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September 8, 2021

The Five Customer Personalities and How to Communicate with Them

No matter what industry you are in, customers expect a more personalized level of service today. Sales are a direct result of positive customer experiences, which is almost as important as the quality of your work. There is so much competition in every field that customers do not waste a lot of time with a business that doesn’t provide great customer service. The important thing is to understand the five key types of customer personalities so that you can provide them with the service they are looking for. These five key customer types are outlined below.

The Eagle

The first type of customer is someone who knows exactly what they want, and they’re incredibly decisive.

Key Qualities of an Eagle:

  • Don’t need your input on what they do
  • Have definitive ideas
  • Communicate ideas clearly
  • Business-like approach
  • Expect you to back up your claims

What to do when dealing with an Eagle:

  • Be a good listener
  • Make sure that you can do what they’re asking
  • Be direct and to the point
  • When preparing a proposal – make sure that it’s exact (otherwise they’ll reject it or send it back)

 

You don’t need to try to build up these customers or make them feel good; your direct, no-nonsense approach will be enough to make them happy.

The Peacock

With this type of customer, their attitude (like the peacock) is one that wants acknowledgment and recognition.

Key Qualities of a Peacock:

  • Enjoys talking
  • Very friendly and confident
  • Relies on visuals
  • Can be entertaining, so you’d be best advised to indulge them a little
  • Like to share their opinions on many different topics (especially the work they hire you to do)

What to do when dealing with a Peacock:

  • Let them talk and be prepared to listen
  • Focus on their vision, thoughts, and ideas when discussing the project
  • Ask more questions than you give statements
  • Allow them to take credit for the design

You may feel like you have to work hard to listen to this customer, but what they say is very important.

The Dove

Rather than confronting a problem, they withdraw and become more subdued which can lead to trouble down the road if you don’t pay attention.

Key Qualities of a Dove:

  • Friendly, but a little shy and quiet
  • Will avoid confrontation
  • Not quick to speak up
  • Wants to be collaborative and part of the process

What to do when dealing with a Dove:

  • Invite collaboration and open communication
  • Give your availability and actively touch base with them
  • Check in at important points of the project
  • Be approachable
  • Watch for avoidance or hesitance (they might not happy with something, which calls for a meeting asap)

The most important thing here is to help them be comfortable with talking to you and ensure the lines of communication are open to avoid conflicts that fester.

The Owl

The owl is one of the most misunderstood customers. If you’re not paying attention, you could think that they aren’t very interested in the project at all.

Key Qualities of an Owl:

  • Quiet and reserved
  • Often thinking and planning
  • They keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves
  • Difficult to read

What to do when dealing with an Owl:

  • Be proactive in giving information
  • Provide samples, brochures, and other materials (this can help answer questions they’re thinking but not asking)
  • Give them time to make a decision
  • Clearly explain the information/input you need from them

You will have a tough time getting input from this customer when you need it so ensure you prepare them well in advance. This gives them the space they need, to get the information you need.

The Goose

We like to pretend these customers don’t exist. But all businesses need to prepare themselves for a potential goose.

Key Qualities of a Goose:

  • Loud and/or aggressive in their approach
  • Will chase you down
  • May constantly call, email or pester you for information
  • Difficult to calm down or talk to
  • May forget things from previous communications

What to do when dealing with a Goose:

  • Keep calm, speaking clearly and plainly
  • Set your availabilities and maintain boundaries with communication
  • Communicate everything in writing where possible
  • Set out all aspects of the project
  • Be prepared to walk

Be cautious about putting a customer in the Goose category. Their behaviour may be highlighting some issues with your own management or communication methods and processes. But if they really are a goose and they become too much – let them go. You and your business don’t need that added pressure.

In Summary

Getting to know your customers is key. It ensures your working relationship is easy and enables the project to run smoothly. Cater your approach to the type of customer you’re faced with.

The Five Customer Types Are:

  • The Eagle – Decisive & Direct
  • The Peacock – Visual & Showy
  • The Dove – Quiet & Collaborative
  • The Owl – Thoughtful & Reserved
  • The Goose – A rare & memorable bird

Free Tool

Download our Customer Type Questionnaire to assess your customers

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