dealing with unhappy customers, it’s important to be empathetic. Empathy is essential for understanding where a customer is coming from and for taking the conversation forward accordingly. For busy support teams, it can be tempting to jump to a solution as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this means rushing the customer through an explanation of their problem. And while this may be the fastest way to understand what’s going on, it’s not the most effective.

10. Referral Customers 

These customers have been referred to you by another customer who had a positive experience with your brand. These are great customers to have since they usually have high conversion rates and they will not be afraid of buying from you since they already received a positive reference from a source they trust. 

If you get referral customers, it’s important to match their expectations. Remember, their friend told them about what a wonderful business you have and you want to live up to their expectations. This means that they will also tell their friends about their positive experiences and hopefully bring in new business.

Trust Pexly to Help You Work With the Different Types of Customers 

In this article we talked about some of the different customer types and you definitely want to provide all of your customers with customized experiences. If you are looking to set up an offshore customer support team or simply expand the team you have in-house to help you keep up with demand. Pexly can help you with all stages of the process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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