As a business owner, you understand that customers are vital to your organization. Your agents or customer service staff interact with them on a daily basis. Your efforts are directed towards ensuring customer satisfaction. Obtaining new customers is vital to increase your sales. That is why you want to make sure that your marketing and advertising are directed towards attracting new business.
Every customer offers a selling opportunity for your business. However, dealing with different kinds of customers can be a challenge. Ideally, you need to identify the different kinds of customers for you to successfully close out a deal. In this article, we will discuss the different types of customers and how to communicate with them:
1. Loyal Customers
Loyal customers are the ones who will keep buying from you. For this reason, they should be the ones whom you should be attracting the most. Most business owners focus on acquiring new customers. Although it is necessary to attract new customers, your focus should be on current customers. Acquiring new customers is five times more costly than retaining an existing customer. The success rate of selling to a current customer is 60 – 70% compared to 5 – 20% for new customers.
Loyal customers serve as your brand ambassadors who will likely recommend your products to other people. They represent less than 20% of your customer base but have a major impact on your sales revenue. These customers will help your business grow. They put value on your products heavily. These people are the ones who can influence your buying and merchandising decisions.
How To Deal With Them
It is important to solicit the input and feedback of loyal customers. Nothing can make a loyal customer feel better than getting their input and showing them how much you value it. If you have the chance, you can ask them what aspect of your product or business they like the most.
You can help loyal customers become effective brand ambassadors by featuring them in a case study. According to the Content Marketing Institute, case studies are 70% effective for landing pages. It will make your landing pages much more appealing to potential customers. Leverage their experience and learn what makes them so satisfied with your business. You should keep loyal customers excited about your products and business.
2. Discount Customers
Although they see value in your product, discount customers won’t buy it at full price. They will first look for some extra information on the exact conditions of the deal or discount you are offering. Once the deal you are offering is over, it will be hard to retain them as customers. They play an important role in the turnover of your company’s inventory.
Discount customers are resilient to upselling and are usually the least loyal segment of customers. They will move to stores where there are better markdowns. They are also known as freebie-seekers who will always keep discounts and bonuses on hand. They want to get better deals than other customers.
Dealing with Discount Customers
To be successful with discount customers, you need to show them that they are not only getting discounts but also getting amazing benefits from their purchase. You need to provide additional value that will make them think twice before buying from another company.
To successfully deal with this type of customer, you need to provide all the necessary details to avoid any confusion. Unless your offer is cheaper or is beneficial that they cannot get anywhere else, it is unlikely that you will convince them to make a purchase.
3. Impulsive Customers
Impulsive customers are the best to upsell and the second best to attract after loyal customers. They do not have a specific shopping list in mind and purchase products spontaneously. These types of customers are typically receptive to recommendations on products.
According to statistics from the DCA Group, 88.6% of Americans succumbed to impulsive shopping spending an average of $81.75 per session or $17.78 billion annually. They also made 156 impulse purchases with annual spending of $5,400 or $324,000 over their lifetime.
Impulsive customers are very easy to convince once they are sure of the product or service. They need quick attention or they will easily change their mind. Always keeping them in the loop and updated on new product offerings can go a long way in locking in their business.
How To Deal With Them
The goal for an impulsive customer is to provide them with the right conditions given that they can make buying decisions instantly. The good thing about them is that impulsive customers don’t need much convincing to make a purchase. The key is to provide them with an easy way to make a purchase. The fewer steps involved, the higher is the probability of a purchase.
When an impulsive customer asks a question, provide them with a short and quick answer. While the impulse is still there, you need to respond as quickly as possible. Make the checkout process as easy as possible or else they will leave your website. Remove any distractions to make sure that you can take advantage of the buying impulse.
4. Needs-Based Customers
From the name itself, these types of customers are driven by a specific need. When they enter a store, they want to fill that need as quickly as possible. If they can’t, needs-based customers will leave right away. These types of customers buy for various reasons such as for a specific occasion, specific need, or an absolute price point.
Needs-based customers can be difficult to satisfy but when nurtured they can become loyal customers. Aside from being hard to upsell, these types of customers can also be easily drawn to other businesses. In addition, needs-based customers can be easily lost to internet sales or to the competitor. While your customer service team may find them difficult to serve, they often represent your greatest source of long-term growth.
How to Deal With Them
To become successful with needs-based customers, you need to ensure a positive personal interaction. If your team provides them with a level of service not available from the web or your competitor, you have a solid chance of converting them into loyal customers.
Also, you need to provide them with ways and reasons to switch to similar products and brands that will trigger them to buy these. You can attract these types of customers by making a clean and succinct pitch. An effective method of attracting needs-based customers is through results-driven advertisements.
5. Wandering Customers
Wandering customers or “window shoppers” represents the largest segment of customers in terms of traffic but the smallest in terms of sales. The number of wanderers you can attract will depend on your store location. Wandering customers may not be even looking for a specific product but only enjoying the shopping experience.
Wandering customers are the least profitable segment since they are not sure of what to buy. While they may be looking at the most prominent features of your products, these types of customers are not showing any interest in buying.
These types of customers are only looking for interaction and are likely to share to others about the experience they had in your store or website. Spending too much time with wandering customers can draw you away from the more profitable segments. However, while your time with them should be minimized, you cannot ignore them as well.
How To Deal with Wandering Customers
It is not impossible to attract wandering customers though. Make sure that your website has a stylish layout and the items are easy to find. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, ensure that you have an appealing storefront especially if it is located in a busy area. Product knowledge is vital so that you can help customers if they have questions.
Providing them with insightful information about your products can help arouse their interest and eventually a purchase. Although they do not represent a significant portion of your immediate sales, they can be your voice in the community.
6. Potential Customers
Potential customers are at the top of your sales funnel. Technically, they are not customers yet. These customers had already shown interest in your business by filling out a contact form, signing up for a newsletter, or asking a question via live chat. You need to arouse that interest in order to convert them into paying customers.
Potential customers need some nurturing and warming up before making a purchase decision. You need to provide them with full treatment and hope that you can convert them into a customer. These types of customers will reach the point of buying but disappear at the last minute. Just when you think that you had a sure sale, potential customers can leave when you think you have closed a deal with them.
How To Deal With Them
To successfully move a potential customer in your sales funnel, show him how they can benefit from your product. Create a landing page that will do just that for you. In addition, you can make the potential customer know that you are available to assist them and give advice if needed. Even if they don’t need it right away, they will appreciate your offer.
A potential customer simply needs some encouragement when making a purchase decision. You will need to follow them up. However, you will also need to move on and learn when to fold because you can’t always win them all.
7. New Customer
A new customer is one that has successfully moved from your sales funnel. They have bought something from your store. Although they have already bought a product, you still need to help them. You still need to make sure that they are able to use your product smoothly.
Like a wandering customer, there is no assurance that customers will stay loyal to your brand. Proper guidance and assistance will go a long way in securing their long-term loyalty to your business. You can prevent that from happening with proper onboarding and make sure that they are properly guided after their purchase.
How To Deal With New Customers
Just because you gained a new customer doesn’t mean you will already stop there. Great customer service extends beyond the purchase. You can ensure their long-term business if you will continue guiding them. Maybe they have some questions about how to use your products so you need to make sure that the new customer knows how to use it.
Even if your customers are automatically onboarded, ensure that there is a way they can contact you. They may have some questions not covered in the onboarding so give them a way to contact you during those situations.
Tips on Dealing with Customers
Customers are the lifeblood of any business so you need to make sure that you are dealing with them properly. While you can attract them with unique products, free gifts, or reduce costs, it is important to build relationships to ensure their loyalty or recommendation. The key is to make each customer feel welcome and helped. Here are some tips on how to effectively handle customers:
1. Listen to customers
Sometimes customers just want to be heard. If they are confused or have a problem, you want to be sure that you are there for them. Only 1 in 26 customers complain and the rest will just churn. But the absence of a complaint does not mean they are happy. By actively listening to customers, you are showing that you care and value them.
There is no perfect customer service. Somewhere along the way, you are bound to make a mistake. Acknowledging that you are wrong can go a long way in great customer service. Don’t engage in fault-finding or blame games and say “sorry” for the problem. Deal with the problem right away and let customers know what you have done.
3. Take Them Seriously
Make customers feel important and appreciated. No matter how ridiculous the question is to you, it is important to the customer. Be sensitive to the feelings of your customers because they will know whether or not they really care for them. If they think that you are being laughed at or spoken down to, they will not buy anything.
4. Stay Calm
No matter how stressful the situation is, it is important for you to stay calm.This type of approach will help your customers stay calm too. It will give them the feeling like you are in control of the situation and that you can help them solve their problems.
5. Identify and Anticipate Their Needs
When dealing with customers, it is important for you to identify their needs. Regularly communicating with them can help you become aware of current problems and identify upcoming needs.
6. Find Solutions
Create a menu of solutions that you and your employees can use. Whether it’s a refund or return, coupon, or free service, set a policy on when or where you will provide these remedies and how much you’re willing to spend. This way, you will become more confident and calmer when offering solutions.
7. Know Your Limitations
It’s okay to say “yes” but you should know your limits. If you think your team will be unable to fulfill a request, provide them with an alternative remedy. Whatever solution you will propose, they will appreciate your honesty and for taking the extra mile.
8. Be Available
These days, customer service goes beyond face-to-face and telephone. If you conduct most of your business online, you need to be available to answer customer inquiries or concerns anytime. You can set up a help desk or customer service number so you can respond promptly to customers.
9. Get Regular Feedback
Getting feedback can help give you an insight into what they like and don’t like. Armed with this information, you can tweak your offerings to better serve customers. Provide channels for customers to give feedback, whether it’s a follow-up email, phone call, or suggestion box.
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