Who are your customers and why do they buy from you?

Who are your customers and why do they buy from you?

An obvious question for any business. But one that surprisingly the majority of businesses are not able to answer well.

And when you're creating a new website for your business, a fundamenatl question to answer for lots of reasons.

When you want your business to grow and prosper, understanding who your customers are and what they want from you is key to success. Here’s a methodology to help you define your customers and how best to give them what they want.

Here’s our three-point plan to help your business create lasting customer value:

  • Understand exactly who your customers are
  • What does an ideal prospective customer look like, and how can they be found?
  • What do your customers want from you and what had value for them?

Who are your customers?

The start point is to understand who you customers are now. Are they individuals? Or businesses? If they’re businesses, how big are they? Where are they? What do they buy from you?

The 80/20 rule will almost certainly apply. You should identify the 20% of your customers that are probably generating 80% of your profits. Understanding that alone will help you grow your business.

(And of course recognising who the 80% are that create just 20% of your profits will probably enable you to make some savings).

What does an ideal customer look like, and how can more be found?

Try to define a set of ideal customer criteria – the characteristics of the perfect new customer. That should help you both find new customers and increase the business you do with the customers you have. For example:

  • Are there new types of customers you’d like to attract? Maybe you’d like to attract bigger businesses or businesses from a different geographic area?
  • Are there new products or services you could take to existing customers?
  • Are there new ways of trading with customers that either enhance the value you offer them or reduce your costs in managing them?
  • Can you increase the length of your relationship with your customers by providing some form of ongoing service?

What do your customers want from you?

You need to understand clearly what your customers want from you and why they buy from you. What is the value they put on the product or service you’re supplying?

Customer value is at its best when the benefits perceived by the customer match the customer’s perception of costs.

It’s no good offering some wonderful service if your customers don’t value it. The essence of success is to understand what your customers want, and then deliver exactly that at the price that matches their expectations.

Delivering more than your customers expect increases your costs for no return. Delivering less than they expect results in customer dissatisfaction.

You can only ever really understand a customer’s view of value by asking them. And the outcomes are often surprising.

Value is created with the customer from the start of the relationship and enhanced or damaged every time they interact with your business

Everyone in your business who comes into contact with customers creates an impression, either positive or negative. You should adopt a customer service ethic that everybody in your business follows.

When you get feedback from your customers, ask about every part of your business they touch. What works well and what causes frustration.

Business on the web is about precision

Growing your business on the web can only be effective if you know what your customers want and how they want it. With that knowldge, your new website can be phenomenally effective.