Knowing who your customers are is essential to having any successful business venture. I'm not talking about knowing their names or their locations (those are important) but knowing what makes them tick and their personalities is far more valuable.
In our recent report: The Customer Service Playbook for Government, we go through all the ways you can determine your customers' personas and tailor your approach to them.
Here's 3 typical customer personas that everyone should be aware of:
1. SELF SERVER You know the individual right away. They get impatient quickly. They don’t want to stand in line or wait on the phone. They’d prefer to fill out a form online, completing a transaction on their own rather than talking to a customer service representative.
You’ll see these individuals in the self-checkout line at the grocery store or the kiosks at the airport. They want to use your website or mobile app, then have a license or permit sent to their home. Better yet, they want it available immediately on their phone or device as a barcode. Usually, this type is tech savvy or believes they can figure out the system for themselves. They will spend a couple extra minutes to troubleshoot an issue before interacting with a real person.
Their motivation and incentive for self-service is one part persistence, one part pride.
2. PEOPLE PERSON This persona is just the opposite of the Self Server. They actually don’t like machines. They deplore automated voice messaging systems that ask them to punch a bunch of numbers into their phone. They also dislike websites where it’s hard to find the contact information. At the same time, this individual might appreciate a live online chat feature on your website that allows them to engage with an actual person.
The People Person welcomes the chance to have a person greet and guide them at a physical location. They are willing to wait in line, but not too long, knowing that they will engage with someone who can help them with their transaction and address questions or concerns. That’s not to say that they are incapable of completing the transaction independently; they just prefer to interact with people.
As the world becomes more and more automated, they appreciate an organization that still offers a personal touch.
3. CROWD SOURCER The Crowd Sourcer trusts the wisdom of the crowd. When they have a problem, they conduct a web search to find a community where they can ask questions and get technical assistance. Rather than talking to an organization directly, they prefer to learn about a service or information from their peers.
The Crowd Sourcer is also the kind of person who puts great stock in product reviews by peers on a site like Amazon or Yelp. If the crowd is positive, they’ll give the product a chance. If feedback reveals poor performance, they’ll seek alternatives. Moreover, the Crowd Sourcer turns to social media for solutions. They prefer to interact with your organization in a public forum like Facebook or Twitter. If they need to fix a faucet or assemble a new purchase, they’ll find a how-to video on YouTube.
Lastly, this group of people will likely help their peers who encounter problems. If an organization provides a place for them to share their expertise on a service or information, they will participate as volunteer advocates.
It's amazing how far feeling like somebody "gets you" goes when it comes to customer service and brand loyalty, so be sure to pay attention to your customer personas.