The Psychology of Customer Engagement

Have you ever noticed how many models there are for dealing with different types of customers? I did a search for “customer personality types”, and got a multitude of responses, all with their own descriptions of the challenging customer types you can run across. Here are just the first three:

For example, the first one lists personality types like the “child”, “judge”, “negotiator”, etc… The people presenting these different models usually include a description of the personality type and then how to effectively deal with that particular personality. Having a model like this can be helpful. Using one, you can look at your specific situation and see how it resembles the model. Then, you look at what the model says about actions to take, and try to apply them in your real-life scenario. That’s how a model works.

This is the first post in my “Customer Engagement Psychology” blog series. In it, I am going to present a map that can be used for determining where you are in your interactions with your customers. You can then read the map to figure out where to go (or what steps to take). The map breaks down the interaction between you and your customer into a deeper level of understanding. So rather than saying “oh, my customer is a ‘judge’ and I need to act such a way”, the map will provide some understanding as to where you are, and you can then use the map to know how to get to where you want to go.

The map I have been using for over ten years now, that I will present, was developed by a pioneer in psychology and systems thinking. Her name is Virginia Satir. She brought systems thinking to the field of psychology. She traveled the world, conducting workshops, transforming individuals, families, and organizations. She developed many maps, vehicles, and tools to help people get better connected to themselves and the world around them. The particular map that I will introduce in this blog series point is that of self, other, and context.

Virginia died in 1989, and I did not know her. I have been fortunate enough to study with many of her students, who have carried her teachings while leading their own paths in psychology and systems thinking. Most notably, I’ve studied with Steven Young and traveled the country conducting workshops with him. I’ve also learned from Jean McLendon, Jerry Weinberg, and Laura Dodson, among others.

In the next post, I will explain self, other, and context.

2 thoughts on “The Psychology of Customer Engagement

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