Hone Your “People Reading” Skills

Are you working with a dominant customer or a steady customer? Knowing your customer can make a difference in how you present yourself.

In the March issue of Customer Communicator, the training and motivation newsletter for frontline reps, trainer Lillian Bjorseth explains the four basic personality types and how to work with each.

Fortunately, she says, you can determine personality type within the first few seconds of a call based on the customer’s greeting, how they respond to small talk, the first questions they ask, and even their rate of speech and tone.

She calls this your “people reading skills.”

For example, one of the most pleasant personality types is the influencing customer. You can recognize the influencing personality type because they usually begin a call with high energy — an upbeat, optimistic “hello.”

The influencing customer shows a wide range of emotions: speaking fast, slow, high, and low. “They’re so animated, you can almost see them,” says Bjorseth.

“And they’ll talk about almost anything.” They also like to hold simultaneous conversations with others while they’re on the phone with you.

Friendly? Yes. But since this personality type can become highly emotional, you need to be aware of that.

To work well with this caller, use a friendly and upbeat tone. They don’t like unpleasant news, so try to be gentle when breaking bad news. And it will generally be up to you to end the call, since they will tend to keep the conversation going.

More on working with the four main personality types appears in the March issue of Customer Communicator.

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