In the realm of business, there are some challenges that we must face, like taxes and customers. While we can hire an accountant to handle the first one, managing customers is a unique challenge that requires our attention and expertise. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore the 6 most common customer types you are likely to encounter, discuss how to identify them, and provide valuable tips for effectively managing these relationships.
Why Should You Handle Each Customer Differently?
Every customer is unique, with distinct preferences, needs, and communication styles. Treating all customers, in the same way, may lead to missed opportunities and dissatisfaction. By tailoring your approach to each customer type, you can enhance their experience, strengthen the relationship, and ultimately drive better outcomes. Understanding the different customer types empowers you to provide personalized solutions and exceed their expectations.
What Are the Different Types of Customers?
While there are many diverse types of customers, we’re going to focus on 6 major types you may encounter in your business.
Nice and Easy
These are the customers who make your job a joy. They trust your expertise, allow you to execute marketing campaigns and strategies without interference, and appreciate your efforts. When you provide them with a status report, their response is typically positive and encouraging.
However, the downside is that they may not express their dissatisfaction if they are unhappy with your work. To prevent potential issues from going unnoticed, proactively ask for feedback and suggestions on how you can improve. This approach signals that you value their input and are open to constructive criticism.
In the Dark
Customers who are in the dark may have limited knowledge of social media marketing for their business. Some of them may even be “technophobic”, but they recognize the need to overcome these hurdles in order to remain competitive.
Effectively managing customers who are in the dark involves providing clear explanations of your services while emphasizing the benefits for their brand. Encourage them to ask questions and be prepared to patiently repeat themselves. Although these customers may initially pose challenges, gaining their confidence will elevate you to guru status. Once they see the value you bring through your digital marketing expertise, you will become their go-to person for all their digital marketing needs, making the initial frustrations worthwhile.
Micromanagers are not only challenging as bosses but also as customers. They closely scrutinize your every move and question every decision to ensure they feel they are getting their money’s worth. While there may be moments when you feel tempted to mute their messages or delay responding to their emails, it’s important to resist the urge. Instead, find tactful ways to create some breathing space, such as scheduling strategy calls once a week and directing them to online resources that support your strategies.
By providing them with information that validates your expertise, you can help alleviate their need for constant check-ins. With time, they may develop a sense of trust in your capabilities, leading to a more balanced working relationship.
Poker players are customers who always have a card or two up their sleeves. During contract and price negotiations, they employ a tactic known as “nibbling,” where they request additional benefits to secure a more favorable deal for themselves. For instance:
- Asking for a couple of free pages of content when you’re building their website
- Requesting free SEO services in exchange for signing a one-year contract
Poker players typically abide by two rules: they ask for smaller concessions that are more likely to be granted, and they make their requests after the contract has been drafted when you may be more inclined to say “yes.”
When dealing with a poker player, you can counter their tactics by establishing in advance what concessions you are willing to make to win their business and standing firm afterward. Recognize your own value and avoid underselling yourself, as it is both unfair and unsustainable.
In most cases, a poker player customer will relent once they realize that the negotiation phase has concluded. If they persist in constantly nibbling at your offerings, it is better to terminate the relationship rather than compromise your worth.
Enthusiast customers exude positive energy and are highly approachable, chatty, and sociable. Like nice and easy customers, working with them brings joy. When you propose a campaign that aligns with their vision, their effusive and delighted response boosts your confidence.
To effectively collaborate with enthusiasts, it is important to manage their tendencies. They may be prone to being dreamy, lacking discipline, and changing their minds without a concrete reason beyond a gut feeling. The best approach is to allow them to express their positive (or negative, in case of complaints) energy fully before guiding them toward committing to an action plan.
In times of conflict, demonstrate empathy, and position yourself as an ally rather than an obstacle. By maintaining a supportive stance, you can navigate any challenges and maintain a strong working relationship.
Perfectionist customers are highly desirable because they have a clear understanding of what they want, eliminating the need for prolonged guesswork. They recognize that they lack the time or expertise to run their own marketing campaigns, so they are willing to pay you for your services.
It is important to differentiate happy perfectionists from nitpickers or micromanagers. Happy perfectionists place their trust in you to deliver the desired results. To ensure a mutually rewarding relationship, maintain regular check-ins to confirm that you are on the right track. If adjustments are necessary, these check-ins allow for timely course corrections. By actively engaging with happy perfectionists, you can foster a collaborative environment that leads to successful outcomes.
Remember, understanding and effectively managing the various customer types will not only enhance your relationships but also contribute to your overall success as a digital marketing professional.
Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter a diverse range of personalities in your business journey. Among them, you will likely encounter clients who exhibit traits from the six customer types discussed in this article. Understanding the type of client you’re dealing with allows you to adapt your approach and effectively manage the relationship, leading to a mutually beneficial partnership.
If you want to learn more about how to handle clients and customers, check out the rest of our blog for digital marketing tips and tricks.