“Customers buy for their reasons, not yours.”Orvel Ray Wilson
Nowadays, customers have become more assertive about what they want from brands and why. That’s why it is imperative for businesses first to understand their customers, explore their pain points and then build offers that fulfill their needs.
In order to successfully market and sell a product or service, you need to know all there is about their needs, preferences, and expectations from a brand.
Start by creating customer profiles that personalize the marketing efforts according to your ideal buyer’s persona and keep customers first on your list of priorities. It is vital to incorporate marketing that is adaptive, responsive, and impactful – that’s the only way to get viable results.
Here’s an in-depth guide to customer profiles. Learn to create one, and find some of the best examples to help you get started with building a buyer persona.
What Is A Customer Profile And Why Is It Important?
A customer profile is a thorough document that includes details of your target audience. It carries the necessary description of a group of customers based on factual information.
You’ll find that it has information related to their interests, pain points, buying patterns, touchpoint interactions, demographics, and more. This coherent representation of the buyer personas is essential to devise an effective strategy that directs the sales team.
In fact, a refined customer persona helps your company entice the right target audience, come up with impactful features, and foster long-lasting relationships with them.
For instance, if your ideal customer loves to engage with your brand on Instagram, you probably need to focus on improving your marketing efforts on that particular platform.
Think of your company as a ship. Without proper direction, you’ll get lost at sea. Similarly, a well-rounded customer profile shows your marketing and sales teams the route to take – helping you ensure that your company is headed in the right direction.
It helps you devise and implement better strategies and get an idea of how to approach the intended audience.
How To Create A Customer Profile – A Step-By-Step Guide
When it comes to creating customer profiles, you can’t just rely on presumptions.
It is imperative to take a systematic approach that can help you gather and analyze the information about your ideal customers.
The best way to figure out, understand, and reach your target audience is to consider their needs, buying patterns, and challenges. This way, you narrow things down and find the specific data.
Here are four straightforward steps that can help you create a customer profile:
Identify And Define Your Customer Base
First, identify and analyze potential customers who are willing to buy your products or services.
Explore your current customer base to find people who get the most out of your offerings. Invite your employees and sales team to tell you who they think your ideal customers are.
Be ready for some surprising answers because everybody will have a different take on this.
For example, your CFO might believe that the ideal customer is the one that has the maximum customer lifetime value (CLV). In contrast, the sales representatives might base their opinion on specific common attributes. Both the perspectives are fair enough and valid!
Some of the questions that can help you get started with the analysis of your ideal customers.
- Which customers have stayed the longest with your company?
- Which customers provide referrals to their family, friends, etc.?
- What are the customer’s pain points?
- What is the customer journey map?
The key is to have a close look at your existing customers and their buying behavior.
If your business is brand new, focus on the ultimate problem and help the end-user face those challenges. But for that, it is essential to understand your customers and how and why they leverage your product or service.
Analyze The Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map is a detailed document that outlines customer touchpoints that a buyer passes through to reach the final purchasing stage. But don’t worry. You don’t have to start from scratch. You can use a template to create a customer journey map.
While it takes time to draft one, a customer journey map narrows down the details and presents a comprehensive picture of your buyers and their interaction with the brand. However, it’s not necessary to create a complete journey map of a customer.
Furthermore, it is imperative to consider the different segments your customer base is divided into, such as:
Demographics – This is the most basic information about your customers, which includes gender, age, race, ethnicity, etc.
Psychographics – This includes hobbies, interests, behavior, etc. If you know your ideal customer reads a specific industry-related website or a blog page, you can cater to them by a guest blog and be aware of your business.
Technographics – By using technographics, you can figure out what technology your ideal customers are using and use tactics like account based marketing to target them.
Socioeconomics – Socioeconomic related considerations include education, income, occupation, etc. This can help you assess what works for your ideal customer. For instance, if you have a high-end product, you know who to target and reach to maximize the possibility of success.
Furthermore, you can also leverage the best A/B testing tools available to evaluate customer response and gauge what helps you drive conversions. That way, you can also have insights with respect to the cart abandonment rates, drop-offs, and customer attrition. You can also use tools like LinkedIn analytics tools, Facebook analytics tools, etc. to get better insights of your customers on social media.
Analyzing the processes a customer goes through will give you an idea of the ideal customer base you’re trying to reach. That way, you also understand their challenges, goals, and needs and what customers expect from your business.
Collect Customer Feedback And Complaints
When it comes to the customer profile, it is relatively easy to build one using the limited data that your team provides you. Naturally, you have to draft it from the little information available.
Once you are through with the customer journey map, it’s time to track down and interview the most loyal customers. When you interview your customers about their preferences, you get in-depth insights about their perception, overall experience, likes, and dislikes about your offerings, and more.
If they prefer other vendors or options over you, ask them, and get to know what prompted them to do so. The primary goal is to comprehend what precisely appeals to your customers and if you are able to offer them.
That way, you can tweak your customers’ profile and specify the types of customers or companies that may be interested in your product or service. Furthermore, these insights about customers go a long way and are impactful for your selling strategy.
But the real insights come when you meet your customers, speak to them, get to know about their experience and other senses, and leverage the gathered information to define your ideal customer profile.
Above all, customer interviews allow face-to-face interaction, which helps you read customer reactions to your questions in real-time and gauge the raw data that can’t be collected otherwise.
Build Your Ideal Customer Profile
Now that you have all the necessary information to complete your target customer profile, it’s time to develop the strategies you want to leverage to reach your existing and potential customers.
As you build your customer profile, it is imperative to ensure that you qualify and examine the contextual information to have a deep understanding of how your offerings add value.
Furthermore, you can also adopt the customer-centric e-commerce approach. But what is customer-centric e-commerce? It refers to delivering a seamless e-commerce experience to the customers.
The entire process also helps you refine the customer experience optimization process of the existing customer base. This way, you can also work on and increase customer retention rates. Various customer retention tools can effectively improve customer loyalty and, ultimately, retention rates.
Excellent Customer Profile Examples
Now that we have had a basic understanding of forge an ideal customer profile, it’s time to look at the best examples from the business world. It can help you decide on the templates and formats best suited to your company.
Furthermore, you can also add or subtract the information accordingly that can help you draft a better and clearer buyer persona.
While the customer profile basics remain the same, there are slight differences that can be impactful. So, let’s take a look at some of the best buyer personas examples for both B2C and B2B organizations.
The Five Abilities
The Five Abilities from Rick Wong is one of the best examples of an ideal customer profile. It helps you determine if a lead is viable and considers five key areas to gauge each group or prospect.
Furthermore, each of the five criteria has three outcomes with a score. You can simply move through each division and assign a score to your buyer in specific categories. Ultimately, you reach a total score, which you can leverage to sort and rank your customers.
For instance, you can set the standard criteria that any customer who scores above six will be considered an ideal customer. This approach gives you a quick and rough way to narrow down the group of prospects.
Source: The Five Abilities
This ClearVoice buyer persona is an excellent example of the kind of B2B audience a business might need. It includes a concise description of the customer that has all the necessary information for a B2B persona. It explains who John is while offering necessary details about his job position and making decisions at his organization.
The below example covers and explains all the essential information about John and also precisely other aspects related to him in a quick yet accurate way.
Buffer is yet another example of leading tools that can help you build stellar B2B customer personas. It offers details in an image so you can scan and read through it effortlessly.
The customer profile template of Buffer can help you comprehensively provide details. From the goals, values challenges to her job role and responsibilities
Customer profiles made using Referral SaaSquatch include more information about purchasing decisions. Its templates can help you discover how a customer plays a crucial role as an influencer and the decision-maker.
The example below carries a detailed description of the different features such as the choice of content that interests him, attitude, pain points, etc. that can impact the purchase decision.
Source: Referral SaaSquatch
Dribbble User is an ideal example of a B2C customer profile that outlines feelings, pain points, and needs of a buyer. All this information helps you comprehend how your product or service can help address their concerns and solve their problem.
Source: Dribbble User
The bottom line is that it is essential for businesses to pay attention to their customer base and their strategies.
Although there are numerous customer acquisition tools out there, it is pivotal to build an ideal customer profile that accurately describes the buyer persona and considers your customers’ preferences. After all, it all comes down to satisfying and retaining them before everything else.
If you wish to generate leads that are easy to close, start building an ideal customer profile and devise an effective sales strategy that helps drive conversions.
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Will Cannon is the founder of the SaaS companies UpLead and Signaturely. He puts a lot of emphasis on creating suitable customer profiles and knows about their relevance.