Types of Customers

  • Post last modified:6 January 2022
  • Reading time:17 mins read

What are types of customers?

Customers play the most significant part in business. In fact, the customer is the actual boss in a deal and is responsible for the actually profit for the organization. The customer is the one who uses the products and services and judges the quality of those products and services.

Hence it’s important for an organization to retain customers or make new customers and flourish the business. To manage customers, organizations should follow some sort of approach like segmentation or division of customers into groups because each customer has to be considered valuable and profitable.


Types of Customers

These are the types of customers discussed below:

  1. Loyal Customers
  2. Discounted Customers
  3. Impulsive Customers
  4. Need-Based Customers
  5. Wandering Customers
  6. Disinterested Customers
  7. Detached Customers
  8. Delighted Customers
  9. Devoted Customers
  10. Disappointed Customers
  11. Disaffected Customers
  12. Dormant Customers
  13. Draining Customers
  14. Ideal Customers

Loyal Customers

These types of customers are less in numbers but promote more sales and profit as compared to other customers as these are the ones who are completely satisfied. These customers revisit the organization over time hence it is crucial to interact and keep in touch with them on a regular basis and invest much time and effort with them.

Loyal customers want individual attention and that demands polite and respectful responses from suppliers. This means that the retailer can reach its profit margin goals. Loyal, ongoing customers are the backbone of every business.

And in today’s highly competitive environment, these shoppers cannot be ignored or else they may be won over by competitors. Revenues can be increased (not just maintained) by placing greater attention on repeat customers. They can be encouraged to shop more often and to purchase more on each trip to the store.

These are some ways to target current customers better:

  1. Develop a data base with the appropriate customer information. This could be done bygiving your shoppers a small prize for filling out a short form and then updating theinformation periodically. Computerization is not necessary to do this, although it helps.

  2. Set up some type of frequent-shopper program that can reward people for theircontinued patronage. The program does not have to be complex. For instance, many carwashes give out punch cards (or a similar variation) whereby customers can earn freeservices based upon a certain number of washes.

  3. Communicate with repeat customers on a regular basis. Mail them a letter at leastquarterly. Call them at least once per year. Customers are often quite impressed whenthey receive ‘friendship’ rather than “sales pitch” letters and calls. People like to feelappreciated.

  4. Run special events for good customers. This also lets them know how important they areto the firm.

  5. Offer extra services, such as free delivery or more liberal return policies, for goodcustomers.

  6. Do not reward your new customers at the expense of the current ones. Think carefullyabout having promotions that offer benefits to new customers that are not available tocurrent ones, such as reduced credit terms for first-time car buyers.

    Try to runpromotions in a way that also offers benefits to current customers, such as also havingspecial trade-in terms for people who have bought their previous car from the samedealer.

Discounted Customers

Discounted customers are also frequent visitors but they are only a part of business when offered discounts on regular products and brands or they buy only low-cost products. The more is the discount the more they tend towards buying.

These customers are mostly related to small industries or industries that focus on low or marginal investments in products. Focus on these types of customers is also important as they also promote distinguished part of profit into the business.

Impulsive Customers

These customers are difficult to convince as they want to do the business in urge or caprice. They don’t have any specific item on their product list but urge to buy what they find good and productive at that point in time.

Handling these customers is a challenge as they are not particularly looking for a product and want the supplier to display all the useful products they have in their tally in front of them so that they can buy what they like from that display. If impulsive customers have treated accordingly then there is a high probability that these customers could be responsible for a high percentage of selling.

Need-Based Customers

These customers are product specific and only tend to buy items only to which they are habitual or have a specific need for them. These are frequent customers but do not become a part of buying most of the time so it is difficult to satisfy them. These customers should be handled positively by showing them ways and reasons to switch to other similar products and brands and initiating them to buy these.

These customers could possibly be lost if not tackled efficiently with positive interaction. Need-based customer segmentation is a fascinating approach that helps get to the heart of what your customers want, and how to differentiate your offer to them.

Marketers have been using segmentations for years to target their customers more effectively. And in the social media landscape, it has become increasingly more important to keep communications highly relevant and engage with different, but defined, sections of their audience. Indeed, thanks to developments in high powered text analytics, it is now possible to segment and profile based on consumer perceptions expressed online.

Wandering Customers

These are the least profitable customers as sometimes they themselves are not sure what to buy. These customers are normally new in the industry and most of the time visit suppliers only for confirming their needs on products.

They investigate features of the most prominent products in the market but do not buy any of those or show the least interest in buying. To grab such customers they should be properly informed about the various positive features of the products so that they develop a sense of interest. These customers are more likely than need-based customers to be affected by in-store advertising and special deals going on.

An organization should always focus on loyal customers and should expand or multiply the product range to leverage impulsive customers. For other types of customers, strategies should be renovated and enhanced for turning out these customers to satisfy their needs and modify these types of customers to let them fall under the loyal and impulsive category.

Disinterested Customers

Disinterested Customers are not interested in what you have to offer. It is fine, as long as you can find enough customers who are interested. So customer-focused businesses identify and focus on the customers they want to work with.

As a result, they don’t waste time, energy and resource on customers that they don’t want or who are not interested. Successful companies are focused on customers who desire their product, while unfocused companies focus on anyone. “It’s okay to have some customers who are not interested.

Detached Customers

You won these customers, but they lack loyalty. They see you simply as another supplier at what times can help them. They are actually reasonably happy but have no buy-in. This results in customer hunts and the constant fight to attract new business.

Customer-focused businesses identify the customers and work hard to build on the relationships and such customers are reasonably happy with what they are offered and may well come back for more.

Delighted Customers

Delighted Customers are those whose expectations exceed, may be due to the level of service you provide or the effectiveness of your product. Delighting customers is not about giving things away for nothing or just doing things for free.

It’s about the personal touch, making them feel valued and creating a ‘wow’ reaction. This makes commercial sense too. Delighted customers are five times more likely to plan on repurchasing than merely satisfied customers”.

Devoted Customers

Devoted Customers have high expectations from a company and consistently get what they perceive to be a great experience, so there’s no reason for them to go elsewhere. They come back for more, spend more and tell other people about you. This doesn’t happen by chance.

It grows out of a culture that actively creates consistently great customer experiences. It’s also about building systems and processes to support this and giving your people the skills, tools and permission to deliver them. These folks have high expectations and consistently get a great experience, so there’s no reason for them to go elsewhere.

They come back to your company, spend more and tell others about you. The key here is consistency. You need to create a culture of customer service, as Zappos, Amazon and Apple have managed to do. Research indicates that it typically costs six to ten times more to sell to a new customer than it does to an existing one. It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses seem obsessed with chasing new customers rather than putting time and effort into maximizing existing ones.

Disappointed Customers

Disappointed Customers are those having a bad or poor experience and an organization fail to meet their expectations. This might be ‘poor’ when compared to previous ‘great’ experiences with you, or poor when compared to their experience of your competitors. When things go wrong, you can end up with a disappointed customer.

You may have provided great service in the past but flubbed it, or maybe your product isn’t on a par with other companies they patronize. To find these disappointed customers, it’s advisable to ask questions like“Are you completely happy with what we are doing?” If they aren’t, find out why.

The disappointed customers you do not deal with can become aggrieved and start to tell others about their experience. Avoid creating disaffected customers at all costs. Deal with disappointment and do it quickly. And watch out for them online, in forums, on rating sites and on social media.

Disaffected Customers

Disaffected Customers are typically a result of ignoring this advice. They are the disappointed ones you didn’t spot or sort out. Not only do they ignore your marketing messages and efforts, but many are also quite happy to spread the bad word about you, both via word of mouth and ‘word of mouth.

Avoid creating disaffected customers at all costs. Deal with disappointment and do it quickly. And watch out for them online, in forums, on ratings sites and on social media. How businesses respond to negative reviews is the critical thing here.

Some 15 per cent of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company after reading a response to a negative review that was resolved. In other words, it’s not just about dealing with disappointment –it’s being seen to be dealing with it.

Dormant Customers

Dormant Customers don’t currently buy from you but have done so in the past. So they represent opportunity! Why don’t they buy from you anymore? Have they just drifted away because you haven’t contacted them for some time? Have they forgotten about you? Has your original contact moved on? Have your competitors moved in?

Go on, get in touch, re-introduce yourself, re-engage them, get them back. These people are good customers in the past but drifted off. They represent an opportunity if you can create a dialogue with them, rather than simply sending them fixed marketing materials that they will likely ignore. This group can be a challenge, but usually, it is easier to tempt them back than to gain a new customer from scratch.

Draining Customers

These customers are unprofitable, draining money as well as time and energy. That makes them an important group to recognize, but before walking away from draining customers, try to make them profitable. Are there things that you are doing for them that you don’t need to do? Can you raise prices? If not, you need to dump them.

Every business has these. They cost you time, money and resources. They just are not profitable. They might have unrealistic expectations, or they don’t pay on time (if they pay at all). Think in terms of ‘value for time’ as well as value for money.

It’s not just about how much a customer spends, but the time and resources you need to devote to deliver this. It’s about profit, not turnover. Your challenge is to either make these customers profitable or reduce (or eliminate) your reliance on them.

Ideal Customers

Every entrepreneur should be intensely focused on his or her prospective customers. The ability to find a customer, sell your product or service to that customer, and satisfy the customer so that he buys from you again should be the central focus of all entrepreneurial activity.

The greater clarity you have with regard to your ideal customer, the more focused and effective your marketing efforts will be. Everyone is in the business of customer satisfaction in some way. The most important activity of any entrepreneur is to clearly identify the very best customers for your product or service, and then focus all marketing, advertising and sales efforts on this particular type of customer.


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