What Type Of Communicator Are You?

Every now and then Ofcom moves aside from its purely regulatory role to take a glance at the way in which our viewing or communicating habits are changing. The research does have a serious side; an understanding in how we use communication tools helps Ofcom to regulate changes within the industry but it also enables readers to play the “which type of person are you” game.

In this latest report, Ofcom have divided the UK population into five different categories, depending on how they choose to communicate. Ranging from the “always on” the divisions move through “enlightened”, “middle of the road” and “conventional” before finally coming to rest at “detached”.

A full breakdown of the categories is available on the Ofcom website but the research does bring up some interesting statistics. For example, those within the “detached” category are more likely to use quick forms of communication such as Twitter than the general population but are also least likely to choose to meet people face to face.

Understanding the differences in people’s preferred methods of communication is not simply an exercise for Ofcom; it can also have implications for organisations in general. Gaining an understanding of customer types can help businesses to more accurately focus their marketing and communication efforts. For example, a business with mainly elderly clients may need to structure their telephone answering systems in a very different way to one which markets to a younger generation.

With virtual switchboards now being able to automatically transfer calls, recognise caller numbers or operate via a push button or voice activated system the pathways which are open to callers are many and varied. Optimising these pathways to meet customer requirements can make a significant difference to caller demeanour and to the likelihood of eventual sales. Similarly, understanding customer types can drive marketing decisions; with certain clients being more open to marketing texts than to phone calls.

In the dim and distant past, when we wanted to communicate with clients the only choices were a simple telephone line, face to face visits or the mail. Nowadays with the permutations offered by a virtual switchboard, texts, social media and interactive advertising we are almost faced with an overwhelming choice. Understanding client types, and checking that understanding via the Callagenix “try before you buy” offering means that switchboard services can be optimised and are therefore more likely to result in happy customers.

Written by Lawrence Gow