Finding out the basics about your customer is one of the key areas of your customer research when writing your business plan. It is the demographics of your customer – which refers to categories such as age, marital status, income, education and occupation.

Another key area to research is that of psychographics, or a customer’s attitudes, motivations and beliefs. This is an important area as this determines the motivating factors behind a purchase and a choice of product or service. I.e. a company stands for the environment, and the ideal customer for that company is someone concerned with how we treat our planet. This knowledge would increase that company’s chances of selection for purchasing from.

So where do you begin? You begin with finding out how much you already know about your customer. To help you do this, here is another exercise for you to assist with uncovering this knowledge. When you are thinking about these questions, try and picture your ideal customer – what they are wearing, saying, doing, and so on.

To open up a printable page of this workshop click here.

In order to grow, a business must satisfy the needs of its customers and target audience. This principle has been proven time and again throughout the Industrial Age in the early 1900’s and now in the Information Age.

When you know who your customer is, you begin to understand what their basic and self-awareness needs are. Your job as a business owner is to make sure that you can meet these needs.

By working through this process you will have a deeper understanding of your customer, which means you have increased your business’ chances of success.

After your initial fact-find about your business and your customer, you will need to fill in the gaps by completing some secondary research. When conducting this research, you should also add to your customer profile by gathering data on your industry and the ‘typical’ customer of the majority of organizations. This will also add more depth to your customer image that you have developed.

Steve completed the same process – finding out what he knew about his customers. This is how he answered these questions.

Top Shelf Groceries – Customer Profile

Is my customer male of female?
They are both..

Are they married/single?
Once again, they are both. I have customers who are students, who are parents of young children, and even some with older children.

Young family, older family? Describe their family status.
Mainly they have younger families, with children in primary school

Usually aged 18 to 45. I sometimes get a few young kids in, but the main shoppers I have are between those ages. However, most of the deliveries we do are to older people, because they like the visits and because they can’t get to the store easily.

What is their household income like? How much money do they earn?
They are definitely middle-income earners, as some of the products I have can be found cheaper elsewhere. I would say that the household income would be range from $50k to $75k per year.

Are they educated? To what level, and what type of jobs they have now?
College education for the most part, with a few tradesmen that come in. But mostly they have an educated air about them.

Describe in a few words their character – are the motivated, relaxed, carefree, risk takers, etc?
They are friendly, but often are time-poor. Sometimes they rush in, get what they need to, and leave without saying much. Other times, especially during the day, they enjoy talking to the staff and learning about some of the benefits of the products we have. I would say that they are good, honest people with an average amount of responsibilities, such as house repayments and the like.

What are their likes?
They like friendly customer service, and to feel that they are special. They also like to be treated fairly and honestly, and as long as they feel that that is done, and if we can’t help them with a purchase, they will still come back.

What are their dislikes?
They dislike a false sense of sincerity when dealing with them. They don’t like it when we say we can get the products in, and then not keep our promise. They also don’t like being treated like a number.

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