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How to make all customer types happy

By figuring out what basic behavioral type you are dealing with, you can tailor your behavior and message.

Editors note: On October 27, 2016, Derek Christian and Liz Trotter gave a presentation for ISSA called Making All Customer Types Happy. We’ve asked them to share some information about their presentation here.

In our ISSA presentation on how to make all customer types happy was so successful that I want to share it with everyone.  The main premise is to figure out what basic behavioral type you are dealing with and then tailor your behavior and message directly to that behavioral type.  Using DISC profiling, we have found that with a just a bit of attention and strategy it is possible to achieve win/win scenarios with little effort.

Here are the strategic steps.

1.       Understand the basic DISC behavioral types.

2.       Put clients and potential clients under a moderate amount of pressure or stress.

3.       Measure their reaction against predefined reactions on a chart.

4.       Test your profile for accuracy.

1 –  The 4 basic DISC types are (D)ominance, (I)nfluence, (S)teadiness, and (C)ompliance.  Today I’m sharing information about the (D)ominance behavioral type.  The additional behavioral types will be discussed in my next article along with examples of responding effectively to the different behavioral types.

The (D)ominance behavioral type is described as decisive, competitive, direct, result-oriented.  I will call this behavioral type High D. When they are under stress they tend to be demanding, nervy, aggressive, and /or egotistical.  The underlying emotion of the High D is anger.

2 – To put the High D under pressure will depend on the purpose of your interaction.  In our ISSA presentation, we suggested that there were 5 opportunities to create happiness in the customer.  They are the initial contact – sales, the first experience with your company, ongoing relationship building, when a problem arises, and during the final contact.

As an example, during the initial contact you can ask for a person’s email before you have talked to them about anything else.  Most people will consider this somewhat forward, rude, or possibly aggressive and it cause a slight stress reaction.

3 – The Chart.  Notice the High D behavior of aggression.  If you ask a High D for their email before it is appropriate you can expect that they may respond with a bit of aggression which may also sound like they are being egotistical.  Something like “I’m not giving you my email address, I don’t even know you.”

4 – To test whether this person is responding as a High D, you would allow them to lead by saying something like “Of course. You can decide if it makes sense after we talk.”  If your response works and the customer sounds ready to move on, then it is safe to assume for the time being at least that this customer has High D tendencies and that this response will be the most effective first response. Since many people have multiple behavioral styles (although never all 4), pay attention to any instance of the customer being under stress and use the chart to determine your best response choice.  Remember to test the choice.  If the customer responds poorly or not at all to your response, try again.  What you may have interpreted as aggression may have just been a critique (High C). 

I recommend keeping this chart handy as you begin to understand how to deal with different behavioral types, but you will most likely be surprised at how quickly you are able to remember and use these strategies because of the abundant opportunities you will have in your business as well as personal lives.

Liz Trotter
is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington.  She is also a former ARCSI board member, a partner in Cleaning Business Builders, and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.

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Author: Liz Trotter
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