If your boss asked you to build a thorough customer profile, would it take you an hour, a day, or a week? More importantly how would you go about building this profile? Below is a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.
It sounds simple, but do you REALLY know who your ideal customers are? You should have a customer profile for each one of your products and services because it gives you a clear picture of who you’re selling to and allows you to develop strategies to communicate more effectively.
This is a vital exercise for all businesses.
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20 Questions: Who Is Your Key Customer?
- What would a customer buy from you?
- What advantages do you want to sell them specifically? (Ex: If you sell air conditioning units, you are really selling comfort, cost savings, air purification, humidity control, no sweat stains, comfortable sleeping)
- Describe your typical customer.
- What is their age?
- Are they male or female?
- Where do your ideal customers live geographically?
- How do they earn a living?
- Describe your ideal customers’ likes and dislikes.
- Why would this person be interested in your product, company or service?
- Why would they buy from you as opposed to someone else?
- What does a customer want from your product or service?
- What makes your product or service more suitable to them than your competitors’ products or services?
- What are the most common specifications or types of orders your customers request?
- What factors are your customers likely to consider before making a purchase?
- What do they tell you they value about your deliverables?
- How will your ideal customer find out about your product or service? What sites do they visit, what stores do they shop in, where do they get their coffee?
- What have your most recent ideal customers said about your product or service?
- How does the cost of your product/service influence your customer’s decision to buy?
- List all the ways you currently contact your potential ideal customers. What is their preferred method of being contacted?
- What does your ideal customer tell you they value in your product or service?
Now you have a clearer view of your ideal customer (both hard and soft characteristics). Don’t go outside this target market.
Build Your Customer Profile Electronically in 5 Steps
Once you have answers to your customer profile questionnaire, it’s time to get your data into working order. If you don’t have an IT manager in-house, find a reputable vendor with strong service and tech background to assist.
- Hold a Scope of Work Meeting.Layout your core needs, including understanding your customer(s) and aligning your budget and goals. Discuss challenges like not having enough buyers or taking in orders far beneath set quotas.
- Hand off Your Customer Information.Give your IT manager or mail list processing partner all your customer information for the past 18 to 24 months. Provide everything, including name, title, phone numbers, email, mailing addresses and purchase history if available.
- Get a Snapshot Report or X-ray Report created of Your Ideal Customers.Partner with an outside mail list processing partner, and compare your file against a national database of businesses or consumers. They will identify key characteristics of your current customer list. There are a lot of vendors out there, so if you need help picking a partner, call us, and we can help with the process. There are a lot of nuances in the variety of reports. Be sure you understand why one type of report is better than another before selecting.
- Identify Key Data Elements in Your File.Pinpoint the common characteristics of your current customers, and use that information when you search for leads. Now that you have a better understanding of who your ideal customers are, it should be easy to purchase a list of leads that match your customer profile.
- Reap the Rewards of Your Work. The end result is a perfectly clear image of your ideal customer profile from the database your customers were matched against. This becomes your target prospect pool, which is by far more rich and apt to bear fruit than any list you would buy based on simple selections of income/sales revenue or any of the various al a carte demographic characteristics available from a list broker.
Defining your ideal customer profile is Direct Marketing 101, and it will save you lots of time and money in the long run.
Source: Reach Marketing