To be able to define your company’s ideal customer profile is a wonderful thing. It provides clarity for many parts of your company’s operations and simplifies decisions. It can also be a bit scary to solidify or entrench some things. After all, changes me be necessary and they can often be difficult.
What is an ideal customer profile?
An ideal customer profile (IDC) looks different for each company. Ask yourself what is most important: a specific sector, a certain size, growth rate or a particular situation? Is it a geographical area or a special type of organisation? When you’ve established these things, it’s time to go to the next stage and create customer profiles for targeting the kinds of people at the company who you wish to attract.
To create or change a position on the market takes time but is worth doing. The advantages of positioning and deciding on an ideal customer profile are many. We believe that taking this step is critical to the growth or even survival of some companies. Here are some of its biggest advantages:
Establishing the right priorities for your business
How you design your service or product is influenced by the knowledge of your customer’s situation and need. By focusing on the right type of customer, you can channel your energy into the right things in terms of business development. It becomes easier to sift through customer feedback and choose what to prioritise. Wanting to be everything to everyone is a nice thought, but it’s seldom sustainable or even possible in the long run. Especially if you want to grow.
Focussing on proper communication
By knowing who you’re talking to, you can design your communication for a particular customer persona. Articles, ads and sales material can be tailored in tone and content to the type of customer you want to attract. And your sales team gets a clearer picture and can choose what to spend their time on.
Become an expert and create growth
Having a focussed business and communication means positioning yourself towards a specific target audience. The more you do this, the more specialised you become. With time, speciality becomes expertise and in the best case you’ll be a market-leading actor, or “thought-leader” in your niche. This type of streamlining makes it easier for your company to create growth and above all, grow on solid ground.
Please your customers more
When you stop trying to please everyone and instead strive to meet the needs of a certain type of customer, your chances for strong, long-term relationships increases. The experience you gain together with your customers benefits everyone.
Improve your work environment
When your business focusses on an ideal customer, the work situation becomes simpler and more pleasant for all your co-workers. Processes become more streamlined, and your offering becomes clearer. In the long term, this focus will even lead to recruiting the right people, since you’ll have a clearer picture of which competencies and profiles suit your ideal customer.
How can you develop your ideal customer profile
- Look at your current or previous customers and try to summarise what unites the customers you have worked – and currently work – best with.
- List what it is about your company that you believe attracts these customers.
- Create another list with questions for determining whether a customer is ideal. What customer criteria are most important for your company?
- Gather the people at your company to participate and come to an agreement. It is important to include a healthy mix from various departments with insight into both the organisation and your customers.
- To gain a deeper understanding of their situations, interview your current clients who match a significant portion of your criteria.
- Produce a document that paints a picture describing your company’s ideal customer profile and distribute it internally.
- Start to tailor your communication towards your ideal customers.
- Follow up and continuously evaluate. The target image may need updating as you gain new insights.