A great exercise for every business owner, executive or manager is to take some time out to research and to determine who is your ideal client.
Of all the people to whom you market your product or service there are some who are going to be a great match for your business and services. Unless you have a total monopoly in your market other clients will be attracted to your competitors. Some of the reasons why customers choose one provider over another include: level of service, location, accessability, style of marketing, price, after sales service, level of experience, personal relationship and more.
Some relevant facts that make it imperative to know and look after your customers:
- Retaining an existing customer is 5-6 times less costly and less time consuming than attracting a new one.
- A happy customers will tell up to 3 others about your business.
- An unhappy customer will tell up to 8 people about their negative experience.
It is not an exaggeration to say that your ideal client/customer is the key to the future success of your business. It follows that the better you know this person the more successful you are likely to be at selling them your product or service.
Your ideal client’s needs and wishes should determine much of how you organise your business. E.g where you advertise, what type of marketing campaign you run, what graphics you use in promotions, the style of your website, whether you are primarily an online business or whether you must provide personal service as well, what kind of staff and what level of training you give them, and more.
Here’s a list of questions that might assist you to think about your ideal client.
- What is their demographic? (I.e. age, sex, name, ethnicity, married/single, postcode, etc)
- What do they want from your business? (E.g. do they just want the basic ‘no frills’ product or do they want higher quality product with excellent levels of customer service?)
- What do they need from your business? (Is this different to what they want?)
- What are their fears and frustrations?
- What do you provide to help them overcome their fears and frustrations?
- How can you make your customer service of the highest value to them?
- What extra service will cause them to choose you over your competitor every time?
This is a very useful and profitable exercise that every Business owner, Executive and Manager should do from time to time. I’d encourage you to do a little research around this question and not just assume you know from your current stand out list of customers.
If you analyse your business and find that there is a discrepancy between your ideal client and your current clients then the question to consider could be, ‘What changes do I need to make in my business to ensure that I attract my ideal client?’ In my experience the answers to those questions require objective advice – an business analyst or consultant or a few knowledgable friends who will tell you the truth.
So, who is your Ideal Client? What else do you need to know about them to successfully serve them?