Building A Customer Persona

Author: Abby Radewahn

Odds are you yourself are a customer persona. That’s right, someone is thinking about who you are, what you do, why you do it and want you want when trying to deliver goods to you. It’s something we face as consumers all the time.

The funny thing is that it works. It works so well that otherwise, we wouldn’t have the brands that we have today. So how can an industry professional such as yourself reach such success?

It starts with building your own customer personas, customer profile, or marketing profile, whichever language you prefer. The more we do it the more we realize that there are truly no cons to building out customer personas, whereas the benefits are always being added to. Some quick benefits are a better understanding of your customer, content in alignment with your customer’s values, and better sales opportunities.

Getting Started

The very first step to a customer persona is envisioning your favorite customer(s) or even a not-so-favorite customer. Often our least favorite customers give us better insights into how we can do better.

We always recommend doing 2 to 3 customer personas if you can. Do you have your customers thought of?

Okay, so put down their names.

For our example, we have Jumpy Jack, Calm Callie, and Statistical Sam. The first part of their names helps to identify key personality traits to each customer that we have identified as important to know.

Next, a few simple questions, how old are they and what is their title?

Jumpy Jack: 45 – 54, CEO of SM Logistics Company

Calm Callie: 45 – 54, Solopreneur

Statistical Sam: 35 – 44, Lead Operations Engineer

Alright, those are the easy questions. How are you doing? For extra fun you can add an image of your customers, if you can’t find a real one, don’t worry just grab a stock image somewhere.

Slightly Harder Questions

We’re getting to the advanced stuff here. So, now we begin some tougher questions. If you’re not 100% sure of your answers, take the time to talk it out with your sales team or the people who deal with your customers the most.

Remember that at the end of the day, your customers, while they want to earn more money, they all want something uniquely different.

So, let’s start with them, the five questions that you will need to answer are:

What are their emotional fears or worries?

What are their dreams and aspirations?

What are their pain points?

What are their values?

Who do they want to impress?

Using Statistical Sam for this example:

1. Statistical Sam’s emotional fears or worries are:

  • Impacting his company’s profits
  • Spending enough time with his family
  • Maintaining a proper social/work-life balance

2. His dreams or aspirations are:

  • To make enough money to retire comfortably and pay for his kid’s college completely

3. Sam’s pain points are:

  • Limited time
  • Pressure from stakeholders
  • Misinformation

4. His values:

  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Time
  • Things that he can do with his family

5. Sam wants to impress:

  • His boss
  • His wife
  • His parents

We’re starting to paint a pretty good picture of Statistical Sam. Sounds like one busy guy, doesn’t he? We sure don’t want to go wasting his time.

It’s okay to take your time answering these questions, after all, you’ll be creating a better customer persona as you go. Don’t forget that as you learn more and more about your customer you should consistently update these profiles.

The Inner Thinking Questions

Finally, here we are: What about you? What about your business? Yes, you knew this part was coming.

For this part, you’ll be answering the questions that you are absolutely qualified to answer. After all, no one knows your industry as you do. Here are the four questions you’ll answer:

  1. What frustrates them the most about your industry?
  2. What do they want from you?
  3. What’s the one thing that if you could guarantee – they would pay a premium?
  4. They say to you… “You will gain my trust and comfort by” … doing what?

Sticking with Statistical Sam as an example:

1. Sam might be most frustrated by things like:

  • Long lead times
  • Poor output
  • Lost time
  • Failure to follow the procedure
  • Governmental regulations

2. Sam may want from you:

  • Accurate information
  • Problem solver?
  • Procedure improvement tips
  • A chance to see something neat within the industry?

3. Sam would pay a premium if you could guarantee:

  • That each and every time output numbers will look like X
  • By implementing simple time savers, he can increase productivity by X
  • One change could mean 3x margins for the company

4. If you would say to Sam “…,” you will gain his trust and comfort:

  • We’ll leave this one for you to fill in.

And that’s it. You’ve put together one powerful customer persona.

Put it together and get to work!

Now that you have one customer persona under your belt, work on a couple of others with customers you may already have in mind. Once completed, read each one over carefully and analyze the information. What takeaways can you see?

Maybe you are still unsure of your customer persona or what you can do with it. Talk with the team at Keystone Click and see what we can do for you!