Are You Driving business owners crazy?
Are you one of the five customer types that frustrate business owners? Well-known customer service expert Fiona Adler explains that your actions are not only getting in the way of choosing the correct product or service, you're also creating a roadblock to receiving the best treatment.
Fiona, founder of WOMO.com.au – Australia's number one business review site which attracts a review every five minutes and has been used by 1 in 4 Australians – says many consumers are unknowingly shooting themselves in the foot. She says, 'A customer's attitude can impact their decision making, especially when they're unwilling to share all the information. As a result, the business owner feels their time is wasted and they're unconfident that they'll get the sale, causing great frustration. In the end the best customer service isn't provided."
Knowing that many consumers are unaware of their behaviour, Fiona has outlined the top 5 customer types that drive business owners crazy and what these consumers can do to ensure they get the best result possible.
1. The Indecisive Customer. You show interest in your product or service, but are not always as motivated to buy as you may seem. You may have some concerns that have yet to be addressed or find that there are too many choices and have no idea where to begin. You're often more comfortable avoiding decisions, more cautious and move slower than other customers.
Action. Try to pinpoint the exact concern you have. If you can articulate your hesitation, then you give the business a much better chance of helping you - which of course means that you'll get what you actually want. They might give you the opportunity to try the product out or speak to past customers or point you to other resources which help with your decision.
2. The Tyre Kicker. Not to be confused with the Indecisive Customer, you don't say yes, or no, but rather delay or drag on the sales process, wasting valuable time. You may come back multiple times without actually making a purchase.
Action. If you're in a shop or making an enquiry because you're just curious or scoping out what's available for sometime in the future, let the business know that you are still browsing and getting a feel for the types of products/services available. They might offer some valuable suggestions.
3. The Distracted Customer. You know what they want but are too busy with other things going on to tell the business owner. You have a wandering mind, roving eyes and smartphone in hand in hand just waiting for the next Facebook or Twitter notification. You have a lot going on and would almost rather be somewhere else at that point in time.
Action. Instead of trying to do a million things at once, focus on one task and get it done. Resist the urge to let other products catch your eye – next season's wardrobe can wait. Instead, focus on getting the items you need for your current project or the outfit you need for tonight!
4. The Know-It-All. You've done research on the product or service and its competitors, and are very vocal to them about their strengths and weaknesses. You think you know what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it. As a result, the first 10 minutes of the conversation is wasted time with you grilling the business owner on specific points and asking technical questions that might not even be relevant.
Action. Use knowledge to your advantage - not to put the business offside! Let them know that you have some technical questions so that the best person can help you. Then, focus questions on the specific areas that will influence your purchasing decision - this is not an academic exercise. Avoid wasting the time of the person servicing you by distinguishing "nice to know" from "need to know".
5. The Grumpy Cat. You need help, but for whatever reason you've already decided that the business probably can't help you anyway. You're pessimistic and impatient.
Action. If you're not in the mood to shop, don't shop! OK, this might not always be possible, but seriously, stop and think about the impact your mood has on other people. Avoid stressful situations beforehand - heading straight to the shops after a hard day at the office may not be the best idea. Why not try an experiment to see whether you get better service when you're a more smiley, chatty customer? Oh, and don't forget your coffee beforehand!
Established in 2007, Word Of Mouth Online (womo.com.au) has gained a huge following of both consumers looking for great businesses, and businesses looking to promote via word-of-mouth. As Australia's No 1 business review website, WOMO.com.au has attracted over 300,000 reviewers Australia-wide, 1 million hits a month, and a new review every five minutes. It's estimated 1 in 4 Australians have used WOMO in the last 12 months to help them find great businesses. WOMO.com.au is the 2010 winner of the My Business/ANZ Best Startup Award.