Identify Who Your Customers Are & Capture Their Attention


In my previous article 'Establishing Your Goals And The Customers You Want' I explained the importance of clearly defining your company's objectives, goals and the unique value you offer your customers. We also explored two types of customers - transactional and relational.


Each person, whether they are transactional or relational, are human beings that have different emotions and personalities, which also affect their buying decisions.


They need to know why they should trust you, why they should buy from you, what is so special about your company compared to the competition, the benefits of doing business with you, and how they will they feel while doing business with you and after the purchase process.


In this article, I will discuss how to identify who your customers are, define the benefits versus features, and determine the message that will capture the attention of your customers.


Identify Your Customers

There are various methods to finding out who your customers are. You can ask them to fill out a survey in your store or online. Track where they go throughout your web site using analytics software to confirm the information or products they are interested in. Conduct focus groups. Talk to your sales team. These are just a handful of suggestions to utilize in discovering who your customers are.


Next, write down the top 4 to 7 different types of customers you have. Include their purchase process, what's important to them, how they benefit from doing business with you, how they'll feel during and after the business transaction, what their fears may be, and so on.


This step is very important in understanding your customers. How one customer may approach the purchase process will be very different from another. You will understand the most important thing to them, what they need to hear from you, and so on. Once you understand how each follows the purchase process, you will be able to recognize the type of customer upfront and speak to them in their language.


Define the Benefits versus Features

Generally, you don't want to simply describe what you offer in terms of the features, such as 'this computer comes with a 2 Gigabyte hard drive and 18 inch flat screen monitor'.


Relate the product to the customer by describing how it will benefit the customer. For example, 'You can download and store more music, movies and treasured family photos with the 2 gigabyte hard drive that is built into this computer.'


Or 'Enjoy watching your favorite movies even more with this crisp-colored oversized 18-inch flat screen monitor.'


Speak about the benefits, not the features, so the customer will understand how the product will benefit their lifestyle.


Of course, this isn't always the case. A computer technician will most likely want to know the features the computer comes with because he already understands the benefits.


That is why it is important to listen to your customers to gain a clear understanding of who they are and their needs. Ask them questions upfront so you will know whether they need more information or if they are already an expert who wants the straight facts, or anywhere in-between.


In the words of Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "An effective sales person first seeks to understand the needs, the concerns, the situation of the customer."


Messaging to Capture the Attention of Your Customers

Identifying the types of customers and what information is important to them is especially helpful when deciding on the structure and content of a website. Because you are not talking to them face to face, you are leaving them to discover the information for themselves, with the website as a guide and sales tool within itself. It must lead them through the information that is important to them. The tricky part is that it needs to flow properly for all types of customers.


Thankfully, websites make it easier to reach all types of customers by being able to display unlimited information versus the limited content that can be displayed in a brochure or advertisement.


On the main page, you want to have target words and phrases in bold that capture the attention of your various types of customers.


For example, the computer savvy may be attracted to the sentence that says 'Build your own computer. Choose the features that suit your needs and we will build a customized computer for you,' which will link to the 'build your own computer' tool.


The computer guru that builds his own system, may want to buy certain components to add to his system. He may be interested in something like 'Own a great computer but need parts to spruce it up? This is your domain.' Which will lead them to an online store where they can purchase certain computer components.


The mother of three that doesn't particularly know a lot about computers, but understands it will be helpful to have one in the household for her three growing children, may ask for expert help. She may be looking for the words 'Browse through our systems to find one that will suit your lifestyle.' When she reviews information on the various systems, you could have a list of the features as well as the benefits that correspond with each one. She may then decide to 'contact one of our experts for further assistance'.


Every page within a web site should focus on providing information the customer is looking for and getting the visitor to take an action, even if it's to move forward to the next page. If you tell the visitor you'll provide certain information then link to a page that doesn't present that information, nothing makes them more frustrated, and they will leave.


In the next issue I will cover how to write effective copy to capture the attention of your customers and to speak in a language they understand.



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