5 Types of customers and how to handle them
Knowing your customers is the key to good customer service interactions. Here are the different types of customers and tips on how to deal with them.
Typically, a customer service agent handles tens of customers eight hours a day for five days a week. This task can be exhausting, especially because every interaction you handle comes with unique challenges.
This is mainly because each customer has a different personality, although there will be similarities among some. Call center agents must therefore know how to identify each customer and adapt accordingly to ensure a smooth interaction.
Here are the five different types of customers you might encounter and some tips on communicating with them.
1. The irate customer
Known for their anger that explodes as soon as you pick up the phone, irate customers are among the most common callers you'll encounter. Some of them may be fuming even before they begin their interaction with your call center. Others, on the other hand, were only annoyed at the start of the call but got increasingly aggravated with every unanswered inquiry, unnecessarily long hold times, and call transfers.
The key to interacting with this kind of customer is to be calm throughout the call. The trouble will only escalate if you let your own irritation and impatience take over the conversation. Instead, assure the customer you know how to solve the problem, and then provide a solution as soon as you can.
2. The talkative customer
Talkative customers are the bane of a call center's productivity, as they can slow transactions down. These customers tend to drone on about topics unrelated to the issue they're discussing with agents. Because conversations with them take too long, you may have to put other queued customers on hold. This means you'll be losing the opportunity to help other customers.
To maintain control over the conversation with a chatty caller, focus on the reason why the customers called. Should the conversation digress from the topic, politely redirect the discussion back to the main issue.
3. The mistaken customer
This type of customer insists that they know more than you do, but in fact, they may be misinformed. So when given a solution, they might not believe you immediately. This makes it hard for agents to deal with them.
Telling them outright that they're wrong can easily anger them, so it's best to make them feel that you're their ally in uncovering the answer they need. Be careful not to come off as high and mighty. Be polite as you explain to customers how the solutions you recommend can help them better.
4. The elitist customer
Elitist customers don't like dealing with frontline agents, as they think that the problem they're facing are too special or too complex for employees to handle. Thus, after explaining things to them, you may hear them say, "I want to talk to your supervisor" instead of giving your recommended solutions a shot.
When handling this type of customer, assert that you are qualified to fix their issues, but do so in a polite manner. If the problem can be solved without a manager's intervention, inform them that it's not advisable to escalate the call to a supervisor. Make sure, however, that you can thoroughly address their issues.
5. The positive customer
This type of customer is the best one there is. They are friendly customers who just want to get their problems fixed. Customers with a positive mindset can be beneficial for your company. They can provide you insights regarding your products, services, or business, which can help your company grow. They can be your brand's promoters as well. Just continue giving the best service to them and they'll likely to stick to your brand.
It's important for call center reps to know how to handle customers with varying personalities in order to ensure that interactions will go smoothly. Be intuitive and adapt an effective strategy in handling different types of customers. That way, you can keep all clients happy and loyal to your brand.
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Alistair Roque works as a content writer and blogger for Open Access BPO, a Makati-based outsourcing firm. After spending his early professional years as a marketing communications professor, he joined the outsourcing industry and used his writing skills to help firms with their...