4 Types of Customers Every Small Business Encounters

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(Newswire.net — October 27, 2016) —  In running a business that deals in customer service, you and your staff have most definitely come across some interesting characters, to say the least. It’s exhilarating when a customer leaves your business a positive review but devastating when another rates your business one star. 

As with any business, you’re going to be forced to work with people (staff and customers alike) that are less than jovial and slightly more than pessimistic. The difference now as the head of your own business is that you don’t have the luxury of going to a manager when a customer is being snarky. Nope, you’re the one employees will come to when they need help with a customer meltdown. Having learned from experience that a good manager supports their staff and helps the customer, you want to make sure that you act as the manager you never had. 

To do this, you’re first going to need to understand the four types of customers that every business must face on a day-to-day basis. Good luck! 

Having a Winning Personality

For the vast amount of customers you deal with daily, they all can be divided and arranged into four groups:

The Amiable: The amiable customer type is the favorite type of customer among small businesses. This type of customer is friendly, patient, understanding and people-oriented. This type of customer understands that not all products/services are always available and that there are at times miscommunication between staff and client. Amiable customers appreciate staff who are friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the product/services their company provides. Amiable customers often become loyal customers and will tell others (such as friends and family) to visit your establishment.

The Analytical: The analytical customer type is an introverted shopper who will only buy products or invest in services if they have some prior knowledge about the company and their mission. They base their buying decisions on facts, not wants and will come to your business with a set list of questions. If you are not able to provide them with an answer, they well be far less likely to buy your product and may not return to your business. The analytical shopper is extremely detail-oriented and prefers having a professional working relationship. Civility is appreciated, but over-friendly sales staff are viewed as untrustworthy. 

The Expressive: The expressive customer type, (similar to the amiable) is an extroverted consumer who thinks through their potential purchases slowly. Expressive customer types are not to be rushed into a sale. They value staff-customer interactions and prefer getting to know more about the business before they invest in what the business is selling. The Provide Support Blog describes Expressive types as customers who prefer “big picture” ideas. Unlike the analytical customer, who wants to know every minute detail about the product or service, the expressive customer just wants the general information and a warm hello when they enter the store.

The Driver: The driver-customer type is generally the most difficult to work with. This type of customer will come to your business with a fixed idea of how your company should conduct business and how much they are willing to pay for your product/services. If your business should not meet their expectations, well, prepare yourself. Driver customers tend to berate staff and threaten businesses with lawsuits because they are unhappy with the cost of what they have purchased or have found fault in the product or service they received. Driver customers are one of the main reasons small business owners should invest in business insurance. If a driver customer decides to make their lawsuit threat a reality, business insurance will cover litigation fees and other business-related expenses.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. People can be fun and challenging to work with; you just have to understand what type of personalities you’re facing.