“Who is your customer?” should be one of the most important questions in your process of building a business. The right answer to that question will help you build a better relationship with your customers and gain their trust and loyalty to your brand.
Let’s imagine we want to launch a new sports wearable gear designed for families. A wristband that tracks your movement and lets you connect to social media, so you and your family can meet targets and even compete with each other.
Two of the biggest mistakes, while trying to get to the bottom of that question, are answering with something like:
‘My targeted customers are people in their 30’s and 40’s who like sports and have children’
This isn’t really targeting as the aim is still very wide.
Another mistake people tend to make is considering themselves as the customer. In other words:
‘I like this feature and that design, so the logic is, everyone else will like it’
As a child I was very picky with my food and my mother did not really care and was always saying to me:
‘I am sure will like it, you haven’t even tried it and you are saying you don’t like it’
And then my father would have my back, sticking to the bro code and tell my mom this Russian saying:
‘На вкус и цвет товарищ нет (Na vkus i cviet, tavarish niet)‘, which basically means that everybody has a different taste and vision of things.
Even if you like something and you are convinced this is the best thing for your service or product, does not guarantee that your customers would be on the same page as you are.
So before communicating your product to your targeted market, you will first need to be very clear to whom exactly you are targeting your product to.
The best strategy, in this case, is to talk to your existing customers. Send emails to everyone that have bought from you and ask them more about themselves and what they would like to see from you and your company in the future. You will, of course, need to do that without looking like some creep or spamming their inboxes.
I will suggest using survey monkey and naming the survey something like “How can we better our service to you” or “Or what can we make better” or “Help us help you”. Be creative and never pushy. In that survey put some questions that will make you understand what your customers are like, what they do for a living, what are their hobbies, their marital status, everything that you think will help you improve your service to them.
When you get the results to build a persona with the help from the answers. Or even better pick one that you really believe is the perfect customer for you and make every step forward as if that is the person you have to convince your product is designed for them and meet their needs.
The reason I am recommending a survey is that they are easy to fill and usually do not take much time, so you will have a better chance for a response from your customers.
If you feel that this kind of a survey will not help you, you can just send an email, being completely honest and sincere, as you should always be towards your clients, asking them for help to build a better service or product. Ask them if they are interested in an email.
Chances are you will not get a lot of responses, but you will know that the ones that will write back are the ones from your target market. These are the people that really like your product or service and are willing to help you because they want to see more from your company.
The next step is to try and befriend these people, try to get as much information as possible. Any information about their day to day life might be of help to improve your services. Do not just ask them about what they want to see improved in your business with them, but ask them personal questions, as if you are making new friends in a bar.
Ones you get to know that person (for example Wayne from Manchester), make every step forward about your new product and service asking yourself ‘would Wayne like that?’. Call him and ask him even. Send him a sample and ask for feedback.
That extra effort of really getting to know your customer will help improve your service not just to him, but to every other customer, or at least the ones that are ready to be loyal to your company.
There is a third option for creating a persona, which is the least recommended. This is the option that would be suitable for a completely new business, a business that does not have existing clientele or the resources for proper primary research.
In this case to get to the details of who your targeted customer is you will need to create one. You will need to create a persona in your head. Be as specific about that persona as you can possibly be. The more the details, the better the understanding of your target customer, therefor target market.
This way is not recommended, because that persona will only exist in your imagination. One thing that could help you create that persona more realistically is to use the help of family and friends to build it. This way the imaginary persona won’t be as influenced by what you want it to be, but what more people might think it could be.
Here is an example of what you can do. You can create an infographic (I use and recommend, without being paid for it, canva.com) and start putting pictures, graphics or anything that you can think of that will help you be more specific.
With the help of a software like that, you will help yourself build a better picture of what that persona would be like. With the same effect, you can use a black or whiteboard, sticky notes, collages or even make a life-size cardboard cut, anything that will ease the process and help be as accurate as possible.