Customer Group Identification
WHY IDENTIFY CUSTOMER GROUPS?
There are several reasons to spend a few hours and identify all of your customer groups. Simply, if you don't, you will likely miss some of them when you are ready to gather information, make a key decision, or communicate externally.
WHO'S A CUSTOMER?
Customer or constituent groups include everyone your organization interacts with, from suppliers and media to current buyers of your products or services, as well as the people who visit your web site and those you want to visit it.
From our perspective, everyone on your team has customers, and they need to recognize this reality quickly. Sorry, but those who don't won't be in their jobs much longer - or their employers won't be in business much longer.
DIRECT AND INDIRECT CUSTOMERS
All of us have direct customers, whether they are external (clients) who call for information or help, or internal staff to whom we provide support service. We also have indirect customers, the people and organizations who are affected by our actions and who can affect our organization.
EXTENDED CUSTOMER GROUPS
Know who the decision makers are for every product or service you sell. But also understand who the key influencers are. Then you can determine their motivations, track their trends, and communicate with them. For example:
PRESENT, POTENTIAL AND PAST CUSTOMERS
You have three divisions in any customer group (direct or indirect) - present, past and potential.
Your present customers are usually the easiest to communicate with. Hopefully, you have this database and can communicate directly with them. Maintaining high satisfaction levels among current customers is top priority for retention and growth. The real question is if you use them as partners.
Potential customers are important to communicatewwith also. Understanding your existing customers' characteristics lets you target additional potential customers.
Don't forget your past customers. Over 40% of business referrals come from them. And the majority of bad-mouthing comes from a small group of dissatisfied past customers.
DEVELOP YOUR CUSTOMER GROUP CHART
The steps are simple:
USE THE CHART AS A TOUCHSTONE
Now your only challenge will be to use the chart. Reference it whenever you make research, planning or marketing decisions. You'll be glad you did.
CONTACT US to help make your research the key to your company's future.
Copyright VanAmburg Group, Inc.
Updated November 4, 2008
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