Know Your Customer: Alter Your Approach

May 22, 2019

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

Some customers might want to discuss the product or service in addition to a variety of other topics. Other customers might strictly be interested in their purchase, inquiry, or problem and, basically, want the transaction completed as soon as possible with as little interaction as possible with a sales person or customer service representative. 


To develop the best customer-business relationship, employees should be mentored on how to deal most effectively with customers. 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 is really interested in.

Employees must adapt to a customer’s personality and be trained on the best techniques to use that will foster the customer-business relationship. Many businesses routinely record and listen to phone conversations between employees and customers to generate ideas on how to improve the communication and service processes. Sales reps can be partnered with more experienced employees to achieve the same goal.

Changing Personality

Getting to know a particular customer through any form of interaction (conversation, online note-taking, emails, etc.) does not necessarily mean that the customer will always react the same way with every employee. Everyone has their good days and bad days, relaxing days and stressful days, which means that a customer’s personality can change from day-to-day. 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 the next interaction. Therefore, employees need to understand how a customer’s personality might change. The normal talkative customer might only want the “facts” and nothing else if in a rush...while the strictly business customer might be ready for more interaction than normal.


As with almost anything, practice makes perfect. Businesses spend time and money training employees on policies, 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 business 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. 

Work Those Personalities 

While some businesses understand the difference in customer personalities, others never give the topic 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 employees relate to customers and customers, in turn, relate to a business and its employees, the satisfaction level rises dramatically increasing the chances of repeat business…just what any business wants…repeat customers.

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