How many different types of customers do you serve?

How many different types of customers do you serve?

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Have you ever stopped to determine how many different types of customers you need to serve? The importance of having this type of customer insight became even more clear to me when I read an article written by the editor for Harpers Wine & Spirit, Richard Siddle.

In the article, he summarized a recent study by Kantar Insights that revealed UK retailers now need to target seven different types of shoppers. They found that for people that shop for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in Britain, Germany, France and Spain, retailing has changed.

Kantar’s seven types of shopper are:

  1. Convenience Kings: They want overall convenience in locality, hours of operation, parking etc.
  2. Ethical Empathizers: Driven by ethical social considerations.
  3. Accustomed Acquirers: Find peace in routine; stick to tested and proven products and brands.
  4. Promiscuous Purchasers: Motivated by value, bargains, have several brand switches.
  5. Quality Crusaders: Driven by high quality and willing to pay a premium for it.
  6. Conscious Connoisseurs: Savvy and passionate shoppers who take pride in knowledge.
  7. Strategic Savers: Driven by low price, excited by sales and promotions.

As an example, the study looks at how people respond to the event of Black Friday. It identifies only two consumer groups that will heavily participate: ‘Strategic Savers’ and ‘Promiscuous

Purchasers’ who overall make up for just over a quarter of all shoppers (26%).

The biggest shopping consumer group is the ‘Quality Crusaders’ (26%), who are predominantly driven by quality and will pay a premium for it, but are not enticed very much by Black Friday deals.

So what different types of customers do you serve?

I see there is an opportunity for contact centers to leverage the premise of this study for their own gain. We know customers are not alike. Currently many organizations are investing money and resources building journey maps and personas. But as this study revealed, there is much to be lost if your insight development stops there.  In essence, how do you reach 75% of shoppers that do not participate in the Black Friday hoopla? What are the different types of your customers?  Which types call you, email you, chat with you?

Short-sighted development into customer insights may only increase your knowledge about your customers’ journey or their satisfaction of their journey. You will miss out when you create personas that only help you determine gender, age, wants, needs, and likes.

To prevent yourself from missing out, go deeper. You need to connect with the emotional drivers of your customers. You must increase your emotional intelligence skills if you want customer connections that are going to make significant impacts to customer retention, referrals, and costs to operate. How do each of your customer types need to be effectively served by your contact center?

You must be able to convert your insights into tangible and easy to deploy adult learning tools to help your contact center agents connect with your customers better. Agents need tools to identify the type of customer and to quickly employ the behavior that most effectively connects with that type of customer.

How does this impact your VoC investments?

Knowing this information should hopefully set you up with a new perspective on many of the best practices (often it’s hogwash) that you hear from many supposed experts.

customers-grade-the-callsOne of many examples I often hear are people saying to “keep surveys short, even very short”. Hmmm, really? If you do that all of the time, what do you think would be your ability to collect the data necessary to identify the different types of customers you serve and how to serve them better?  Where’s the emotional intelligence information?  Do you think you will be able to obtain insights that can be converted to specific learning opportunities for your contact center agents and customer experience engineers?

So what would be the real ROI of your VoC program when you are unable to do these things?

I see over and again too many contact centers missing out on chances to create exceptional customer experiences. But hopefully studies like this will help to shed more light on your opportunities.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts with me.

Read more of Siddle’s article:

http://www.harpers.co.uk/news/uk-retailers-need-to-target-seven-different-types-of-shopper-says-kantar-study/374043.article#.VHzSQsbZUBY

About Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and an SVP for Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM). Jim spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner and frequently quoted industry expert. Call Jim at 336-288-8226 if you need help with customer-centric enhancements.

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