What are the Types of Customers?

What are the Types of Customers?

Great customer service is based on many things, and knowing your customers is one of them. Any team which takes a singular approach to customer services, need to start working harder. Customers come in all shapes and sizes and a team that customises their approach will be by far more successful than one that doesn’t. Types of customers include, potential, new, impulse, discount and loyal. 

Depending on which customer you are dealing with you should aim to tailor your approach to address their needs. Vitally, you need to recognise what type of customer you are dealing with and respond accordingly. In addition, you should attempt to discover why somebody is buying from you. In order to get the customer what they want, you must firstly listen to what they want.

Five sales-oriented types of customers:

  1. Potential customer

This customer is technically speaking, not your customer yet. In this circumstance, it is up to you to change this. You need to begin to build up a relationship with them. Revolving around the customer is key. They must feel comfortable and confident that you are helping them. Find the spark of interest that brought them to your business in the first place and build on it. 

Show the customer what you can offer. Use the initial spark as a way to show the customer your products. Forget going in with a sales pitch and bombarding them with product information. Always start with them doing the talking. Why are they in your business today, what are they looking for, how can you help? Actively listen to their responses. Show them you are listening by summarising what they have said and checking if your understanding is correct. Use the information they have given you to help them. Make sure not to over crowd your customer. Tell them you are available for help or advice at any time. 

2. New customer

This customer has purchased something from you and is new to your products. At this point it’s your job to make sure their first experience runs as smoothly as it possibly can. You’ve made a sale which is great, but now you need to turn this into positive feedback and ideally, a loyal customer. 

Once the customer has your product there should be ongoing support; the option to return if unsuitable, help to use the product, a guarantee and a future contact option. This will generate trust and good faith, both vital for a successful business. 

3. Impulsive customer

This customer won’t need much convincing. Unlike other customers, the ideal approach to this is to stand back and make the process as easy as possible. The impulsive customer will be put off by anything which complicates their purchase. Does it require personal details, can they use a bank card, are you queues too long, are there staff at the till etc. To make the most of impulsive buyers you must always endeavour to make the purchasing process as straight forward as possible. 

4. Discount buyer

A discount buyer is always on the hunt for a bargain. They like your products but wouldn’t normally buy it full price. So in this instance there is no point in trying to up-sell your products. Likewise, these customers are fair weather friends and unlikely to become loyal customers. Once the deal expires they will be gone, only to return when another deal begins. To turn a discount buyer into frequent customer you need to consider how your product will impact them once they have it. Work on showing them that it is worth the money, with or without a deal. Let them know what you can give them, that can’t be beat anywhere else. It’s a long-shot but always worth a try.

5. Loyal customer

Your best customer. They regularly contribute to your revenue, provide positive feedback and recommend you to others and generate new customers. 

With this customer you should try and learn as much as you can. What brings them back to your business? What are the products they are buying and why? 

Really make the most of this customer by giving them a platform. Perhaps they could feature in a case study, on social media, or a marketing campaign. And, whatever you do, make sure that they stay excited about your product and business.


Engage in Learning provide Customer Service training courses which will help you understand why good customer service should be a crucial part of your business and how you can achieve it. The Customer Service Essentials course will show you how to evaluate the real impact of poor and good customer service.

Our Customer Service Essentails course can be found here