Adapt to Your Customer

May 19, 2015

Although customers purchase essentially the same products or services from a business, they all have different personalities that must be dealt with during and after a transaction such as a sale, inquiry, or customer service. The process might be in person or through a telephone conversation.

Some customers might want to discuss the product or service in detail in addition to the weather, local activities, or possibly their family. Other customers are strictly interested in their purchase, inquiry, or problem and want very little interaction with a sales person or customer service representative. Basically, they want to finish their transaction as soon as possible.


To develop the best customer-business relationship, owners and managers should mentor employees who deal with customers on how interaction should take place. The talkative customer does not relate well to an employee who is “all business.” Likewise, the “all business” customer does not do well with an employee who wants to talk about everything except what the customer really is interested in.

It is very important for employees to adapt to a customer’s personality. Businesses should train employees on the best techniques to use to foster the customer-business relationship. Large businesses and call centers routinely record and listen to phone conversations between employees and customers, so they know how to improve communication and service. It’s not uncommon for sales people to be monitored or “partnered up” with more experienced employees to achieve the same goal.

The Changing Personality

Getting to know a particular customer or making notes online about a conversation does not necessarily mean that the customer will always react the same way with every employee. We all have good days and bad days, relaxing days and stressful days, which means that a customer’s personality can change from day-to-day also. Even though an employee might have dealt with a particular customer one way in the past does not necessarily mean that the customer’s personality will be the same during every interaction.

While employees need to learn how to deal with repeat customers, they also need to understand the changing personality. When the talkative customer is in a rush, he might only want the “facts” and nothing else.


As with almost anything, practice makes perfect. Businesses spend time and money training employees on company policies, operating procedures, new product or service updates, and a variety of other types of training. Frequently, one of the most important types of training - dealing with customers - is forgotten.

Role-playing on how to adapt to a customer’s personality is important for a business’ success and growth. A company can have the best product or service but not relate well to customers by simply not understanding the importance of adapting. Role-playing and practice in a group setting can help alleviate this problem and establish the foundation for improved customer relationships.

Make the Changing Personality Work for Your Business

Some businesses understand the concept of the “changing personality” while others have never given the idea a second thought. In a competitive business environment, anything that can be done to get an edge on the competition is worth the effort. When customers relate to a business and its employees, the satisfaction level increases and the chances of repeat business increases dramatically…and that is what a business wants…repeat customers!