One of the best methods to improve CX is by making sure the customer journey is seamless and ensures whatever external interaction that happens with your business remains positive. For that, one has to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. How? Create the customer persona. Note that creating a customer persona (and ensuring a great customer journey) is needed for both online and face-to-face dealings.
What is a customer persona?
A customer persona (also known as a buyer persona) is a figment of one’s imagination, created to represent an ideal customer. But even though it isn’t real, it’s also not created on a whim, instead it needs to be based on analysis and research of real (past) customers — although, most likely there will be small amounts of educated estimations too. It is not an opinion or segmentation to understand the different sets of customers you have; consider a customer persona as a forensic representation of a buyer formed by past trends and behaviors. Such knowledge gives insight into how the customers buy or engage in your services and how you can further build this into a repeating transaction. Brands which are able to use this knowledge can use it to deliver a more positive CX that is more relevant and less one-dimensional.
Creating a customer persona
The most accurate and effective customer persona is based on feedback from past customers. This is acquired either by interviewing them personally or using online questionnaires.
A sample of basic and simple questions to start with needs the usual details namely name, age, family status, job, and goals (personal and professional).
Then it goes a little more detailed:
– Industry they work in
– Job title
– Nature of business
– Where they reside
– Daily life challenges
– Aspirations and motivations; etc
This information can then be used to generate a customer persona framework. Important items to come from this must include customer pain points and how your business can help or solve the issues.
It’s important to note that there can be multiple customer personas, each referencing a different type of potential customers which you want to connect to. Also, it’s a good exercise to know just exactly how big your customer base is and how each contributes to the business.
Just bear in mind that the more you know about your customers, the more accurate the customer persona is. Website analytics are also helpful in adding more data into the customer persona.
You can also put extra effort by doing a keyword search to see how customers are relating to a product or service. For example, if the term ‘discount’ or ‘best price’ keeps popping up together with a brand name you carry, it can be assumed that buyers are interested in the item, but at a lower price. Don’t forget to tap into the analytics function in your social media accounts too.
What to do with customer personas?
An immediate benefit of customer personas is to augment your marketing efforts. It should be able to help you pin-point the type of customers who are most likely to engage your business, so targeting them increases the chance for success
For example, if your customer personas are less likely to be on YouTube and Facebook compared to Instagram, then you’re better off putting more resources into the latter. Also, you can also optimize an email marketing strategy that is more focused. Rather than a generic email for every single subscriber, differentiate them relevant to personas and craft campaigns with tone of language, design style, and format which will likely form a more personalized connection.