Why your team could be turning customers off


As a person who interacts with customers, we all face situations when our typical approach or communication style, that often works so well, just does not achieve the results we are aiming for with everyone.

How we behave makes perfect sense to us, but some customers do not respond how we thought they would and in some cases seem to be annoyed or take offence at our approach.

People very rarely set out to cause upset - they behave differently because they are different. We may find a different behaviour to our own difficult and perhaps we will try different approaches, but the process is hit or miss.

It is frustrating and unproductive for you and the customer.

Completing a Behavioural Profiling assessment was a huge Lightbulb Moment for me. I finally understood why I was finding some customers and co-workers difficult to interact with and others a breeze. And the great news is that it isn’t difficult to become a better communicator when you understand the 4 DISC styles and know your natural style.

We can and should become proficient at all 4 DISC styles, but we will find that 1 style is our most natural - the style that requires the least amount of our mental energy. Once we know this we can adjust how we communicate with people with different styles. It’s fun when you know how and it’s what employers, co-workers and cusotmers want - customer service staff with great people skills.

The 4 DISC Behavioural Styles (Which one do you use most easily?)

D - Determined, Fast Paced and Task Focused.

Likes challenges and taking control. Is direct, says what he/she thinks and can become annoyed by too many details. May come across as pushy or impersonable due to their focus on winning and their drive to get things done now.

I - Inspiring, Fast Paced and People Focused.

Positive, optimistic and good at influencing others. They love to talk and be sociable. Becuase they are so eager to please, they may over promise and need to be reminded to finish what they start as they love to be creative and think ‘outside of the box’.

S - Steady, Slower Paced and People Focused.

Calm, helpful and modest. They aim to keep those around them stable and secure and pride themselves on looking after the welfare of others. This willingness to pitch in and be supportive can lead them to have a full ‘to do’ list as their caring nature can be exploited.

C - Compliant, Slower Paced and Task Focused. 

Precise, logical and matter-of-fact. They will seek data and information to make sure things get done correctly and to make decisions. The need for research and to produce high quality work, can see them focus too much on details and lose sight of the bigger picture and become annoyed with others who don’t share their detailed nature.

When we consider the behavioural style of a customer and then adjust our communication to suit their style, this goes a long way to building a sense of trust. Customers respect and like to do business with people they like.

Customers buy from and refer their friends and family to businesses staffed with likeable people.

Want to know your natural style and learn how to adjust when you're interacting with a co-worker or a customer with a different style?

Contact us to arrange a Customer Service Styles session for your team .

By Cate Schreck - Author of The A - Z of Service Excellence