One of the most important parts of any business is understanding who your customer is. Customer profiles are “customer types,” which are created to represent the typical users of a product or service, and are used to help make customer-focused decisions without confusing the scope of the project with personal opinion. Here’s a quick 5 step beginner’s guide of steps to follow when creating your own customer profiles:
1. Understand your products, services, and the way they’re actually being used.
The first and most crucial step in creating an accurate customer profile is fully understanding your own products, services, and your mission as an organization. The process is ongoing, but it is essential to understand who you want your customer to be and how that relates to the ways your products and services are developed and packaged.
The way you position your services and/or products affects the type of people that decide to use them and must be monitored accordingly to ensure that your services and products are of the highest value to your customer. By examining the customer’s use of your products and services, you’ll be able to see how your customer’s use of your offerings changes over time and how you should respond to these changes. In other words, your business offerings shift to better suit your customer’s needs.
Also, keep in mind that your brand’s mission also affects the type of customers that do business with your company. Your mission needs to be able to alter to match your customer’s needs and interests as time progresses and trends or habits change.
2. Get feedback from your customers.
To create the most accurate customer profile possible, you need to survey your audience consistently to get their feedback on your offerings as well as their perception of your company. Tools like Survey Monkey, Checkbox or Survata are helpful and affordable for business of all sizes looking to survey their audience.
There’s no denial that it can be difficult to get your customers to take part, which is why it is always good to have incentives for participation—like $10 off their next purchase if they fill out a survey. Be sure to make the survey enjoyable, as well. Customers won’t finish the survey if they start to feel overwhelmed or feel like whatever incentive you’re offering isn’t worth the hassle.
3. Identify the customer based on demographics, psychographics, behavioral and environmental factors, and more.
You’re on your way to finding your targeted customer audience, but you will need to identify them at a deeper level as well. As the title for this section suggests, find out their interests, gender, job role, location, and more. The more information you can gather on your customers, the more accurate you’ll be in winning the customer to do business with you instead of your competition. This could be done by a customer analytics firm, such as Buxton. We gather all sorts of data on consumers and use that data to map out the best locations to set up shop and the best households to target with your marketing messages.
4. Keep your customer profiles up to date; consistency is key.
Once you gather all the information you can, document your findings in a database with an easy to read template. Remember that the template you make for each of your customer types should be the same. Having sections for demographics, behaviors and habits, psychographics, and environment (societal surrounding) would be a good start for your customer profile template. That way, when any updates need to be made, the files will be easy to find and the sections can be updated with little chance for error.
5. Survey your customers to gain insight on changing habits, preferences, and interests.
Last, but not least, you want to survey your customers quarterly to stay up to date on habits, preferences, and interests. These will always change over time based on both the customer’s experience and market trends. Additionally, you want to also send out a new survey when your company evolves and tries something new. It’s always important to get that customer feedback after your company launches something. That feedback you’ll receive will tell you what things worked, what didn’t, and what needs improvement. In this case, information is everything.
In the End
Customer profiling is a way to create a portrait of your customers to help you make design decisions concerning your service. Through these 5 basic steps, your company will be well on its way to obtaining that customer profile that will be a great help as your organization grows and evolves.
Buxton can help you define and find those valued customers. Contact us to learn how.