Do you know the perfect customer for your business? As award winning management consultant Wendy Fogarty explains:
“Imagine you’ve got a big pond and there are lots of fish in there. It’s about identifying which ones are the big juicy fish that you would like to have more of.”
To create strategic marketing approaches and to improve your customer service, it is important to understand your targeted customer, and to know them back to front. Their likes, dislikes, how often they purchase, why they purchase, and demographic statistics like age, gender, jobs, and income all contribute to an understanding of your target customer or customer bases. “It’s about thinking about who your ideal customer is, identifying them, and then thinking about where they go, how will you catch them in your net and attract them.” Wendy Fogarty provides insight into the benefits of finding this perfect customer profile in three ways:
1. Identify new market potential If you truly understand your customers, they will lead you where their changing needs are headed, and also to knowledge of market trends. This will assist you in recognising what new products and services will coincide with their future needs.
2. Cross promote Having a large amount of different customers whose requirements are similar means you can create more products and services in there and cross promote. Not only does this help to retain your customers, but it also works to increase referrals. If your customers are content with the service you are delivering, they are likely to be fantastic advocates for your business, and the number of referrals and similar sorts of customers will multiply.
Wendy Fogarty believes that customers are better advocates of the business than a business owner ever could be, because “they have experienced it and they have an emotional pull to it, and they are able to go and capture those ideal clients because they know that they were an ideal client.”
3. Customer service Even if you only have a couple, surveying what ideal customers you have and discovering how they found out about you and why they used your services will provide some leverage in finding more of the same. However, as your products and services change, it is necessary to revisit your customer profile and check to see your top three customers, for example, and what makes them tick. You can note alterations to your profile accordingly. Understanding your customer profile is an essential part of planning any business, and will inevitably contribute to the growth and success of yours.
This article is based on an extract from the MentorNet mentoring program session on Business Planning, which was presented by Wendy Fogarty. For more information about the HerBusiness mentoring services, see the Mentoring section of this website. This article was co-authored by Elizabeth Rowe. Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) at the ANU and a Masters of Media Practice at the University of Sydney. She is currently completing an internship with the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.