5 step Road Map to be more Customer Focused
Becoming customer focused is vital to increase your customers in volume, value and goodwill. Here is a 5 step Road Map designed to simplify the approach…but like all good things, it will take time and commitment to shift a business culture. We hope this helps.
Often customers are viewed as just data – how much they spend, what products they’ve purchased, through which channels, how frequently are they purchasing, how recently have they purchased and so on. All this is important …and what is more important is understanding why they are purchasing. This will help you and your business become more customer focused.
1. Define/confirm what a 'valuable customer' means
A valuable customer can mean different things to different businesses and different people within businesses. Take time to define what a valuable customer means for you and your business.
It’s important to be objective and you’ll use this information in the later steps. Is it how much they spend, or how often, or for how long they’ve been a customer, or something else?…all these are important but what do you think makes them valuable?
2. Know your valuable customers
Review your list of customers against the criteria you defined above.
In most cases there’ll be about 20% of customers that deliver 80% of business and the remaining 80% of customers will deliver 20%.
Don’t discount the 80% of customers as some of them might be your most valuable ones in the future.
3. Really know your valuable customers
Now you’ve got your list of your most valuable customers look at them more closely.
What types of people/businesses are they?
Where do they live?
What are their ages?
What are their other characteristics?
What makes them different from the other customers?
As you do this, you’ll begin to naturally create a small number of similar groups of your most valuable customers.
4. Create a deeper understanding of the key groups
You may have 2-3 groups of similar customers that really stand out from Step 3.
Taking these groups, you can begin to create a ‘Persona’ for each – this is a made-up person or business that you can describe with the characteristics identified above.
This will help you understand your most valuable customers’ needs, experiences, behaviours and goals.
Often a useful exercise is to give each persona a name and create a ‘day in the life’ and if you can, include some imagery to bring it to life. If you want to go a stage further, you can even create a series of videos that highlight each of the Personas.
Now reflect on these personas and think about why they are purchasing from you. Use these insights to consider how you might deal with them better in marketing messaging, at point of sale, after sales and all other interactions you might have with them.
5. Share with your staff and stakeholders
By sharing the Personas and their characteristics in a real-life form (video, day in the life, imagery, etc) it brings a level of humanity and deeper understanding of what they do, why they do it and why they purchase your product or service.When you and your staff have this deeper level of understanding you will all begin to focus more on appealing to these Personas and characteristics.
Through this process you’ll become clearer on
who your most valuable customers are
what they do
and most importantly why they do what they do.
You’ll also be surprised how much deeper your insights are and how much your staff can relate better to the Personas rather than just another customer or even worse, a piece of data!
By understanding more and relating more, you, your staff and your business will become more focused on your customers.
And by becoming more customer focussed, you will retain more of your most valuable customers, you will make some of the less valuable customers more valuable and you will convert more of your prospects.