I've always known the importance of respecting diversity, but never more so than as a newlywed. I like dark chocolate and my husband likes milk chocolate. I have an amiable personality and my husband is more analytical. At first, I would get my feelings hurt if he responded in an abrupt manner, but I've since learned to read his mood and adjust my reactions. I've realized that the key to good communication is taking time to recognize our differences and make the necessary spur-of-the-moment adjustments.
As in love, so in business. Every customer has a unique sets of needs, and in order to successfully serve them, it's important to keep this diversity in mind. With every service encounter, personality styles come into play. The other day I came across a brief article from Adams Hayes, President of AH Digital FX Studios, which provides recognizable characteristics for different personality styles. I found the brief overview of each style insightful.
If a customer is analytical, he's probably going to want very detailed information. If you're dealing instead with a "driver," he's likely to want only a high-level overview of that information. Keep in mind that serving customers the way they like to be served affects their overall satisfaction, which in turn affects their loyalty to your company. So it pays (literally!) to recognize and respect the varying personality styles of your customers.
Challenge yourself to determine the personality style of each person you encounter. Whether it's a co-worker, your flight attendant, or the guy who fixes your computer, practice adjusting your style to theirs. Take note of how your adjustments improve the communication and help make the relationship more amicable. Have fun with it, and before you know it you'll be an expert at adjusting your style to meet that of your customer-just like I am at meeting my husband's.