Businesses are increasingly trying to tap into the minds of their customers in order to cater to their needs more effectively. By identifying who the customer is, they can be a step closer to knowing what he wants. Customer profiling essentially means getting to know your customer, and then designing tailor-made products and services specifically to meet their requirements. With profiling you can identity your customer, their behavior and buying patterns.
Customer profiling essentially has these two dimensions:
This would include the very basic information regarding a customer like age, gender, work information, geographic location etc. Businesses decide upon the variables they want to isolate for this particular dimension, and they can vary from business to business. The variables mentioned above can be accessed through already existing reports, censuses and online surveys.
Customers can further be grouped by similar psychological behaviors or tendencies. Businesses generally analyze variables such as hobbies, lifestyle choices, perceptions, and buying patterns to create a psychological profile of a given customer. This information, however, is slightly trickier to gather because customers grow and change overtime meaning that this is an ever evolving dimension. You need to get to the source to collect this information and thus the usage of surveys and questionnaires can greatly assist in getting a better understanding of the customer in question. This information needs to be kept up-to-date and for that purpose, businesses need to make sure they contact the customer at least once a year. A third party can also be contacted to get a second opinion about the customer’s tastes and preferences.
Businesses can also get to know their customers better with the help of social media. Companies can also conduct surveys and polls using different social media channels. Customers can be asked to fill in questionnaires so that customer profiles are created accordingly.
Always look for evidence while profiling instead of making assumptions. Look for facts that determine an individual’s preferences and ensure accuracy during profile construction. Marketing strategies, products and services can be customized by companies according to the identified customer type and market segmentation.
Businesses can also create powerful customer profiles by using marketing analytics that predict future buying behavior of customers.
After having gathered the information and making personas for your customer, how do you proceed? It’s a simple concept really. You start off by looking at customer demands and then you look at your business goals. What outcome does your business seek from its operations?Based on that information, prioritize. Tap into the customers’ buying behavior and seek answers to questions such as:
Sales and marketing strategies can be devised based on answers to these questions.
Through profiling you know where your customers are located and what their preferred medium of communication is. Hence, a company can choose the appropriate marketing channel for their products according to this preference. This will enable businesses to reach out to the right customer through the right communication channel, ensuring that the message is delivered to increase sales.
Businesses need to focus on their most valued customers and improve their experiences while shopping. After you have identified and understood what your customer wants, make sure you deliver your services accordingly.
If a customer prefers a service at a particular time or in a particular manner, make sure that you cater to this preference. For example, if you are in the restaurant business and you have a regular customer who is fond of a particular item on the menu and likes it served on a hot plate with extra topping, ensure that it is remembered by your team. This will make the customer feel special since he or she will get the feeling that your business cares.
Similarly, if a certain product is to be delivered and your customer prefers delivery to be early in the morning, ensure your company has that noted and delivers in accordance with the preferred time. Service quality can be highly improved once customer preference is identified via profiling. This will not only result in better customer experiences but also brand loyalty and business success.
Profiling helps in determining which medium of interaction is favored by customers. Hence, companies can deploy relevant customer care staff to talk to clients keeping this choice in mind.
If customer care representatives have prior data available to them about the customer, they will have a general background on who the customer is and what their requirements are. If it’s a returning customer, the representative should have access to information from previous conversations so they can talk and engage with the customer accordingly.
Giving access to employees on information about the customer, will enable them to have better conversations and provide a better overall customer experience.
From a sales perspective, if information is made available that a particular customer prefers a certain kind of product, the conversations can be kept focused and similar products can be pitched to them.
Companies can analyze the available data on customers and make future decisions accordingly. Customer profiling can be helpful in determining the potential feasibility of a new location. After analyzing the customer preferences from a particular locality, you can decide if having an outlet at that particular location would be profitable for your business in the long run. On the other hand, businesses can also see if a product is unpopular in a particular locality and based on that information amend their future business plans and strategies.
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