Monday, April 24, 2017

Customer Service - Customer types

Wendy Wedum, Pondera County
Originally broadcast March 31, 2017
Continuing the thread about the importance of providing Customer Service training for your employees.  I related a real life example I had calling a business and the person answering the phone for the business only said “hello” making me wonder if I had actually called the right place.  Having a standard greeting when the phone is answered not only lets people know they have called the right place, but is also free advertising and helps people remember your business. 
Now, let’s kick up the level of service and make it a memorable experience for the customer.  After all, if they remember what a good purchasing experience they had with you, they will remember your name and probably share that information with friends and family.
Just yesterday I was talking with our MSU Extension Community Development Specialist, Paul Lachapelle, about workforce health and customer service issues.  An idea we shared is that many people are not given training in how to communicate with others.  Some people have a natural talent when dealing with people, but everyone can learn. Businesses that provide employee training on communications, interacting with and supporting customers prepares the employees to be comfortable when dealing with most situations that come up and may improve employee retention.  
This week I am going to start a series on the different types of customers.  Most customers usually fall into 4-5 different types of shoppers.  They are the Loyal customer, Bargain Hunter, Impulse Buyer, Need-based Buyer and the Browser.  This may change depending on what the buyer needs or their intention for shopping. Let’s start by taking a look at the Loyal Customer.
Loyal Customers are about 20% of the customer base but make up more than 50% of the sales.  Because of their loyalty, communicating with these customers on a regular basis by mail, email, newspaper and radio ads are important. The loyal customers are the ones who may influence the businesses buying and merchandising decisions. Loyal customer feel appreciated when asked about their ideas and needs because it shows them how much you value their input. Many times, the more you do for them, the more they will recommend you to others.  This improves your bottom line.
Training your employees how to identify the different types of buyers may lead to more satisfied shoppers and that grows your business.  Keeping more money circulating in the community and benefiting other businesses, employees and families.  Next week we’ll continue to look at different types of shoppers.
If you have any questions or suggestions for future ideas on customer service, please call me at the Pondera County Extension office at 271-4054.  Or email me at 

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