Customer Insights and profiles

It does not matter what you do or what your niche is or even if you sell digital products or have a hardware shop in a sea side resort where the sea air rusts all your products the one common denominator they all have is that in order to survive you need customers.

Now not just any customers. The hardware shop owner would not be looking for ladies shopping for a wedding dress and like wise the fish and chip outlet would be less than amused if someone walked in asking for a sledge hammer.

And while the answer is obvious there is a need to identify your ideal customer and understand their perspective before you randomly advertise your product in a vain hope that someone will buy what you have to offer.

Understanding your customer needs is not important, if they are looking for your product that is their current or immediate need and it is your job to figure out how to target them through an understanding of a specific type of customers buying cycle.

3 Basic types of customer

  • . The researcher. This type also covers the well-informed customer. This customer is going to read every review ever written, collect as much data as possible, even go into outlets that sell the product they are looking for before making a buy decision. This is a difficult customer to sell too unless you are the final destination. To give yourself a fighting chance get in the line further down the research process. This is more simple than it sounds. Think on this. You sell fishing gear. The researcher is looking for a widget ebob that catches Carp on a night with a full moon. OK I don’t fish but this analogy can apply to any product with a little thought. This customer would start his search in a fishing outlet (digital or otherwise, however “otherwise” is becoming more obsolete by the day) The point here is that he is going to start his research in fairly broad terms and work his way to more specific searches. If you are just targeting customers who fish you will be the first person he glances at and discards. If you are more specific as in “Carp fishing” you have grabbed his attention much further down the line. You get my rather convoluted point here? This customer is looking for specifics. To catch him or her…. be specific.
  • The confused: This customer profile will apply to the entire spectrum of people who have ever bought something. With the rapid expansion of technology these days there is always going to be something you have an interest in that has some degree of confusion attached to the buying or indeed even the understanding process. Your biggest asset with this type of customer is patience, yours and theirs! Remember you understand your product…. they don’t! You may think it is obvious don’t assume they do to. Be aware that confusion can be very similar to frustration. “I’ve had something similar before why can I not work this?” Face to face this type of customer problem is easily solved with two-way communication. With online entrepreneurs it is a little more complicated but solvable. Put your self in your customers shoes! Do your research, think of your product in terms of an implication wheel.. If “this” happened what would the implication be..? Work through every possible problem no matter how ridiculous they might seem to you and make any visiting customers aware of them all. Give them the option to read about all the potentially confusing issues they perceive there are which in turn takes away all the confusion and will move them on to the next step in the buying cycle and because of your site answering all the questions will put you a step or two ahead of the competition.
  • The Bargain Hunter: Run! OK not really but this type of customer is quite often a habitual bargain shopper and you can cater for them quite easily because basically a bargain is a perception! Supermarkets have mastered the art of the perceived “Great Deal” It comes down to what your customer feels is great value for money… even if it isn’t. Many more people consider $9.99 is $9 than what it actually is which is $10! Understand your customers situation and demographics, it is important to remember that a bargain will have a different value to someone earning a few hundred thousand a year to someone on minimum wages. Shift their mindset from price to value

There are many different types of customers that these 3 basic characteristics can be broken down into but in the cyber World there are getting more focused and for the most part will fit into these three traits and solutions. Even the window shopper in your online store can be considered a researcher.

Understand your customer

This is what it all boils down to. You know your product, if you can truly understand and cater for the person you have identified as potential customers there is no reason why the potential would not become an actual.

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