The ideal customer service employee…

An ideal customer service employee would be one that has a sort by others preference (meaning they put others ahead of themselves) and they have a preference to match what is being said (meaning they agree and add value to your opinion, rather than mismatch it or find holes in your argument). If they have the opposite preferences, then please don’t put them on the customer service desk!

Switched-on customer service employees have an opportunity to interpret the clues that customers provide about their filter preferences.  Then they can match their customer service style to the customer.  For instance:

  • Introvert/extrovert – when dealing with an introvert ‘cut to the chase’, reduce the small talk, give them time to process their thoughts and don’t talk over the top of their thinking! If the customer is an extrovert allocate more time for them to talk about whatever they want and manage them by gently moving them back to the topic.
  • Internal/external frame of reference – if your customer has an internal frame of reference it means they have an internal barometer that tells them what is right, and they have a strong need to reach their own conclusions. Don’t sell too hard to this type of person. Instead, provide information to help them make up their own mind. Don’t push them, ask them what they think. If the customer has an external frame of reference this means they have no internal barometer that tells them what’s right so you need to help them come to a decision by building credibility with customer testimonials and product reviews.
  • Sort by self/others – if your customer is sort by self they are motivated by the outcomes they will achieve from doing business with you. They tend to be more focused on the benefits to themselves (for example, status, sales commissions, self-confidence). If your customer is sort by others they tend to be motivated to help others, so emphasise how your products will help them do that.
  • Matcher/mismatcher – if your customer has a matching preference they tend to be easier to sell to because they more naturally want to agree that it’s good to do business with you. If your customer has a mismatcher preference then it is more important to be clever with your language patterns so they can’t disagree with your point of view.
  • Specific/global – if your customer has a specific preference they need a detailed presentation with facts, figures, details, charts and statistics in order to make a decision. If your customer has a global preference they need shorter, more conceptual presentations and pitches.