The personality types of shoppers
are you a “control freak” or a “chatterbox”?
by sonali maria currie, contributor
Working in customer service is fun, because it throws varied experiences at you every day. Whether work is busy or slow, I love observing the personality types of customers, and I continue to feel intrigued by how different people can be. I have tried to describe, in a (hopefully) funny manner, how interesting it is to come across these different personalities on a daily basis.
The first kind of customer that comes to my mind is the “the Chatterbox.” It’s easy to spot them in a crowd. They are habitually on the phone or with a friend, and constantly talking. Chances are, they might even be yelling on the phone to cut out the noise around them, like the Friends song playing in the store for the 100th time. If they are with a friend, the Chatterbox will not notice that they have lost their friend’s long ago. In terms of their shopping habits, Chatterboxes tend to pick up items which they most likely do not need, and end up changing their minds and placing them on the shelves just before they hit the cashier on the way to checkout.
The next kind of customer is “the Supersaver”; they are the smartest breed of shoppers. They regularly know which items are discounted and which are not. They are ready with the weekly flyers and ads from around the city, and they are likely to have a bunch of coupons stacked with them as well. The quantity of items purchased by these customers is either huge or small, but nothing in between. They have quick eyes that can spot any mismatch in price between the display shelves and the scanning of an item, and they never hesitate to ask for compensation. It is quite possible that they have a good rapport with store employees in order to know when items will be sold at clearance price.
Another type is “the Control Freak,” and they are relatively easy to spot. They usually have items organized categorically in their carts with a list in their hands. They are likely to call the department manager if they find the green apples are advertised in the weekly flyer, but not available in the store. They hate being directed to any random checkout lane, and always prefer to let their favourite cashier touch their items. Control freaks aren’t bad people, they just know what they want and how they want it.
“The Observer” is an interesting kind of shopper. They observe items, objects and people in a way that even store management do not. They feel a sense of loyalty to the store, and are quick to report to customer service if they notice someone shoplifting. They are the ones who notice if the regular store greeter hasn’t been around in a while, and might even bring a get-well-soon card if they hear that the person is unwell, asking for it to be passed on.
Finally, the last kind of customer on my list would be those once-in-a-blue-moon shoppers who are rarely seen in the store. When they do turn up, they have two or three carts lined up with them, making sure they have enough supplies stocked for a month or two. These are customers who usually live several miles away from the city, and they tend to confuse entry and exit passages while navigating through the store.
Are there any types of shoppers you would add to the list? Do you recognize some of these? Try having some fun identifying them the next time you work or shop – maybe you will recognize yourself.