If you’re not familiar with customer personas, you may be unaware of all the reasons your business needs customer personas. Customer personas are useful to many aspects of the business process, including selling, marketing, user experience, and customer experience. Below are four reasons why you should develop customer personas for your business if you haven’t done so already.
What Are Customer Personas?
Customer personas are profiles of individual customers that represent a key demographic of your customer base. They often include such information as:
- Brief Story
An Example Persona
Here’s an example persona for a route-planning app:
Reasons Your Business Needs Customer Personas: #1 Selling
The first reason you need customer personas for your business is selling. Not all customers are alike. Each different type of customer you’re trying to attract has different needs, wants, and frustrations you can help solve. In order to understand how to sell your product or service to each individual you encounter, you need to be able to quickly analyze who they are and what makes them tick.
Consider asking your sales leads questions like the following:
- What is your biggest frustration as a [specific type of person]?
- What is your greatest need right now as a [specific type of person]?
- What solutions have you tried in the past to solve your [specific problem]?
- Tell me a story about your average day when you are doing [a specific task].
Questions like these can help you understand how to cater your product or service to different customers so that you learn how to serve each individual that comes your way. Once you get enough answers to these questions, you can then group the answers into different categories and develop unique personas.
Reasons Your Business Needs Customer Personas: #2 Marketing
Of course, in order to sell your product or service to a customer, you must first reach them. Similar to the selling process, marketing is all about reaching specific groups of individuals. Whether you’re marketing over Facebook or on a local radio station, you need to make sure that you’re reaching the types of people who match your customer personas.
This is where digital marketing really shines, of course, because on platforms like social media you can target ads directly to key demographics and behaviors. With traditional advertising, you get put in a single channel with a large audience, but there’s no guarantee potential customers will ever really engage with your ad.
Regardless: knowing the four or five specific types of people you’re trying to reach can mean the difference between a successful marketing campaign and a big waste of money.
Reasons Your Business Needs Customer Personas: #3 User Experience
Another reason to develop customer persons is user experience, or how easy it is for customers to engage with your key touchpoints as a business. Rather than having a website, mobile presence, social media presence, etc. that is designed for everybody, in other words, you should design these touchpoints for specific people: your customers!
Developing personas can help you design each touchpoint to appeal to the specific types of people you’re trying to reach. This process should start at the level of search engine optimization and should extend throughout the look, feel, and features of each touchpoint. The more you know about your customers and their wants, needs, and frustrations, the more you will be able to tailor your touchpoints to engage them.
Of course, nothing beats usability testing with live users for optimizing your touchpoints for specific types of customers!
Reasons Your Business Needs Customer Personas: #4 Customer Experience
Finally, customer personas can help you refine the entire customer experience. If you think your customer experience–meaning the entire process a customer goes through from the moment they first engage with your business to the moment you earn their loyalty as a repeat customer–should work the same for every person, you’re wrong! The modern customer experience is all about personalization, about making every individual feel like your customer experience was built just for them.
How do you achieve this? By tailoring all the touchpoints of your customer experience to each individual persona. Sometimes, yes, this means having different campaigns for different types of customers, but many times it means making sure that the landing page you just developed doesn’t alienate your main customer types!
Regardless: you should be considering every touchpoint in your customers’ journey from their perspective. Understanding what motivates a specific type of person to engage with your business is key to understanding how to earn their business, and hopefully their loyalty, for life.