You may start to see patterns in customer behavior and attributes. This may lull you into feeling like you can start treating customers the same. However, that doesn’t mean that you can treat the next guy in line the same as you treated the customer in front of him, even if their buying behavior is identical.
Be careful if you find yourself falling into this over-generalization trap.
Just because customers look the same, doesn’t mean they are the same.
Customers may look alike because of numerous reasons. For example, different customers may have similar:
- buying patterns
- product preferences
- technical support issues
- product return habits
- purchase methods (credit card, cash, etc.)
- warranty needs
My wife and I have identical twin daughters. (Yes, being a dad of twins is an adventure.) But even though our daughters look alike doesn’t mean they are the same person. Each has her own personality and mannerisms that make her unique.
These differences show up in how each daughter reacts to her environment, her needs, and even how she expresses herself.
Your customers can often be like identical twins. When you serve enough customers, some of them start to look just like the last one you served.
Before you jump to conclusions on the type of customer you have in front of you, make sure you have enough data points to confirm your classification before you proceed. Customers are often annoyed when you jump into a solution or sales pitch for something that doesn’t apply to them!
Identify the basic needs certain classes of customers have. If you can guarantee you’ve got a customer that fits that mold, by all means pull out the standard response as a starting place for servicing their needs.
If you aren’t sure what type of customer you have, ask questions.