“No phone calls?” I asked, surprised.
“Maybe two a day,” my friend responded.
“But you’ve got trucks all over town, driving around with the phone number plastered on them.”
“People don’t want to talk with a human being – they want to type everything.” She added, jokingly, “Don’t you know that?”
I agreed half-heartedly. I certainly would rather type than talk for most tasks and problem solving – ordering a book, researching a new car, arranging grocery delivery, solving a tech support issue . . .
But, what surprised me most is that her business is a more traditional residential and commercial services business. And, it’s a successful one still growing at a healthy rate.
There are some assumptions I’d like to see tested (more about that later), but I was surprised that either:
a) The phone plays such a small role in lead generation, or
b) The online component is responsible for so much more.
Different Strokes, Different Folks
There are of course statistics to support the idea that people are emailing more than they are talking on their smartphones. No surprise there perhaps. However, it stands to reason that certain markets and market sectors would be more phone-friendly than email-friendly (and vice versa).
Without a doubt, different businesses and niches have their unique requirements. The nature of the business, the market’s demographics, and other factors all play a role. These unique requirements – and nuances let’s call them – impact the messaging, marketing tactics, and strategies that end up being successfully employed. Very simply put, this is called knowing your audience.
Knowing Your Audience
If you’ve fielded sales calls, responded to questions, or spent any time in customer service, you’ve developed a sketch of who your customer is. And, subconsciously you can make a lot of decisions based on your picture of who that person is: They do or do not like a follow up email, for example. Or, they tend to respond to certain phrases and avoid others. Their eyes light up when you ask certain questions.
This is a customer profile. And, we’ve all developed them – some with more research and analysis, some with more nitty-gritty hands-on experience.
Why The Customer Profile Is So Valuable
The problem is that many businesses do not make as many decisions as they should based on this profile. Individually, they may know the profile. As an entity, it’s often the policy, bureaucracy, and warring agendas that cloud the business’ decision making.
However, lots of answers to common problems can be discovered simply by bouncing it off of your customer profile. Here are just a few of the things a customer profile can help you determine:
- What kind of blog articles, social media posts, and social media channels deliver information they actually care about.
- How they want to pay, when they want to pay, and how much they want to pay.
- Methods for follow up – such as email or phone – and the timing of that follow up.
- Is a referral program a good idea? If so, how should it be structured?
- How big an issue is reputation management and what channels should we be monitoring?
Building A Customer Profile
There are a number of ways to go about building a customer profile, and as you can gather from the above, you probably already have a start. An outside perspective is very helpful however because you can avoid some of the biases that confuse the process. In addition, there is a great deal of analysis and some metrics that should play a role.
We can help. Share your thoughts below or reach out for marketing and sales help for your business.
In our next article, we’ll continue the topic with more thoughts on knowing your audience and some related pitfalls.