Types of Customers & Customer Behavior in a Call Center

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  • 0:04 Puzzling
  • 0:50 Different and Varied
  • 1:25 Common Caller Behaviors
  • 3:44 Identifying Customer Problems
  • 4:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Customer problems are many and varied. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the different types of customers you may be confronted with and how to identify concerns that need resolution.


Working in a call center is a bit like putting together a 500-piece puzzle. One piece represents a customer with new computer technical problems. A few calls later, there's another piece: a customer frustrated by an erroneous charge on their statement. Later in the day, you get a piece that represents a customer trying to figure out where to send a return.

All day long, call center representatives work to find solutions for a host of different customer problems: general questions, technical problems, billing issues, complaints, returns, service concerns, the list goes on. Finding resolutions to these problems is a bit like finding the right place for each puzzle piece. All fitted together, it's a portrait of a day in the life of a customer service agent.

Different and Varied

If it's not already clear, the types of customers and the problems they present vary from day to day and even call to call. If you think about callers like different passengers on a bus, you'll see that not only does each one look and sound different but each has his or her own personality and challenges. That means they also have their own concerns or reasons for calling customer service.

Despite that, there are some common caller behaviors that most call center agents face in the course of a career or maybe even a day. Let's take a look at a few common caller behaviors.

Common Caller Behaviors

Chatty Chet: Chet just wants to chat about anything and everything. These types of callers slow your productivity and keep other callers waiting. Work to keep Chet on-topic without seeming rude or uninterested.

Blame Game Bill: It's all your fault, according to Bill. And, while you know better, it's best not to engage in passing blame around. Apologize genuinely where necessary and find a solution that all parties can agree to.

Know-It-All Ned: Ned may have dialed customer service, but he appears to already have all the answers. Engage him with words like ''we'' and ''us'' so he feels a part of a team solution.

Important Irma: Irma is the consummate VIP customer who expects special treatment. She may even hit you with a comment about how long she's been a customer or a ''Don't you know who I am?'' Show them you're capable of handling their concern and tell them when you're going the extra mile to do something for them.

Angry Al: So many callers will be angry, like Al, before you even accept the phone call. The key here is being patient and calm and finding a quick and acceptable resolution.

Ladder Lisa: Lisa wants to speak to your supervisor almost as soon as you answer her call. Reassure Lisa that you'll get to the bottom of her concerns and work swiftly toward a solution.

Yellin' Ellen: Some people yell because they're angry, and some people yell because it's just their style. Adjust your volume accordingly and speak to them in a regular speaking voice. Don't answer their yell with a yell.

Perplexed Patricia: Perplexed Patricia isn't quite sure what she wants: this item or that one, this return option or a different one. It's best to approach her with complete honesty and use examples of other customers to help her decide.

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