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Customer profile: What is it and how can you build one for your business? 

"Audience" written on a board

Every business owner knows that out of a long list of people interested in your brand, only a handful will end up becoming customers. While this can seem normal, the problem starts when, regardless of how hard you try, your marketing falls flat and you never see a return on your investment. If that's the case, it's time to go back to the drawing board to find out if you're targeting the right people in the first place.

Your sales team can't find loyal customers if they don't get quality leads to work with. This is where the need for customer profiling comes in. In this post, we'll look at what a customer profile is, why it's important, and how you can easily create one for your business.

What is a customer profile? 

A customer profile provides a clear description of your ideal customer. It should include details about your target audience's typical age group, gender, location, income, buying habits, interests, pain points, and any other notable behavioural traits that will help you identify and segment them. The idea behind creating a customer profile is to sell your products or services to the right individuals based on factual information and research instead of assumptions.

Why is it important for your business to have a customer profile?   

If you don't know who your target audience is, you may end up wasting all your efforts on people who will never buy from you. This can significantly stunt your business growth and cost you a ton of time and money. Whether you run a B2B or B2C business, customer profiling should be the first step of any marketing activity you do. You may even try creating multiple customer profiles for the various products and services you offer.

When you identify your target customer, you can easily tailor your messaging and promote your business where there's good potential for finding paying customers. For example, if your profile indicates that most of your customers use Instagram to discover your business, you can make an extra effort to improve your brand presence on that platform. The more accurate your customer profile, the better leads you'll gain for your business. And that means your sales team can focus on prospects with high potential, shortening the sales cycle and increasing the number of deals closed.  

How to create a customer profile  

Learn more about your key customers 

An easy way to start building your customer profile is by thoroughly analysing the traits of your best customers. Look at the customers who are loyal to your business and ready to recommend it to others. Dig into your CRM to find more insights and note down the attributes that could help you segment these ideal customers. Once you've gathered all the basic details, you can check for any other noticeable commonalities. This could include the way they found your business, the key decision makers for their business/household, or the way they intend to use your products.

Check your analytics 

Your website and social media analytics can help you uncover hidden insights and behavioural patterns to support your information-gathering process. From identifying the keyword people use to find you with search engines to showing you where they came from and who they are, analytics can give you accurate data that could be challenging to find manually.

Talk to your team  

A salesperson is a valuable resource during customer profiling. Since they directly engage with numerous potential customers on a daily basis, they're likely to have a good understanding of the people who become customers. Experienced sales people may even point out the type of customers you don't want to attract. They can help you build a more in-depth profile with information unique to your business.

Gather information from other sources 

To create a strong profile, it's a good idea to gather information from multiple sources. One way to do that is by analysing the customers of your top competitors. Spend some time on competitors' social media profiles to observe who they attract. Identify customers who have given them a testimonial and those who actively engage with them. You can also look at third-party survey findings, industry reports, and online forums to refine your profile further.

Clarify and correct your data 

Once you start piecing together all the information you've gathered, you'll likely notice a few gaps that still need to be filled in. If you've reached that point, the best course of action is to ask your customers. This can be done by surveying them, conducting social media polls, talking one-on-one, or making sales calls. Getting direct responses to your remaining questions will help you see the full picture and determine who can be an ideal client for your business.

Keep your profile up to date 

Customer buying behaviours evolve over time. To keep your customer profile relevant, keep an eye on changing industry trends and how they influence your customers' purchasing decisions. No matter the pace of your business growth, continue to refine your customer profile every quarter to ensure it reflects the reality of your customers.

We hope this blog helps you understand why building a customer profile is important and how you can easily create one for your business. Are there any other topics you'd like us to cover?  Let us know in the comments below.

Read next: 6 important questions to ask your prospects during the sales qualification process  


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