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Avatar III

A customer avatar is a fancy term for the profile of your ideal customer.

Lots of us, myself included, end up servicing clients who don’t match the definition of ideal. They don’t value what we do, they are price sensitive, they are difficult, or their values don’t match ours. Whatever the reason, wouldn’t it be nice to only deal with customers who do match your ideal profile?

I guess the first thing you’re going to need to know then is what is ideal for your business? Is it where they are located? Is it their needs and wants? Is it their attitude to working with suppliers?

In this article, I’m going to share three things I believe are critical to know about your ‘ideal’ client and how this can be used to create your client avatar.

The absolute first thing you need to know about any potential customer is what they need and want in relation to your product or service.

Needs and wants can vary markedly across different market segments. In some markets like health, quality and effectiveness are critical, in others, it is on time delivery.

The way you find out what your customers want is through research. You need to survey different groups of customers and understand which ones have needs and wants that you are able to deliver on.

Secondly, once you know their needs and wants, and assuming you’ve now started delivering your product and service to them, you’re going to need to know if you are ‘delivering’ on those needs and wants.

Once again surveys, customer feedback forms and conversations would do this to check with customers if they got what they wanted. Even within a group of satisfied and happy customers, you may find that not all suit your profile of an ideal client. Maybe they are in a different state, and delivery costs are high. Maybe they take up too much of your time for the price you are charging. Maybe they are just difficult to deal with.

Just because a customer is satisfied, doesn’t mean you have to be. But let’s put that aside for a moment, and just assume you’ve surveyed your customers and found they are all satisfied, and they are all ‘ideal’.

The third and final thing you should know about these customers is would they refer you.

Word of mouth is the ultimate vindication that we are doing the right thing by our customers. It is the cheapest form of promotion and elevates the value of the referring customer to new heights. If they are willing to tell others about you, then you know you’ve done the right thing, you’ve offered something of value, and you’re going to get more and more customers over time without having to chase them.

Having your ‘ideal’ customer in mind, and documenting this in a customer avatar is an important step for a business owner to take. If everyone in your team knows who is an ideal customer, they can recognise him or her when they turn up, and if they are ideal, you know you can run a profitable business by servicing them.

So, remember these three things, and find and service your ideal customer.

Originally published on Smallville.

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