Are your customers ‘walkers’ or ‘talkers’?

You and your salespeople may be getting a distorted view of customer satisfaction unless you understand what types of customers you have.

For instance, dissatisfied customers can usually be divided into two types – walkers and talkers.

Talkers are usually the ones who will explain in great detail why they’re dissatisfied. As a result, you know exactly why they’re upset and what you can do to satisfy them.

The problem: Talkers usually make up a small minority of customers. Research shows that about 91% of unhappy customers are walkers. They will just walk away without telling you why.

To get a more balanced view of what customers care about, it’s a good idea to try to get feedback from walkers as well. It’s usually tougher, because walkers are harder to identify.

Here are some tips to share with your salespeople to get customers to open up:

  • When you ask customers whether they’re satisfied, listen closely to the response. Walkers usually tend to withdraw when you ask hard questions about quality, delivery or service. They may say things like “yeah, sure” or “fine.” Try to dig for specifics.
  • If the customer expresses the slightest bit of dissatisfaction, ask questions like these: “Could you tell me how we let you down? I’d like to make sure this doesn’t happen to you or to another customer again.”

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