Key benefits of Profiling Customers

“Make the customer the hero of your story’ – verticalinsite.com

Cannot say this enough – all customers are not equal, in any respect. This fact therefore, should be the cornerstone for any company when dealing with customers and trying to keep pace with their needs. Given that any company could have several customers, personalizing service, messages, and or products would not be possible without precise segmentation. Profiling customers would provide a company with the requisite and detailed information required to generate business from existing ones and gaining business from new customers. Among the top benefits of profiling customers, is a thorough and pertinent understanding of them, which really is the secret to a successful business. The more a company knows about its existing customer base, the easier it would be to get them to give more and repeat business. Customers are huge reservoirs of information and not only can the data help with knowing them better, it also helps with gathering information about hitherto untapped markets and potential customers.

The benefits of profiling customers are possibly too many to list in one go – what can be said however, is that there are benefits and advantages of doing so. Every company will spend money and other resources on marketing and promotional activities. Might as well do it right! By profiling customers, companies save time, effort, and money on generalized advertising and instead use these limited resources to formulate customized campaigns that would hit home instantly. The idea is to keep customers and ensure that they continue to buy the company’s offerings and they will if the offerings are important and valuable to them. Among other benefits of profiling customers, a company is able to keep a close watch on the buying behaviour, preferences, and interests of their customer bases – which not only helps to address current demands, but also quite accurately predict future behaviour and trends. A company that can stay ahead of its customers would be able to outsmart its competitors by making products and services that customers would need in the future.

The benefits of profiling customers outweigh the effort required to build these profiles. Once the profiles are in place, all that a company requires to do is regularly update and maintain them. This would ensure that it has the most relevant and current information on its customers, which can be accessed whenever required. Profiling customers is however, not a new ‘tool’ and has been around for some time, but it has become more refined and automated now. Automation and several channels for connecting with customers, has made it easier for businesses to understand, segment and keep pace, with many and varied customers, more efficiently. The traditional approach of sending out generalized and ‘one size fits all’ messages is now passé, and companies that may still use this approach could find themselves at the losing end of the business spectrum.

Profiling customers in today’s competitive marketplace is more a survival tactic, rather than a nice to have service tool. Without refining, automating, and updating a company would not be able to keep pace with the fast moving customers and their forever-changing requirements. This means that companies not only need to think about how best to cater to these customer requirements but also what would meet their business needs. Given that today’s customers are more demanding, discerning, and impatient, it makes sense for businesses to understand and leverage the benefits of profiling customers, such that they can know who these customers are, what they prefer, their pain points, and what makes them tick. By doing so, a business would become more relevant and useful to them and would be able to provide the level of service and kind of experiences that customers expect.

The need for profiling customers is so that a business can make customer groups / segments after identifying common needs, behaviours, traits, pain areas, and preferences. This in turn would enable them to prepare focused messages and tailor-made products and disseminate the information to various customer segments using their preferred channels of communication. Such messages and products are most valuable and interesting for customers – bespoke offerings are every customer’s dream and wish.

Before gaining from the benefits of profiling customers, a company would need to know what kind of information they need to collect. This in turn would depend on the kind of business and their target audience. It would start with first collecting as much information as possible from the existing customer base. Their buying history and behaviour would be some indication, but for responses that are more detailed, it would help to run a survey with open-ended questions, enabling customers to speak their mind freely and in turn result in a goldmine of information for your company. The good part is that with automation and new technology, keeping up-to-date records about customers is no longer that much of a challenge. Given the tough market conditions and the ever-increasing number of competitors, the more information a company has of its customers, the easier it would be to optimize the usage of resources, with much better results. This would increase the chance of a company being successful with their marketing campaigns and would save costs by using the minimum number of resources.

Among the benefits of profiling customers, better and more effective communication is certainly among the top. Through customer profiles, a company is better equipped to know what to communicate, to whom and when, and which method / channel would be the most effective to disseminate information. A company would be able to identify what kind and amount of information would find favour with which customer group and by sending the most relevant information, a company would come across as diligent and passionate about its customers. It would not make sense to bombard their inbox with information that they have no use for – this could lead to them ‘unsubscribing’ or blocking all content from your company. Poor and irrelevant information is one of the top causes for customers becoming dissatisfied with a company.

An accurate and precise profile of target customers allows a company to understand demographics, the market and growth potential for their offerings, and which untapped markets would be lucrative. This will help to improve their target customer marketing strategies, which in turn would improve response rates and could lead to more conversions. All these factors together, gain greater and far more lucrative opportunities for a business. Profiling customers enables a company to refine its offerings, get closer to its customers, meet their needs more efficiently, and most importantly do the things that would be of interest and importance to them at all times. By doing almost everything that customers want and expect would a company not be in a better position to trounce its competitors? The company’s offerings would be closest to what customers want, making all other market players in the similar realm, vulnerable and open to defeat.

Increase in profit, one up on competition, more and repeat customers, glowing testimonials, and several referrals – all these are the most potent and effective ingredients for the success of any company. With growing competition, profiling customers is possibly one of the easiest methods to gain competitive advantage and sustainable success.

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