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Understanding your customer profile

From: Thinking Like a Leader

Video: Understanding your customer profile

Every company has a unique customer profile, a general description of who the typical customer is. When you really know who your customers are, you'll find it easier to understand them. You'll communicate more effectively with your customers and serve them better when you understand not only the ways in which you're similar, but also your differences. We've provided a worksheet that will help you understand the customer profile. This particular worksheet would be valuable to complete as a group exercise. You can also do it individually if you'd like.

Understanding your customer profile

Every company has a unique customer profile, a general description of who the typical customer is. When you really know who your customers are, you'll find it easier to understand them. You'll communicate more effectively with your customers and serve them better when you understand not only the ways in which you're similar, but also your differences. We've provided a worksheet that will help you understand the customer profile. This particular worksheet would be valuable to complete as a group exercise. You can also do it individually if you'd like.

Your marketing department should be able to help you find out this information, but if that's not an option, just give your best guess. The worksheet asks for two types of information, demographics and psychographics. Demographics are the physical description, the observable details of your customer. They include things like the typical age of your customer, the typical gender, typical income level, where they live, and other physical descriptions that are observable. The upper section of the worksheet deals with demographics.

The second section of the worksheet deals with psychographics. Psychographics are what's going on inside of their head and heart. This includes their Activities, Interests, Opinions, Attitudes about life, and their Values. With your fellow employees, or by yourself, complete these two sections of the worksheet and create a profile of the average customer. Try to be as specific as you can. Instead of writing that your customers are between the age of 30 and 40, write that their age is 36.

Remember, we're looking for an exact description of the average customer. In each of these sections, you'll also see a question about needs or wants. In general, what do my customers need and in general what do my customers want? Earlier in this course, I discussed the distinction between needs and wants. Needs are the minimum requirements for them to be a satisfied customer. Wants deal with higher emotional expectations. When you fulfill a customer's wants, you're helping make them a loyal customer.

Do this well, and they'll not only be happy with the service that they're getting, but they might rave about working with you and your company, and tell all their friends. Take some time to fill out those two sections, what my customers need and what my customers want. Once you've completed the worksheet, review the list and compare yourself with your average customer. In what areas are you the same, similar, and different from your customers? In the areas where you're different, think about what you can do to better harmonize or adapt to them.

You won't change your personality, but just instead will meet them on common ground. For instance, if your interests are painting and their interests are soccer, then you might want to learn just a little bit about soccer. Understanding what your customer enjoys will give you an opportunity to be more connected. Now at the bottom, you'll see two very important questions. The first question is, knowing what I now know about my customers, how can I better tailor my actions to their needs? What's one thing you can do a little bit differently to meet them at the level in which they need your help? Remember, that needs are the minimum requirements to satisfy your customer.

The next question takes it a step further. Knowing what I know now about my customers, how can I better tailor my actions to their wants? In the workplace, how can you satisfy what your customers want on a deeper emotional level? These are great questions for team discussion. Whether you discuss this as a group or work on it by yourself, the answers that you come up with are opportunities for you to take action. I recommend that you move forward with these actions and set a time to work on the next step.

The better you understand who your customers are, the easier you'll find it to communicate with and serve them. And those who best serve and communicate with their customers are some of the most valuable employees in any company.

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Thinking Like a Leader

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Dave Crenshaw
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