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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Knowing Your Customers

There have been many occasions when I have discussed knowing who the target market for your product/service should be, what they’re looking for, etc. But the research and data shouldn’t stop at a marketing demographic. You need to get to know your customers individually as well.

A great way to do that is to develop a customer profile for each of your devote customers. You may be asking how you could get information on your customer without seeming nosy to them. Fortunately, most people are prone to talk to anyone that may listen, so it can really be easier than you might expect.

Start by recognizing when a consumer has become a customer. By this I mean that an individual that has started using your services or purchasing your product often and on a regular basis, as opposed to someone who has just purchased your product once or twice. To get the ball rolling, have a “customer questionnaire” available. When you recognize that someone has become a devote customer, ask them to fill out the questionnaire so that you can meet their needs more easily in the future. Some questions you might include would be:

• Contact information (address, phone, e-mail, etc.)
• Employer/Position
• Their own business name and a description of the product/service they provide
• Hobbies/Interests
• Family dynamic (married? children? etc.)
• What they like best about your business and the product/services you provide

As that customer comes into your store more and more frequently, make notes on his/her customer profile about their buying habits and personal details as you learn things through small talk and conversation. As you establish a more detailed profile on your customer, your sales force can focus on their particular needs and sell more effectively to them.

Additionally, you will want to establish a master profile that lays out the details your sales team should look for in seeking out the ideal customer. This is more or less a simple elaboration upon who your target market consists of, such as the needs and interests of consumers who would best respond to your product/service.

Keep in mind that your individualized customer profiles and your master profile will continually change based upon the development of your business and the life cycle of your customers. So it’s a good idea to revisit your profiles regularly and make sure everything is up to date. The better informed your sales team is, the more successful they will be in capturing the sale.

Related Small Business Buzz Posts:
What Do Your Clients Need?
Dealing With Angry Customers
Market Analysis – How to Write a Business Plan : Part 2 of 8
Differentiate Your Business With Quality Customer Service
Advertising Quality in Your Product

By Michelle Cramer
Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 @ 12:03 AM CDT

Customer Service, Marketing |