There is no business, whether large or small, anywhere in the world, that can create a product or offer a service to everyone! No one business can fulfill the needs of every single person on the planet. There must be something that differentiates what your business provides from that of your competition. There may well be overlaps in some customer groups but almost certainly there is no product for everybody.
Knowing your ideal customer is integral to business success. It guarantees the business a place in the market and with the right marketing messages, such a business can realize profits from an engaged customer group who will consistently support the business, refer new customers and help to propel the business into new markets.
As small entrepreneurs venture into business especially now, it is crucial that customer solutions are not created in a vacuum. Knowing exactly who is the targeted customer group, is even more important as smaller businesses must operate efficiently to reduce waste and maximize each element of the business to ensure measurable outputs.
The following are three ways that knowing your ideal customer benefits your business:
· Researching customer groups defines the customer and validates the product/service – Conducting research to validate your business or product offering among the specific customer group can only yield positive benefits. The research helps to refine the product or service thereby ensuring that the business is providing a solution for the customer. Research also helps to identify the ideal customer for the solution being provided.
· Product testing, sampling and trials runs refines the product/service - Usefulness, functionality and practicality are important to the success of any new product or service. Doing trial runs, sampling and product testing are great ways to get feedback from the target group. This allow the business to showcase their new product features and benefits, provides a preview for the customer group and gives the customer an opportunity to have a say in the final product.
· Early customer engagement incorporates customer opinions, gets the business more leads and builds strong customer relationships – Customers love to feel part of the process and engaging them in the decision-making process makes them feel a part of, and ownership of the product/brand. This ownership when properly managed can result in new customer leads and stronger customer relationships.