12 Types of Customers [and How to Serve Them Best]

November 21, 2022
Faces of different customer types

What types of customers are really visiting your website? 

Want to get better at understanding their needs so you can serve them more effectively? 

If so, you’re not alone. Here at Talkative, we’re always discussing how we can do more for our customers - both old and new alike. 

For instance, what’s the best way to serve customers who are still researching your product? 

What’s the best way to remove customer obstacles and increase conversions?

In this article, we’ll be answering both of these questions and more, discussing how you can best serve all your customers - whatever their needs. We'll be covering: 

  • The different types of customers.
  • How to serve each type best.
  • The number one tool you need to engage customers across your digital touchpoints.

Let’s get started.

customer enjoying omnichannel messaging

What are the different types of customers? 

The easiest way to identify your customers and their needs is to explore their intentions when visiting your site. 

Take a look at the examples below for an overview of each customer type, as well as tips on how to serve them best. 

1. Browsing customers 

Intention: Browsing your website without making a purchase or taking an action. 

Most e-commerce sites have an average conversion rate of 2.86%. Depending on your industry, it could be even less. 

It means that, more often than not, browsing customers are the most common visitors to your site. 

In basic terms, these customers are a bit like online window shoppers. 

They aren’t looking for anything in particular, and they’re the least likely to get in touch with a query. 

So, how do you provide a great digital customer experience for these visitors, even if they aren’t buying anything? 

Key tactics for serving browsing customers

To best serve browsing customers, make sure your site grabs attention but remains easy to navigate. 

Product and service listings should be engaging and informative. Your images should also be crisp and clear. 

After all, serving these customers is all about creating a great first impression. So don’t be shy with testimonials and reviews either. 

If the customer’s first experience is a good one, they’ll soon be back for more.

2. Impulse Buyers

Intention: Browsing a website without making a purchase or taking an action. 

Related to browsing customers, impulse buyers don't necessarily intend to buy anything straight off the bat. 

Even so, your site’s presentation and your product’s value proposition nudged them over the line. Congratulations! 

Still, who doesn’t want to turn more browsing customers into impulse buyers? 

Key tactics for converting impulse buyers

One of the best ways to win over this customer type is to outline your best offers and deals site-wide. 

If you’re communicating value, you’re all the more likely to get this type of customer conversion.

That said, make sure you demonstrate the value of your customer service and experience, as well as your product. 

To further tempt these customers, you should also streamline your purchasing process. 

For example, e-commerce businesses that shorten their checkout journeys have been proven to lower shopping cart abandonment

The same is true for businesses that provide maximum availability through a variety of customer contact channels.

Whatever your industry, removing customer obstacles will mean more opportunities for impulse purchases - and who doesn’t want that?

magnet attracting leads and customers

3. Researchers

Intention: Analysing and comparing products, reviews, and competitors. 

This kind of customer will visit your site several times before buying a product. 

They’ll also be comparing you with your competitors, and they’re far more likely to pose multiple questions and queries. 

In fact, they’ll often be a huge culprit of clogging up your contact center queues.

So, how do you make sure you’re serving this savvy type of customer while effectively managing your time? 

Key tactics for serving researchers

To make sure customers have all the information they need, take a look at your product listings again. 

Have you offered as much detail as possible? 

What about pictures and product demonstrations? 

Testimonials and reviews are powerful persuaders for this customer type too.

Put them in prime locations across your site. 

You could even offer comparison information against your competitors.

It’ll make your customers’ lives far easier when researching their purchases.

Finally, take a look at the contact channels you’ve got on offer.

Are they really serving your customers’ needs? 

For instance, you can use live chat and chatbots to answer your customers' questions 24/7.

With video chat, bringing the in-store experience online is easier than ever too.

You could even connect your contact channels with social media live chat.

By offering instant answers on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, SMS, and WhatsApp, you can offer maximum customer service, wherever your customers are.

Whatever channels you use, put your customer needs first. It'll provide you with higher conversions in the long run. 

4. Bargain hunters

Intention: Finding the best deal possible, regardless of loyalty. 

Everyone likes bagging a bargain, but some customers are more determined to find discounts than others. 

This is great news if you’re currently featuring a sale or any special offers. 

But how do you make sure you’re engaging these customers even when your on-sale stock is running low? 

Key tactics for attracting bargain hunters

Attracting and retaining this type of customer requires a multi-faceted approach. 

First, you need to make sure you’re advertising your deals and discounts as often as possible - both on and offsite. 

Consider creating a discounts page on your site. This way, bargain hunters can always find the deals they are looking for. 

Leverage social media and other website engagement tools too. It'll make sure your offers are being heard amongst the noise.

To take things a step further, consider how you provide other forms of value too: 

  • For instance, what value do you offer through your customer service efforts? 
  • Do you offer faster and cheaper delivery than your competitors? 
  • Do you offer further discounts when customers buy an upselling option? 

Tactics like these will help turn bargain hunters into loyal customers.

customer using engagement channels

5. Curious customers

Intention: Learning about their desired product through multiple website visits and queries. 

This type of customer is one of the best for your business. 

They’ve already done some research on your product. 

They might even be close to converting. 

Still, they’ve still got a few niggling questions. 

So, how best to convert them? 

Key tactics for converting curious customers

Once again, converting curious customers requires a few key actions. 

First, your site needs to be a dream to use, with plenty of self-service options on offer. 

Don’t neglect FAQ pages, for example. The same goes for policy pages too. 

Make sure you’ve got several that are easily accessible, covering topics like delivery, returns, and warranties. 

You could even include this information in several locations. 

For instance, why not include a brief returns policy during your checkout journey?

This tactic will prevent any users from dropping off mid-purchase. 

You should also address how available you make your contact center agents too. 

For example, if you offer live chat, your chat widget needs to attract attention and broadcast trust. 

From there, your agents need to be well trained and knowledgeable about your products. 

Like researchers, curious customers will always have a lot of questions. If your contact center agents are helpful and efficient, you’re all the more likely to make the sale. 

6. Insistent customers

Intention: Learning about their desired product through multiple website visits and queries. 

Related to curious customers, insistent customers are a little trickier to engage with. 

Despite your best efforts, they aren’t ever quite happy with your answers. 

They may keep your contact center agents wrapped up in overly long interactions too, causing issues like long waiting periods and live chat queues.  

Key tactics for managing insistent customers 

Dealing with this type of customer can prove frustrating. 

Sometimes, they might even think that they know more than your contact center agents.

So, make sure your agents are well trained to face such scenarios. 

For instance, why not feature this customer type during a roleplaying scenario? 

Once you’ve revisited your staff’s training, you should also deploy deflection methods on your site. 

For example, chatbots can be used to engage customers and provide answers to a multitude of queries. 

It means your contact center agents have a much more manageable workload. 

Couple this with a positive team, and insistent customers won’t be a frustration any longer.  

customer interactions and sales funnel

7. Uncertain customers 

Intention: Seeking reassurance about a potential purchase. 

Despite your best efforts, some customers will take far longer to convert than others. 

Your entire customer journey might be perfect, but they still aren't sure about buying. 

This could be for a multitude of reasons. 

They might be waiting for a better deal. They might be debating whether a product is the right fit for them. 

So, how do you convince this type of customer to convert?

Key tactics for convincing uncertain customers 

On average, it takes 6-8 marketing touchpoints before a customer converts. 

But while patience is a virtue, so too is increasing customer engagement

You should never pester your customers into buying your products or services. 

That said, demonstrating value and keeping in touch is a great way to keep customers in your sales funnel.

In the long run, it’ll help increase your customer loyalty and your remote sales. What’s not to like about that.

To get started, take a look at your website’s analytics page. How many customers are repeat visitors? 

If you see a trend in repeat visitors, why not retarget them using display advertising? 

What about your email list? If you’ve got people subscribing, keep them in the loop with updates and offers. 

Whatever strategy you use, make sure you're consistent but patient. You'll win them around in the end. 

8. New customers

Intention: Buying your product or service. 

Some customers know exactly what they want and they’re ready to convert. 

Naturally, these types of customers overlap with several other categories.

They might have done their research already, or your marketing efforts might have sparked their interest. 

Either way, they want to convert with speed and ease. 

Key tactics for attracting and converting new customers  

For this type of customer, you need to make sure you address three key points.

  1. Your marketing efforts need to focus on the essential channels like social media, SEO, and paid search.
  2. For more established businesses, your company needs positive brand equity to attract the maximum amount of new customers.
  3. You need to limit online customer journey obstacles to help these customers convert.  
Brand equity

Brand equity is an important concept for established businesses to understand.

In simple terms, it refers to your brand's reputation - what customers think of your company overall.

For newer businesses, your website and your marketing output is your chance to create a positive impression fast.

But for businesses with previous brand recognition, a positive brand equity can help ease more new customers across the line.  

To demonstrate, let’s look at a hypothetical example.

Note how this customer’s opinion about yoga-wear retailer Lululemon demonstrates positive brand equity:

“I’ve never owned Lululemon leggings before, but I know their brand is renowned for quality and style. They’re a little more upmarket than their competitors too, so I’d expect a very high level of customer service from them. I’ve been meaning to get some new yoga gear, so I’ll check out their site.”

To achieve positive brand equity for your business, take into account both your marketing efforts and your customer relations

Keep an eye on reviews, forums, and social media sentiment. 

It’ll give you a broad idea of whether the general reputation of your brand is positive or negative.

From there, you can identify where you need to improve. 

Limiting obstacles from the customer journey

Moving on, let’s address how you limit obstacles from your customer journey, once you’ve attracted new customers to your site. 

Start by assessing your sitemap and search functions.

If you can’t navigate your site with ease, how will your customers?

Once again, it’s a great idea to revisit your product listings and your checkout process too. 

Ultimately, what this customer needs is a seamless customer journey

So, prioritize the usability and flow of your site. If you do, you’ll be all the more likely to transform new customers into loyal ones. 

ecommerce online shopping

9. Confused customers

Intention: Clarifying a problem or issue with their product. 

Unlike curious or uncertain customers, this customer type usually gets in touch post-sale. 

They might have a query about the product they’ve bought. 

They might be unsure how to use it or, in the worst case scenario, they might even be frustrated. 

Whatever the reason for their confusion, these customers want fast solutions to their problems.  

It makes them the most likely candidate for getting in touch with a support ticket. 

Key tactics for assisting confused customers  

If your customer service team is well trained, they’ll be able to handle these customers with ease. 

That said, there’s always room for improvement. 

To increase your customer service efficiency, get serious about your contact channel analytics. 

If most of your customers get in touch via live chat, make it a common practice to review your live chat transcripts

If you use chatbots, research the most important chatbot analytics too. 

Analysing these channels will allow you to better prepare your staff for the future. From there, they’ll be able to provide your customers with the support they need.

10. Angry customers 

Intention: Complaining about a problem or fault with their purchase.

Unfortunately, some customers aren’t going to be happy with their purchases. 

Worst of all, the source of their frustration might not even be your fault.

A delivery might have arrived late or gone missing. The customer's product might be faulty or damaged. 

Either way, angry or rude customers are a common issue for customer service teams. 

If you don’t tackle the problem head-on, they'll accuse you of poor customer service

At worst, they'll leave some pretty nasty reviews. 

This isn’t a good look for your company, and these customers can be downright stressful for your staff.

Key tactics for handling angry customers  

Developing a clear strategy to deal with these customers is paramount. 

To start forming this strategy, take a look at how you manage your customer service team as a whole. 

For instance, have you set yourself the customer service goal of achieving a low average handling time? 

If you have, it’s a great idea to make exceptions for this target when dealing with angry customers. 

By giving your contact agents more time to deal with the issue, you can ensure this customer doesn’t feel rushed or neglected.

You should also have special scripts on offer to assist close listening and empathy. It’ll help your agents reduce tension. 

Resolution options like discounts and free gifts can help too. 

However you choose to manage angry or unhappy customers, always try to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

If you don’t, they’ll feel ignored or belittled - two digital customer service mistakes you want to avoid. 

So, remain patient, empathetic, and support your customer service team with the means to resolve queries fast. It’ll help keep your customers happy - as well as your staff. 

angry customer

11. Non-native speakers 

Intention: Asking questions about your product or service. 

Whether you serve one country or several, you'll face language barriers from time to time. 

Like any other type of customer, non-native speakers might have a simple query or a full list of questions. 

Either way, you don’t want to let these customers down just because you don't speak their language. 

Key tactics for serving non-native speakers  

The simplest solution here is offering contact channels with built-in translation. 

For example, with multilingual live chat, translation takes place in real-time. 

It means both your customers and your staff will always feel understood. 

12. Loyal customers 

Intention: Returning to purchase multiple times. 

Everyone’s favorite type of customer.

Not only do they keep coming back, some of them even become your advocates.

But how do you make sure you keep this type of customer happy? 

How do you turn new customers into loyal ones too? 

Key tactics for attracting and keeping loyal customers  

The key to maintaining a loyal customer base is showing appreciation. 

That said, you don’t have to always thank your customers with over-the-top discounts. 

Of course, discounts and giveaways are great for user-generated content on social media. 

But the most popular brands show appreciation in a multitude of ways. 

So, make sure you take note of your favorite brands' customer engagement examples

For instance, athleisure brand Gymshark offers loyal customers first-look updates on new products. 

Guitar manufacturer Fender offers free mobile apps, helping players improve their sound. 

Even a well-crafted and personalized thank-you email can go a long way. 

So, remember to show appreciation for your customers. 

Not only will they be more likely to return, they might even become your best advocates too. 

customer handshake

The takeaway: how can you best serve all types of customers?

Regardless of your industry, every business will encounter the types of customers listed above.

As such, there are a few key ingredients to keeping all your customers satisfied. 

  1. Customer-friendly and convenient contact channels
  2. Knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives
  3. Fast answers to all issues 
  4. Personalized and dedicated interactions
  5. A seamless customer journey 

So, what's the simplest way of achieving this criteria? 

The answer lies in offering an omnichannel customer experience

And that's where Talkative comes in.

Our platform was built for brands that want to offer the best digital experiences to their online customers.

And with Talkative's suite of connected engagement channels - from enhanced live chat to video, cobrowse, messaging, and more - you can ensure just that.

In turn, your customers can easily get in touch with your organization on the channel of their choice.

Contact center agents can provide fast answers too, offering a seamless, personalized experience from a single dashboard. 

It’ll help you serve all types of customers to your best ability - whatever their needs.

Engage more customers in just three minutes

Get your weekly three minute read on making every customer interaction both personable and profitable. Sign up to the Talkative newsletter now.

Smiling customer on a smartphone

Ready for the future of customer service?

Download The 2024 Inner Circle Guide to Chatbots & Conversational AI

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.