Are You Unknowingly Turning Off Customers by The Way You Communicate?


Are You Unknowingly Turning Off Customers by The Way You Communicate?

We all face situations when our typical approach, that often works so well just does not achieve the results we are aiming for with everyone. How we behave makes perfect sense to us, but some customers do not respond how we thought they would and in some cases, seem to be annoyed or take offence at our approach. People very rarely set out to cause upset – they just behave differently because, well, they are different.

Customers today demand businesses of all sizes to provide superior levels of customer service and when they don’t feel listened to, understood or respected, they don’t come back. Businesses today must train staff to live by this customer service rule: one size does NOT fit all.

As humans, we all have what is referred to us a natural or preferred behavioural style. When we know our natural behavioural style, we can then take the steps to adjust our style to more adequately suit the style of our customers, and that’s when the magic happens. Even slight adjustments in our communication can have customers more likely to trust us, do business with us, spend more money with us and refer new business to us.

Oh how wonderful… and the best news is, it’s not magic – it’s DISC.

The 4 DISC Behavioural Styles

DISC Behavioural Profiling isn’t new. It goes as far back as Hippocrates and it goes a long way to helping us make sense of human behaviours. When you have the knowledge of the 4 DISC Behavioural Styles you become a more effective communicator, educator and motivator but more importantly – you become a more successful business owner and operator.

In reality, there are over 160 combinations that could make up your DISC Behavioural Style Profile, but you will find that 1 of the 4 styles is most natural for you and requires the least amount of energy.

Below as an overview of the 4 DISC styles and I’ve added some tips on how to successfully communicate with each:

D – Determined, Fast Paced and Task Focused.

  • – Likes challenges and taking control. Is direct, says what he/she thinks and can become annoyed by too many details.
How to communicate with a D Style

Be direct and specific. Do not dominate. He/She decides fast so act quickly.


I – Inspiring, Fast Paced and People Focused.

  • – Positive and good at influencing others. Like to talk and be sociable but may over promise because they are so eager to please.
How to communicate with a I Style

Be a friend. Have fun and speak about people. Schedule time for chatting.


S- Steady, Slower Paced and People Focused.

  • – Calm, helpful and modest. Aims to keep those around them stable and secure but can be taken advantage of due to their willingness to pitch in.
How to communicate with a S Style

Present issues logically. Be sincere. Do not dominate. Focus on people.


C – Compliant, Slower Paced and Task Focused.

  • – Precise, logical and matter-of-fact. Seek data and information to make sure things get done correctly. The need for research and to produce high quality work can see them focus too much on details and lose sight of the bigger picture.
How to communicate with a C Style

Provide facts. Be patient. Slow down. Do not pressure. Give plenty of detailed information.


Businesses who incorporate DISC into the Professional Development of themselves and their staff find 3 very clear benefits:

  1. Staff no longer complain about difficult customers. They know how to identify the 4 styles and can make communication adjustments to suit every customer.
  2. Sales Increase. Customers like to do business with people they like and staff who can adjust their style become more likeable to more customers
  3. New customers will be referred to you. Existing customers who find it easy to do business with you and your team will tell everyone they know about the great service. Word of Mouth is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing.

Good customer service is treating customers how you want to be treated. Excellent customer service is treating customers how they want to be treated.

Arm yourself and your staff with the DISC knowledge and the soft skills to provide excellent service to your customers and watch your business take off.

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Showing 4 comments
  • mm
    Carla Schesser

    Great article Cate! DISC is so interesting. 🙂

    • Cate

      Thanks Carla – I can’t tell you how many “lightbulbs” I’ve seen turn on when I share DISC with customer service providers.

  • Cate Scolnik

    Hi Cate,

    I love DISC – it’s fascinating and so much simpler than some of the other tools around (I’m thinking Myers Briggs). Thanks for sharing this piece. 🙂

    • Cate

      Hi Cate – Agree – DISC makes workplace interactions more about success and less about stress 🙂

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