Customer Personas Raise Sales, Lower Cost and Boost Morale
Shocking survey results just in at C-Level Global. 224 Companies participated in our survey across the U.S., Canada, China, and Europe, and only 16% said they have customer personas defined and in use with their marketing and sales efforts. Oh, snap! So, CEO’s love to run their companies like blind mice. Even though they claim, “We know our market like the back of our hand.” Well, watch out Mr. & Mrs. CEO, because if you look closer there’s a black cancerous spot on the back of your hands!
Also, a previous C-Level Global survey revealed less than 10% of businesses claim to have more than 20% of their decision-maker’s contact details identified and put in a Contact Record Management (CRM) like Salesforce or MS Dynamics. Let’s put that fact aside and focus on customer personas for now.
Selling significantly more is plausible when you know your customers. Knowing customers and how to use that knowledge to make more money sounds simple, but “therein lies the rub,” because it is complicated. So, if you want to work smarter and not just harder, then step up as a leader and make this a priority. Get your people focused and spend time, money, and resources to get to know your customers extremely well.
Customer persona defined: They are generalized representations of your typical customer. They can include background data like job/career/family. They include demographic and psychographic details. They contain identifiers such as demeanor and communication preferences. These are key data points to include; Aspirations, Daily Routines, Pain Points, Preferences, Key Words & Phrases, Social Media Habits, Language Used, Factors For Purchase decisions, etc.
Use these 9-Essential Customer Persons Elements to help guide how you build personas for your market:
- Day in the life of
- Keywords and phrases
- Engagement scenarios
Abbreviated customer persona examples from a grocery chain that uses personas to help their team relate to and understand customers:
- Soccer Mom Martha – a younger customer who is feeding a full house. She is looking for ways to stretch her budget and likes to buy in bulk. Deals and coupons interest her. Getting into a store to shop is a getaway for her despite tight timing.
- Single Sarah – a single businesswoman who needs to buy smaller amounts of groceries. She is focused on healthy food more than price. Online shopping is viable for her more so than most.
- Grandma Grace – an older customer who is very price-conscious. Prefers to shop in the store. She likes deals and coupons. She appreciates carry out service to her car.
- Single Sam – a 20 and 30 something male that makes a trip to the beer aisle. He is less concerned with price and seeks healthy choices balanced with traditional junk foods for hosting and watching sports.
- Married Dynamic Duo with Kids – the husband and wife shopping team who has little choice but to bring their kid(s). They like online shopping but also like browsing the store as date nights are few and far between so getting out together is welcomed. Price consciousness is key.
- Married Dynamic Duo without Kids – the husband and wife shopping team who either doesn’t have kids or has a caregiver living with them so they can get away together. They are less focused on price and seek trendy choices and healthy too.
You could have a small handful of persons or as many as 10 or 20. Start small and work your way up so you don’t get overwhelmed. It all depends on your market and how they can be grouped by their demographics and psychographic.
Customer personas help you understand your customers and prospective customers better. This allows you to tailor your entire offering and marketing and sales process to their exact needs and wants. You can customize your content, messaging, product development, and services to the specific wants, needs, behaviors, and concerns of the different persona groups. Sure, you may know your target market are leaders of insurance companies, but now know their specific needs and interests. Find out what the typical background of your ideal buyer so you get a better understanding of what makes them tick.
One of the best ways to collect this information is by creating a quick online survey. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) have gained popularity and are used by many major brands, but they are great for small to midsized companies too. The data you collect from customer surveys can be invaluable to the operation of your business if you use it to improve the people and processes. Survey results allow you to examine your marketing strategy and ask important questions like, “Are you promoting the fact that you have a huge product range when what your customers actually want is extended operating hours?” The best customer personas are based on the market research and insights gathered directly from customers. How you attain the details for the framework is key. Surveys and focus groups can fail to capture critical intrinsic details for understanding the experience. Direct your efforts on in-depth ethnographic-style interviews and use in-context observations. Get prospects and customers to do the work for you and have them map out their journey.
Building customer personas is just the tip of the iceberg. Using the knowledge to be more powerful is complicated. I’ve just tried to wake you up to the fact that if your in the majority of businesses who are not cognizant of how to use this knowledge, then you have a major opportunity in front of you, Can you see it now? What will you do differently right now?
Run your business like a clairvoyant. Let the leaders of the blind mice keep chasing cheese crumbs from your victorious feast. You want to grow your business, increase revenues, lower costs, raise customer retention, increase word of mouth for referrals, get greater customer reviews, and have happier more successful employees who boast about the high morale at your company… duh!
If the story of the three blind mice symbolically refers to your company with each one of the mice representing leadership, management, and frontline staff then do something about it right now! Start defining your customer personas. Get your people involved in this process and then get your prospects and customers involved. Going directly to the source, the customers, and asking them for intrinsic details on how to wow them is genius! Once you decide to shake up your people and processes to win big, we can discuss how you build your Revenue Engine and simultaneously implement what I call your Wow-Customer-Centric-Experience.
Talk with C-Level Global about how to position your business to crush the competition.