What Is a Customer Persona and How Can It Help Your Business?
Your customer base is not composed of a single type of individual, so why take a one-size-fits-all approach to customer service, product development and marketing? Building customer personas allows you to target your business approach to the needs of your different audience segments to more effectively serve existing customers and to reach more markets.
At FNBO, we define a persona as "a description of a fictitious individual that represents a key type of customer or user in terms of that person’s goals, behaviors, motivations, and needs." The key to building effective personas is to walk in the shoes of your customer, so that you create profiles that truly represent each consumer perspective.
For example, at FNBO we know our customers come from a wide range of life stages, from teenagers working part-time jobs to young adults just starting out in life, all the way through to business owners and retirees. Given the varying needs of each individual, it would be impossible to create a single banking experience that fits everyone, so we’ve developed customer personas to help us better understand each of the individuals that we serve.
Personas can guide your decisions around product development and service interaction. Personas will also help your employees to better understand how their actions may impact customers, leading to more insightful and meaningful customer relationships. In today’s market, 95% of customers award their business to companies that offer the best customer service.
How to Build Customer Personas for Your Business
Developing customer personas is a savvy way to humanize your brand and foster more committed relationships with your customers. In addition, companies that excel at personalizing experiences, products and services generate 40% more revenue than those that don’t.
Creating personas requires a deep understanding of your target audience across four categories:
- Goals: Understand what your customers are trying to do with your product or service. For instance, a kitchen cabinet manufacturer may find that most customers are looking to renovate their kitchen, but others will fall into separate segments, such as those who are building a new home or renovating a bathroom.
- Needs: When dealing with your company, each customer will have different needs, dependent upon their goals. For example, a customer who is renovating a kitchen may need to borrow money, while another who is remodeling a bathroom wants to save the funds first and accomplish their renovation in the future.
- Behaviors and motivations: To develop engaging products, services and an overall approach to customer care, it’s important to understand how your customer acts and the expectations they have when dealing with your brand. For instance, do your customers prefer to receive coupons through email or social media, and how often do they do business with you as a result of receiving special offers?
- Interactions: When developing personas, you’ll need to understand how customers interact with your company as well as your products or services. For example, buyers of a clothing store may have the option to purchase online or through a brick and mortar location, and both personas will require a different approach to marketing or product and service development.
Once you understand the points above, you can begin to isolate shared characteristics between groups and create profiles to guide your customer strategy.
The Benefits of Customer Personas
Building customer personas helps you understand buyers at a more intimate level. At FNBO, we take this knowledge and apply it across the bank to create products and services targeted to the needs of individual customer segments.
Overall, building customer personas helps your brand connect on a deeper level with your customers to drive revenue and create growth for your organization. More importantly, a better understanding of your target audience helps you build strong, long-lasting relationships that will support your business for years to come.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.