As a business owner, it is important that you know your customers well; you can do so by creating a customer profile. By creating a customer profile, you will be better placed to market and sell your products to your prospective customers. Creating customer profiles should be one of the first moves that a brand makes when they are about to create a marketing strategy to reach out to prospective customers.
What Is A Customer Profile?
Also referred to as buyer personas or user profiles, it is a document that explains about your target audience with as much detail as possible. A customer profile includes information about demographics, behaviors, motivations, attitude, lifestyle, firmographic factors, and so on. Everything that you want to know about a group of customers is captured using this description. When you have refined customer profiles, you will be able to create impactful products as well as build features that your customers are looking for.
How Does Creating Customer Profiles Help Your Business?
#1 Helps Find New Leads:
When you find details about your customers, it will help you understand the exact characteristics that your target customers share. It helps the sales team in identifying the right leads based on the information that is gathered using customer profiles.
#2 Helps With Account-Based Marketing (ABM):
With the help of customer profiling, it becomes possible to get detailed information about the customers that are being targeted. In ABM, the marketing and sales team works together where they find out accounts that are most likely to become customers and give them ample attention. Specific strategies are created to engage with these high-value accounts. The correct implementation of ABM helps with increasing marketing ROI, generating more conversations, aligning sales with marketing, increasing qualified leads, and so on.
#3 Builds Loyalty:
Customer retention is one area that many businesses don’t concentrate on because they don’t realize the importance of retaining them. Most businesses make the colossal mistake of only placing their attention on converting new leads. Customer profiles help with retention as you can use a lead’s interests to personalize the post-purchase marketing campaigns that are being sent.
#4 Qualify Your New Targets With Ease:
The number of prospects who reach out to you will not translate into becoming your customers. It implies that you cannot afford to nurture all the prospects as it will not only waste your time but you will also end up wasting a lot of resources. For every prospect that reaches out to you, you can map them across your customer profile using the data that you have already collected about them.
#5 Spend Less On Ads:
When you have the ideal customer profile in front of you, you will know the exact characteristics that your target audiences will have and use that information for your marketing strategy. You can improve your marketing and target people who are a part of the customer segments according to your ideal customer profile.
#6 Product-Market Fit:
You will find that there are different consumer groups who all have varied interests. With the help of ideal customer profiles, you will know what each customer group wants and, therefore, create product lines that match their expectations. This will ensure that you will never have to worry about creating a product that customers don’t want.
Step-By-Step Process To Create A Customer Profile?
#1 Decide Your Objectives:
You need to identify the reason behind wanting to find a customer profile. While it is an exercise that we would ask our customers to compulsorily do, you will still need to have a clear idea of why you are doing it.
- Is it to study the existing customers right now so that you could be clear on who to target?
- Do you want to refine your existing targeting methods?
- Are you looking to increase your revenue by targeting your most high-value customers?
- Would you like to understand where you should spend most of your marketing budget on?
- Does the business want to know which are the goals and metrics that need to be tracked?
- Is it to ensure that your marketing and sales team have its goals aligned?
- Would you like to create a much-improved customer experience?
There are many other reasons that could be considered for working on your ideal customer profile. By using customer profiling, you will easily be able to find resolutions for the above problems with ease.
#2 Audit How You Function Now
If you want to improve your business prospects, you should know where you stand at this juncture. You should find out how your customers are using your product right now, what are the ways using which your customers reach out to you, and so on.
Get insights about your operations from your sales and marketing department. Write a note of all the interactions that the sales team has had with the customers directly. Make a note of the kind of customers who purchase from you, which are the channels that they use to purchase from you and how they found your business. The marketing department will be able to give you quantitative information that can be used to know more about the customer and their wants.
#3 Go Through Your Customer Journey Map
The Customer Journey Map is a document that outlines each of the touchpoints that a prospect must pass through before they become a customer. It can be a detailed offer, and it might not be possible to collect all of the information in a short period of time. How does mapping the customer journey help? It will give you a detailed picture of the kind of people who are buying your products, how they are using it to further their business and how they interact with your brand.
Having a clear idea of the journey that your customer will take will give you a deeper understanding of what they want, the challenges they face and the goals they have. It will help you refine the goals of the customer and see how your product can help them achieve the same.
#4 Connect With Your Customers
Once you have a fair understanding of your customers, you will be able to get a detailed idea of what your customers want. It will help you create a strategy that will help them achieve their goals with you. If not for an ideal customer profile, this kind of targeting will be hard to accomplish.
5 Ways To Understand Your Customers
1. Use feedback surveys:
Take the help of an online survey tool like SurveySparrow to understand your customers. Gather quantifiable data about them, which will help you make strategic decisions. Using all of this, you can make iron-clad decisions that will propel the business towards success.
2. Reward feedback:
Offer incentives to your customers for completing the surveys. It will help you increase the number of entries. The more the number of responses you collect, the higher are the chances of getting refined information that is more accurate. Provide appropriate rewards so that they are enthused enough to respond to your call for completing surveys.
3. Focus Group Discussions:
Another method to pick the brains of your customers is to use Focus Group Discussions (FGD). Ask relevant questions to your customers in the form of group discussions where they could share their opinions, assumptions and exercises. All of this will help in making the information gathering process an effective one.
4. Use Web Analytics:
One easier way to understand the activity that goes on in your website is to track your web analytics. It also helps in refining your customer profiles. One of the best tools that are freely available is Google Analytics, and it has a lot of features that can be used to build your customer profile.
5. Research About Your Customers:
There is a lot of information that you can collect about your customers without even having to reach out to them directly. At first, you can spend a considerable amount of time to figure out the common traits between your customers, look at their customer journey and the path that they have taken before becoming a customer.
Here are some of the customer profiling tools that you can use:
For population studies- The ONS or Census.
For firmographic data, you can use LinkedIn, AngelList, Kvckr, and Alexa.
You will also be able to get information from government studies, research papers, social media conversations, alumni forums, and so on.
If you are unable to get your customers to drop in for an interview or an FGD, you can use virtual discussions to further the cause. While it will not fetch the same kind of results that you can pull in a while doing face-to-face, it is the best alternative possible. In fact, we would go out on a limb and say that asking for customer feedback with the help of an online tool like SurveySparrow will let you reach out to more people.
#5 Identify The Contextual Details:
Once you have a lot of information, the next step is to ensure that which are the ones that are specific to your industry. Let’s say you have a SaaS-based tool. Here are some of the things that you would need to know about your customer.
- What are the channels which are best to reach out to them?
- Why do they need my product?
- What are the pain points that I solve for them?
- What is the technology stack that they use?
- How do they plan to get rid of the pain points?
- Have they used any other tools to solve their pain points?
- How do I show them that my tool will help solve their issue with ease?
- How can I differentiate my business from that of my competitors?
- Would my solution fit into the larger scheme for my customers?
The answers to the above questions will help the customers as you will be better placed to reach their goals and objectives with the solution that you have created.
#6 Learn More About Your Industry:
A customer from industry A will be completely different from someone from industry B even if they were part of the same customer profile for a different product, isn’t it? Knowing this simple thing and acting accordingly will help businesses to attract and retain their customers.
- How do your customers perceive the industry that you are in?
- Do you know the different competitors that you are fighting for attention with your customers?
- Do you know how they market their goods?
- What are the various channels that they use to reach out to their prospective customers?
- Who are the most profitable businesses in your industry?
- What kind of advantage do they have? Is it possible for you to leverage that advantage too? If yes, how?
- What are their onboarding tactics like?
Having answers to the above questions will put you in a sphere where there will be hardly anyone else competing with you.
#7 Build Your Ideal Customer Profile:
The next step is to use all of the information to create an ideal customer profile that will help you in so many ways, which we have outlined during the course of this article. No matter how big a company you are reaching out to, they are all filled with people who have their own likes, dislikes and pet peeves. In fact, that’s what you would be targeting with the help of a customer profile.
Once you have the various attributes for your customer profile, the next step is to identify the various individuals who are part of the organization. Find out the decision-makers for each of these accounts. Here is a bunch of information that you can use to create your ideal customer profile.
What should be included in a customer profile?
- Age range
- Education level
- Experience in the organization
- How will the customer be using our product?
- What are the features that we provide which our competitors do not?
- What are the marketing channels which we use to reach out to them?
- Do we have content to help them with taking an organic decision?
When building a customer profile, the deeper you go, the better will be the information that you will be getting.
Examples of Customer Profile:
#1 Basic Information
If you are looking to build a basic customer profile, then the below customer profile is a great example of what is enough to build a reasonably accurate customer profile.
Head of Human Resources at ABC Corporation
Has been with ABC for more than 15 years. She started out as an HR executive
Happily married with 2 children aged 6 and 9.
Age range- 35-45
Double income $158,000
Has an assistant.
Sports aficionado, especially baseball.
Totally involved with her work but craves for work-life balance.
#2 Five Abilities- Rick Wong
This is a great way to determine whether the prospect in contention is worth spending more time on. In this system, there are five key criteria that are used to assess each prospect, and each of them has three possible outcomes based on which the decision should be made. So what do you do? Assign an arbitrary score based on your interaction with the customer against each category. Based on the final scores, you can rank the prospects.
#3 HubSpot- Distinct Groups
This is an example taken from HubSpot. In this, the customers are divided into three different categories. The layout is presented in such a way that you can compare the different profiles as detailed descriptions about each type of customer is given, including some of their preferences. Using this layout, businesses can make ample changes to their marketing and sales strategies.
#4 Based On Customer’s Interests
In this, the interests of the customers based on demographic and psychographic factors are taken into consideration. It also includes various information that is related to their interests, gender, job, location, culture, how much they can use money as leverage, and so on. When you have this information with you, you will be able to come up with strategies that will strategically help the customers.
Customer profiles are of different types; some are extremely detailed, while some consist of only a few details. You need to find out what you want and invest your time and effort in making that possible instead of using a one-size-fits-all strategy for customer profiles. By using customer profiling effectively, you will be able to create a 360-degree change in the organization. Right from creating more effective marketing campaigns to increasing lead conversions, the business will be in much better shape than earlier.
If you are looking to take the help of an online survey tool like SurveySparrow to collect information from your customers, you can use the plethora of features that it offers to gather as much information as possible. SurveySparrow is one of the most popular online survey tools, thanks to its varied set of features, starting from its conversational interface to its ability to create smart surveys and custom workflows. Creating surveys doesn’t take much time at all. In fact, with our drag-and-drop feature, it will hardly take a few minutes.