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How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile for High Customer Retention?

How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile for High Customer Retention?

logo Vivek Asrani
July 15, 2021 | 8 Min Read

Marketing without a customer profile is essentially like taking a leap in the dark!

Most business owners have big goals of exponential growth, having well-renowned companies as clients, and earning millions of dollars in revenue each year. 

However, before you make it big, you need to plan how you will build a solid client profile. This is where the role of customer profiling starts. 

With its help, you can effortlessly tailor campaigns according to the specific behaviors, pain points, and requirements of people most likely to purchase your products and services.

In this write-up, we will cover everything you need to know about ideal customer profiles - including what it is, how you can benefit from it, and how to create one for your business using a customer analysis example.

What is a Customer Profile?

A customer profile, also known as a client profile, is a document that enlists the pain points, interests, purchase patterns, and demographic characteristics of a company’s customers. 

This document is presented so that it looks like a description of a real person, with a full name and an image or avatar. Below is a customer profiling example.

Example of Customer Profile
Source

Building an ideal customer profile can assist you in running better marketing campaigns that, in turn, increase your revenue. In addition, with all that handy information, you can determine which strategy to execute and which ones to evade. 

A prime customer analysis example is, say the profile says your ideal customer loves engaging with brands on Instagram. In such a case, you should switch your attention towards enhancing your Instagram marketing. 

Always keep in mind: A customer profile for a B2C company would look very different than that of a B2B firm. A B2C company defines an ideal customer profile by utilizing firmographics, including:

  • Company size
  • Revenue
  • Industry
  • Location

If you sell to other companies, you will need to determine how big they are, what sector they are in, and how much revenue they generate every year.

How to Create Your Customer Profiles?

First of all, you need to create your customer profile by accumulating data on existing, satisfied customers. Then you need to target new prospects by matching profiles with the target group.

Here are some of the steps that will help you create your customer profiles:

1. Accumulation of customer feedback

Survey your existing customers to gather their feedback on what you are offering and how they perceive your business. This is especially important when your business is about to launch something new.

This way, you can come to know what works, what doesn’t work, and what can be enhanced. Try and give incentives to make them complete your survey, like discounts on the next purchase.

2. Keep your customer profiles consistent and up to date

Documentation plays a crucial role in customer profiling. Always ensure that the findings of your database are easy for you to read and get familiar with. Create the templates of your ideal customer profile in the same order for every customer type.

This type of customer profiling should include information like name, demographics, email address, habits, behaviors, psychographics, and societal surroundings. 

Contacting your customers through business email is always a good idea because you need to look professional when building your brand and business.

3. Survey your customers about their interests and preferences

A customer profile will change according to the customer experiences and trends. Due to this very reason, it is recommended that you conduct surveys quarterly. Ascertain their gender, location, job role, interests, habits, and preferences. Then, include them in the ideal customer profile. 

How to Convert Leads with the Help of Customer Profiling?

Here are some of the ways to convert leads with the help of customer profiling:

1. Customer profiles work as a lead qualifying magnet

When your business qualifies a lead, you are trying to evaluate how likely they are to purchase your product. When you create a customer profile, you are essentially creating the playbook to convert that high-profile lead into a sale. 

With the help of customer profiling, you can set up the right communication strategy, talking points, or comprehending what motivates your buyer. Once you understand your customer’s motivation, fears, and desires, you can create a manual for your sales team to help them close the lead into a sales opportunity.

2. Customer profiles reduce the learning curve

A robust customer profile can help new employees get familiar with your products and brand. This way, you can devote less time to their training and more time chasing down those high-profile deals that can fetch you more revenue.

3. Customer profiles give your team a strategy

Customer profiles help everyone in your organization be on the same page and strategize the best way to communicate with specific customers. Determine what motivates them and what turns them off.

Difference between an Ideal Customer Profile and a Buyer Persona

Ideal customer profile describes a target market while buyer persona defines specific sorts of people in a market. An ideal customer profile is based on your existing customers, while buyer personas are based on your prospects and leads. 

Let’s now find out the difference between buyer persona and ideal customer profile.

Points of Difference Buyer Persona Ideal Customer Profile
Purpose Buyer persona provides the idea to ascertain the individual potential customer. Ideal customer profile provides the best-fit account of a company or a decision-maker to whom you want to sell your products or services.
Type of representation A buyer persona is a fictional representation (based on research data) of your potential customers. An ideal customer profile represents a type of company that is a good fit for your product or service.
Based on A buyer persona is a set based on personal data. An ideal customer profile is created based on company information.
Data type The data for buyer persona is based on the psychological traits, product awareness, professional background, job title, demographics, etc. The data for an ideal customer profile is based on the company information, decision maker’s information, company revenue, employee strength, budget, etc.
Helpful to A buyer persona is helpful to your salespeople to ascertain the potential customer. An ideal customer profile is helpful to your marketing team to tailor the content, message, or email accordingly.
Used in A buyer persona is being used in all stages of the sales. An ideal customer profile is being used for top lead generation.

From the differences, you can easily decipher that an ideal customer profile is quite broad compared to a buyer persona. Therefore, in simple terms, a buyer persona can be considered a subset of the ideal customer profile. 

Steps to Create an Ideal Customer Profile for High Customer Retention

Now that we have understood the difference between buyer persona and ideal customer profile let’s dive into the step-by-step process for creating them.

1. Analysis of product/service usage

The very first thing is to commence the process by auditing the precise ways your product or service is used and by whom. Next, you need to understand your product or service thoroughly. After this, you can use the insight that you have gathered to build more practical information. Here is a look at the information sources that you can use in this analysis.

  • Data accumulated over the past few years

You will be able to glean a lot about user intent and preferences by operating a SaaS platform.

  • Information from your sales department

Dig into your CRM and accumulate qualitative data so that you can comprehend who purchases your product and why.

  • Insight from your marketing department

You need to dig into data to comprehend who is interested in your products and find ways to connect with them.

Once you have a high-level understanding, some patterns will naturally start emerging. For example, you might find that businesses of a particular size fancy your product/service the most or that most users are based in a specific location.

2. Know who will be your ideal customers

To achieve this objective, you need to gather all your colleagues in a meeting and ask everyone to pitch in with what they think an ideal client profile should look like. Of course, different departments will have their own take so hear everyone out patiently.

For example, your CFO might say that an ideal customer has the highest Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)....which is fair enough from his/her perspective. 

On the other hand, your customer service representatives might say your ideal customer utilizes tech-savvy employees who understand how to use knowledge base software as opposed to employees who email your company with routine questions on an everyday basis. Both the perspectives are pretty valid!

So, we would suggest you get started with these set of questions:

  • How large is the company? How much revenue does it make yearly, and how many people work in the company?
  • What industry is the company into?
  • When was it established?
  • What is the company working on at present?
  • What is it struggling with?
  • What are the pain points of the company?
  • What are the long-term and short-term goals of the company?
  • What is the buying process followed by the company?
  • What tools or services is the company using currently?

3. Interview Your Loyal Customers

Next, communicate with your top users via phone to chat about their experience with your product. The goal here is to understand more about their buying process: how they discovered your product, why they decided to purchase, and how they are benefiting from it. 

Here are some of the questions that you can ask them to learn about their buying process:

  • How much time do they devote to researching before committing to purchase?
  • Are they looking for referrals to find solutions?
  • How did they find out about your company?
  • Who is the decision-maker?
  • Do they require approval by a committee?
  • Why did they decide to purchase your product in the very first place?
  • Do they plan to continue using your product?

Also, learn about their specific pain points and how your solution solves them.

  • What are your major pain points?
  • What is the primary problem they need to solve?
  • What solution does your product provide?

4. Convert data into information to identify ideal customer characteristics

Once you have accumulated all the information, compile it in a single place, preferably into your CRM software, and look for common threads among your most successful customers.

Using the data, try to ascertain the characteristics shared by the best customers in terms of buying behavior and business goals. This way, you will end up with the client profile.

Now, take the data of each customer’s characteristics and create a customer profile by adding information to each field into your ideal customer profile template. Here’s an example of a customer analysis example.

Customer profile based on different segments
Source

How can a Customer Profile be Used to Achieve the Best Results?

Once you have aggregated your customer data, group them into buckets based on customer’s characteristics, similarities. In most cases, you will end up having more than one customer profile. For your sanity, I would recommend you limit these profiles to five.

If you create more than five customer profiles, perhaps it would mean that your product or service is too broad, which would not strongly appeal to your specific target audiences.

Here are some of the things for which you can use your customer profile.

1. PR Campaigns

Once you have created the customer profiles, they can help you determine which PR campaign to proceed with. Such campaigns can enhance your overall brand awareness and bring new customers into the sales pipeline that you might have missed otherwise.

2. Marketing plans

Customer profiles can also come in handy when it comes to guiding your marketing plans. With its help, you can decide which medium can be most effective in reaching your target audience: TV ads, Facebook, in-store promotions, Pinterest, newspaper, Twitter, direct mail, radio, etc. 

It will also give you a fair idea about which promotions your customers are most interested in. This can be events, new product launches, demos, discounts, or even giveaways. You will also come to know which fonts, colors, references, and jokes will catch their attention.

3. Sales

Customer profiles can also give you a fair idea about what you can do to convince customers that your offer is the best. For example, you can go ahead and increase the warranty period, provide exceptional customer service, provide service guarantees, etc. 

You can utilize CRM software to sort all the information that you accumulated and strategize accordingly. In addition, this software can assist you in pairing customer profiles with individual leads and prospects. This way, you can use similar sales pitches to the marketing message you utilized for those customers. 

Conclusion 

If your sales or marketing efforts are not striking gold, take a time-out and evaluate your customers. Then, carry out customer profiling by studying customer analysis examples to ascertain their needs. 

Decide on the research methodologies you will use to accumulate this data. It can be through email surveys, focus groups, face-to-face interviews, etc. This exercise may take some time, but it will be totally worth it.

Always keep this in mind: If you are not aware of the characteristics of the customer you are selling to, you can’t possibly know how to sell!

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