Types of Customers and How to Handle Them

Learn about different types of customers and how to handle them.

Introduction

Customers play a significant role in any business. Research shows that there are different types of customers and they all require different approach. Consequently, by strategically segmenting your customers and handling them accordingly, you can make a huge difference in your revenue.

To understand customer behavior, it is necessary to be able to identify and segment different types of customers. By understanding the different types of customers, businesses can be better equipped to develop successful strategies.

You can convert more visitors by understanding these types of customers and how each of them typically engages online. Here are different types of customers to help you adjust your approach to best deal with a specific need.

Types of customers: Before the Purchase

These are the customers that are in the awareness stage of your sales funnel. Therefore, your focus for such customers should primarily be to make them aware of your services. In addition, to win their trust and lead them towards their first purchase with you.

The Lookers

Lookers are the customers who are just browsing through your services. They’ve shown some interest, but they don’t intend to purchase anything yet. They could be looking for the best deal, which means they checked your competitors as well. Very often they want to pay the lowest price for a very specific product.

Some of them might have landed in your shop for some inspiration. They more or less know what they want and hope to find the answer in your online store. Hence, it’s essential to catch their attention somehow and convince them that you have the right solution to their problem.

For example, make your website look intriguing and attractive. Write a compelling copy on your web pages and keep the design innovative. Remove any obstacles or objections on this initial stage and provide proactive customer experience. Even small elements such as intrusive pop-ups, disturbing ads, difficulty navigating can turn them away.

Therefore, make sure your ecommerce site is easy to navigate and search. Give them a reason to give you their contact information to build the relationship with a nurturing campaign. Cart abandonment emails can be a great way to captivate the interest of a looker. The goal is to guide the looker’s attention to the right places on your website and keep them engaged.

Discount Seekers

Discount seekers are usually looking for the best deals possible. This customer type has an interest in your product only because you reduced its price. It’s quite unlikely that the discount seekers would buy it at the regular price. These customers are analytical, good researchers and could buy a product they didn’t plan only because they found a bargain. Discount-seekers can be tricky to approach. But you can convince them to stay with you if you handle them the right way.

For a start, they would want to understand your offer and terms in detail. Help them understand that by buying from you, they are saving money and getting a real value. You can talk to them in real-time and boost conversions with live chat or chatbots. Discount customers are usually the least loyal segment of customers and generally move on when better offers are available elsewhere. However, they play an important role in turning over a company’s inventory. This customer rarely makes purchases on impulse. Advertising sales is the best way to appeal to those in this customer group.

Consider including a “coupons and discounts” page on your website. Often, you can get the prospect’s attention with a discounted item, then address specific needs that require an upsell. Furthermore, they often look forward to special events like Black Friday or Christmas. You can segment and target them with personalized email campaigns. Moreover, highlight the sale products and make it easier for the visitors to spot them.

Researchers

Researches are highly informed customer types with a strong analytical personality. They compare products like the lookers and hunt for bargains like the discount-seekers. But, unlike any of them, the researchers focus on the value rather than price alone. They have done their research, compared you with your competitors and are looking for the best possible option.

Researchers need to feel they’ve adequately considered the options and they’re making the right decision. Help them do that by providing plenty of dimensions, instructions, details, data. In other words- make it easy for them to access needed information which will lead to informed decision. Add wireframes, white papers and feature comparisons to your website to help them understand your services better.

Focus on your value proposition. Make them realize that you’re offering something that no else is going to provide them. Ecommerce researchers especially enjoy sizing guides, high-quality photography, and videos. On the other hand, B2B researchers often appreciate downloads and white papers. Have in mind to provide proof that you have a more effective way of solving their issue.

Highlight your credibility and provide plenty social proof such as testimonials, reviews, case studies. Those customers will look into every detail to be sure they can trust your brand. Therefore, add information such as product details, high-quality pictures and customer reviews. Furthermore, insert feature comparisons to help them understand your offer better.

Researches are one type of customers you should be aware about.

Impulse Customers

Impulse customers act on impulse and purchase products spontaneously. Impulse shoppers are simply browsing services with no specific purchasing goal in place. They have not really planned on purchasing your products, or any products for that matter. However, they are receptive to recommendations on products. Moreover, they have the potential to become loyal customers if your services meet or exceed their expectations.

These customers are second to loyal customers in the generation of sales revenue. Remove obstacles and make the purchase journey effortless. Time-sensitive offers work best with these kinds of customers. Therefore, offer them time-bound deals that create urgency. Keeping these customers in the loop on new product offerings goes a long way in improving a company’s profitability. Furthermore, keep your website copy engaging and compelling.

Impulse customers tend to contact support centers with questions about product use cases, warranty, or return policy. Therefore, it can be helpful to have a short on-brand script prepared for these situations. Consider automated responses when triggered by certain questions to keep those customers engaged.

Unsure Customers

These types of customers are similar to lookers but are more confused and unsure about which direction to move forward. Convince them to stay with you and handle them the right way with the following steps. Focus on your value proposition and support. Present unique solutions, provide amazing customer service and guide them through every step. 

This way, the unsure customers can grow confident that your company is the right choice. Offer different types of customer service. Make all your contact channels such as chatbots or live chat options easily available. Furthermore, make it easy for the unsure customers to reach you.

Need-Based Customers

Need-based customers are driven by a specific need. In other words, they scan your services quickly, purchase what they need and leave. These customers buy for a specific need or occasion and are hard to upsell. Furthermore, they can be easily drawn to other businesses. Therefore, it is important to initiate positive personal interaction with this customer segment in order to retain them.

Converting need-based customers to loyal customers is attainable with proper positive personal interactions. They often have practical questions or concerns that can be addressed with a proactive customer service. Therefore, strive to achieve positive personal communication in order to build strong customer relationships. Because these customers want to be sure you’ll be there to help them whenever they need it. 

Wandering Customers

Wandering customers are somewhat related to impulse shoppers, but they’re much less likely to make purchases. These customers draw the largest amount of traffic to the company while making up the smallest percentage of sales revenue. They have no specific need or desire in mind but are attracted by the specific factor. 

For example, these customers enjoy the social interaction of the shopping experience. Therefore, spending too much time trying to appease this segment can draw away from the more profitable segments. However, providing insightful information about products to these customers can stimulate interest and ultimately result in a purchase.

Learn about important types of customers and how to handle them.

Types of customers: After the Purchase

The next category of customers you need to look for is the customers who are new acquaintances to your brand. They have already made the purchase, so now you have to focus on retaining them by adding value to them.

New Customers

A new customer is a person who bought something from you for the first time. Their needs most likely involve looking for guidance through an issue that agents might find simplistic. Therefore, guide them through each step and provide them with comprehensive guidance. As a result, your support will make a lasting first impression that will strengthen your relationship.

Try to make the extra effort by providing options such as live chat, video chat and co-browsing. Include educational resources such as onboarding emails, videos, tutorials or blog posts. By providing such options, your customers will know that you genuinely value them. As a result, there is a great opportunity to create brand loyalty and turn them into repeat customers.

New customers need to feel they made a wise decision and that you’re glad they’re your customers. Hence, build the relationship with a nurturing campaign. Greet returning customers to your site, extend special offers to them, acknowledge and thank them at every turn. Then, continue educating the customers with email newsletters.

Active Customers

Active customers are the ones who are actively using your services. However, they’re not your loyal customers yet. This means, if offered a better deal by your competitors, active customers are likely to switch. Hence it is crucial to nurture them the right way, instead of ignoring them because they are already using your products. 

Exceptional customer service, continuous engagement and interactions will let your new customers attach to your brand more. Make them feel confident about you caring for them. Take the extra effort to lead your customers towards success. As a result, it will make them stick with you for a long time.

Lapsed Customers

Lapsed customers are the ones who stopped using your services for some reasons. For example, they lost interest or switched to your competitors. Perhaps their goals have changed, so they no longer need your solution. Or, they experienced poor service at some point.

Identify lapsed customers as soon as possible. You can identify this type of customer through specific behavior. Typically, they don’t click through your emails or haven’t used your services for a long while. If you don’t activate and recover them, latent customers will become churned customers.

After segmenting these customers, find out why they left you. Get in touch with them to find out why they haven’t been using your services lately. You can reach out to them with personal emails as part of your re-engagement email campaign. Have in mind that they are familiar with your services and that you still have an advantage over your competitors.

Therefore, proactively take steps to convince them to purchase from you again. Next, fix issues immediately and let your lapsed customers know that you’ve fixed them. Reach out to them, apologize and inform them that you’ve resolved all their pain points. As a result, you have the opportunity to convert them into loyal customers.

Unhappy Customers

Unhappy clients have made purchases but are unsatisfied with your brand or your services. It’s important to identify these customers as soon as possible and investigate the cause. You can recognize them based on customer service complaints, stopping auto-renewals for subscriptions or negative reviews. Segment those customers and find out why they left.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to handle these customers the right way. Follow up with them through different support channels such as live chat and ask them for feedback. Once you’ve identified these customers, talk to them, understand their complaints and objections. Most importantly, apologize for the inconvenience and offer a solution. If you can fix them, you can turn dissatisfied customers into loyal customers. Afterwards, reach out to them and let them know that you’ve handled the source of their dissatisfaction.

Loyal consumers are one type of customers you should be aware about.

Loyal Customers

These customers are the best kind of customers to have for your business. They keep coming back to you for different services and they seem to be impressed with your brand. However, they may be expecting an even higher standard of service.

Loyal customers are those who have made a commitment to your service. Moreover, they are also the most likely to generate the majority of your income. In addition, they are likely to recommend your services to others. Therefore, it’s important to meet their needs and preferences by providing them with a personalized experience.

For a start, connect with them to understand what made them your loyal customers in the first place. Learn how your product helped them resolve their problem. Use their experiences and try to replicate the same for all your other customers. Afterwards, feature your loyal customers on your case studies or get their testimonials and reviews. Consider adding reward programs and interactive social media to keep them coming back. 

This will make them feel more valuable, and you get more social proof to add to your website. It’s essential to keep this customer base involved, engaged and feeling as if they’re valued by your company. Mainly because these customers can become your advocates and strengthen your brand awareness and trust.

Lifetime Customers

Lifetime customers are your loyal customers. They have opted for the lifetime subscription of your service. While focusing on converting other types of customers, don’t forget about them. These customers types are going to bring you tons of new customers and good PR. Hence, creating value for them and making them a part of your community will make your lifetime customers feel special. In addition, educate them about your referral programs and provide them with some incentives for referring you to other people.

Referring Customers

Referring customers are happy with your services and are willing to refer you to new customers. However, they are rarely going to refer new customers themselves. Hence, take the first step by identifying those types of customers. For example, ask for feedback from your active customers. If you receive positive feedback, ask them if they would be willing to refer your services to other people. You can also provide referring customers with some incentives for referring to some new customers to you. As a result, it will motivate them to refer more people to your brand.

Advocate Customers

Advocates are the most profitable clients of yours. Apart from being loyal or lifetime customers, they are also your brand’s loyal advocates. They talk about your company and your services and they’ve already referred a bunch of customers to you. Put your advocate customers on the limelight at every chance possible. 

Use them for your case studies, put up their testimonials on your home page. This will encourage them to advocate for your brand even more. Make sure that you never disappoint them with any bugs or customer service issues. Always be there for them throughout their journey striving to lead them towards customer success.

Referral customers

Referral customers have been referred to your brand by one of your loyal customers. Some of them will have no issues with using your services while others will require guidance. Consider tailoring your onboarding process for those new customers you acquired through referrals. Referral customers may be interested in some specific services that your loyal customer told them about. Hence, it’s best to interact with such customers. Give them all the support they might need to succeed. Get in touch with them and ask about their expectations from you.

Conclusion

No customer is the same, they differ on many levels and each consumer buying behavior require different marketing approaches. But identifying and getting to know them will help you convert and keep them happy. However, it is unlikely you’ll meet customers who perfectly fit a single type of customer. Most of them will be a mix of different types.

That’s why it’s important to understand the types of consumer markets as well as the types of online consumer behavior. As a result, you will be able to craft an effective and profitable marketing strategy. For instance, you can distinguish various customer segments based on the buyer’s journey.

Each customer who lands on your website or in your store has their own needs and goals. Discover them and tailor your communication and support to win the customers’ hearts. Finally, provide them personalized experience, world-class customer service and clear product value. Only that way you can convert regular buyers into loyal customers.

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