In a recent customer workshop with a group of businesses, we posed the question…
‘Who is your customer?’
Perhaps naively, we expected answers such as ‘locals’, ‘tourists’, ‘weekend travellers’, ‘families’, ‘people travelling north from interstate’ etc.
Instead, the resounding response was‘anyone!’, followed closely by ‘everyone!’
Now, we’ve worked in the customer realm for over 40 years combined + even we were a little taken aback. And not much surprises us these days.
In this day + age, could businesses still be using this broad-brush approach to customers, these ‘spray + pray’ tactics?
It appears so.
As we pushed for more detail about potential customer segments, the group kept coming back to these same two responses.
So, Who Is ‘Not’ Your Customer?
One ‘brave’ attendee piped up that he did not believe that anyone or everyone was his customer.
In fact, he had quite a clear view of who his customer was ‘NOT’ (which in our opinion, is a very good start). In his view, there were enough options in his chosen sector that he didn’t need to be everything to everyone. So he wasn’t.
The resounding response from the group was shock. But how could this business owner possibly narrow down his target market + ‘EXCLUDE’ potential customers? One attendee went as far as to say
‘but you’re excluding them + that’s wrong!’.
But what exactly so wrong about setting boundaries, having focus?
This business owner believed that there were certain groups of customers that simply would not buy from him.
At one end, the price conscious, mass-produced bracket who might come in for information, but would then head to a chain store to purchase at the lowest price. And indeed, the other end of the spectrum, professionals looking for high-end specialised products in which he simply couldn’t compete on stock or price.
And he’s right.
Focus On The Customers You Want
Don’t be afraid to focus on the customers you want. On the customers that are most likely to engage with your brand + purchase your product. On the ones that your values + service offerings will resonate with. On the ones that you will get the best ROI in time + effort.
It’s easy to say + hard to do – we understand – but spreading yourself too thin + trying to be everything to everyone will only lead to dissatisfied or what we like to call, ‘meh’ customers – that is, customers that would gladly dump you at the drop of a price or the mention of a ‘deal’.
Don’t underestimate the value of identifying your core customer profile segments + relentlessly pursuing them + yes, to the detriment of other, less valuable, customers. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
Sueanne is passionate about connecting businesses with the ultimate reason they exist: their customers. Her impressive reach has transformed market-leading brands such as lastminute.com, Terry White Chemmart, PPQ, AVIS, Travelocity, Hays Recruitment, Visit Sunshine Coast + Tourism Queensland.