I know – you’re probably thinking, “of course I can say who my customer is”. But I challenge you to identify 10 things about your ideal customer – 10 things that paint a picture of who your customer is.
If you were able to do that exercise easily, I still urge you to keep on reading because (a) I’ve got a list of questions below that can help you learn even more about your customers and (b) if you haven’t already, you should try to validate your understanding of your customer, just to make sure your information is absolutely correct.
On the other hand, if you were not able to describe 10 things about your ideal customer, then this article will most definitely be of immense value to you.
Let’s start off by defining an “ideal customer”. Every business (or at least every product or service within a business) should have an ideal customer in mind. Your ideal customer is a real or imagined personality for whom you make your products and services.
It not only helps, but is absolutely necessary for the success of your business, to know exactly who your ideal customer is. Why? Because then you can make sure that you:
- Design your products and services in the best way to serve them
- Write marketing copy that speaks directly to their needs, wants, concerns and more
- Have enough information to be able to cultivate a relationship with them (which is great for long term revenue)
Typically, businesses have one of two issues with their customer profiles. They either believe that everyone is their customer (or a wide range of very different people), and therefore cannot narrow down their customer profile to one person (or type of person), or they know they have a target customer, but don’t have the detailed information on that customer.
To build your ideal customer’s profile, you can start off with any data that you already have and use that to get the foundation of your customer profile ready. But the truth is, a lot of the information that’s really going to make a difference isn’t going to be available in your CRM or alternative data mart. To see what I mean, go through the toolkit below. Questions like “Do you know your customer’s fears?” are most likely not going to be found in the customer data that you already have. The detailed customer profile covers a lot more than demographic and socioeconomic information. So to fill in the gaps and get a full, informative profile together, you’ll need to reach out to your customers (or potential customers) and ask them some questions. You can do this via an online survey, a face-to-face discussion, over the phone or any other way you can think of.
I’ve listed questions below, but if you go to Customer Profile Questions in the Customer Experience Toolkit section, you’ll get a more visually appealing print out that you can write your answers in directly.
How old is your customer?
Where does your customer live?
What is your customer’s nationality?
What is your customer’s ethnic background?
What is your customer’s gender?
Work & Education
Do you know your customer’s educational background?
Can you describe your customer’s work experience?
Can you describe your customer’s current job?
Can you say what your customer’s income is?
Can you describe your customer’s relationship status?
Can you describe your customer’s marital status?
Does your customer have children?
Beliefs, Needs & Wants
Can you describe what your customer’s core beliefs and values are?
Do you know your customer’s fears?
Can you describe your customer’s life goals?
Can you describe what makes your customer happy?
Can you describe your customer’s struggles?
Can you describe your customer’s needs?
Can you describe your customer’s wants?
Can you describe your customer’s typical day?
Can you describe what your customer thinks of first thing in the morning?
Can you describe what your customer thinks of before sleeping at night?
Can you describe your customer’s style?
Can you describe your customer’s personality?
Do you know who your customer’s role models are?
Do you know what your customer likes to read?
Do you know what your customer likes to listen to?
Do you know what your customer likes to watch?
Do you know which social media channels your customer likes to use?
Do you know what your customer likes to do for fun?
Can you describe what your customer does to unwind?
Do you know what brands your customer loves?
Do you know which brands your customer likes to follow?
Do you know which influencers your customer likes to follow?
So now let me ask you again – can you say who your customer is?
What are you biggest challenges with understanding your customer? Do you have any current or planned projects to develop detailed customer profiles? Post your comments and any questions below, and if you can help anyone else out with an answer, don’t hesitate to do so! As always, if you’ve found this article useful, share it with someone who’ll benefit from it as well!