Archive for April, 2010

How well do you know your customers? Answer these questions.

Who are your customers?  See if you can answer these questions for each customer “persona.” 

  • What do your customers care about?  How do they get ahead?  What industry issues affect them? 
  • What do they do at work?   What do they want to accomplish and what steps do they use to do so?  Who else is involved?
  • What is working?  What problems are they encountering?  Why are their problems so hard for them to solve?  What happens if solutions aren’t found? 
  • How does your product or service change the speed, cost, quality or risk factors of what they do? 
  • What alternatives to customers have to your product or service (competitors, substitute processes, do nothing) and what are the likely results of each?  What evidence shows your product or service is better?  When is your solution the best fit? 
  • What would your customers like to change about your product or service?  Why? 
  • How do your customers buy? Who is involved in the purchase decision?  What information does each need at each stage to move forward in the purchase? 
  • How do they prefer to receive information?  What on- and off-line sources do they rely on for information and advice?  What do they read?  What conferences and events do they attend?  Whom do they influence?
  • How do your customers perceive your company and product/service?  What is accurate?  What is inaccurate and what evidence do you have to support your position?

Today’s marketing depends on a deep understanding of customers including their processes and their preferences.  Getting the job done for your customers isn’t enough.  The way they experience your solution matters.