“Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company! It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers, there is no company!” – Connie Edler
Customer satisfaction is the essence of business. To serve better, to grow higher you need to understand your customer. A business targets a specific group of people. The prime motive of any business is to increase customers and conversions by selling them your service or product. At the same time, it is identifying your best customers whom the entire business plan targets.
You cannot do business unless you know who benefits from it. Creating an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) helps to direct marketing and sales efforts towards your best potential clients.
We have included all details of how to create your ideal customer profile.
What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
An ideal Customer Profile is a brief description of who and how your prospective customer is so that business operations result in successful acquisitions. It’s an analysis of their characteristics including needs, budget, location, interests, etc. It’s the benchmark of leads for your company’s marketing and sales team.
Ideal Customer Profile is the best fit for availing your product and services. Which customer increases your sales, is long-term, repetitive, and drives your revenues? This customer segment is your Ideal Customer Profile. Thus, ICP defines
Difference Between Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Buyer Persona
Does Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona mean the same? No, very often businesses see these terms as synonymous, but it varies in reality.
Ideal Customer Profile identifies customers who will benefit most from your product and services and which leads will be fruitful.
Whereas, Buyer Persona defines the type of customer you want to target. It is based on market research and can be different across various customer segments. Buyer Persona can be multiple for different target customers
All said a done, an Ideal Customer Profile, and Buyer Persona do impact and influence each other. An ICP finds which are the green flags in a customer which make him worth for company’s efforts, products, and revenue. But Buyer Persona meets the tailored needs of these customers.
Why is an Ideal Customer Profile(ICP) important?
Imagine you start a business. You need to generate leads and target customers for your business to grow. You run a hit-and-trial method by launching advertisements without knowing who should see those advertisements. The people don’t avail your services. Why?
When all marketing efforts were put, why did you get zero results? Because of the lack of an Ideal Customer Profile. Unless you don’t figure out which customers are your dream leads, all the business efforts will be aimless. This brings us to the importance of ICP.
- An ideal Customer Profile is a prerequisite for the start of any business strategy. It is standard followed by your Product, Sales, and Marketing team to go ahead with the plan. Product Developers use ICP to update products. The sales team needs ICP to generate the best leads for fruitful revenue generation. Lastly, Marketers use ICP to create advertisements, content, and promotional activities.
- ICP increases efficiency and quality of business. It coordinates the efforts of all departments to maximize revenue and customer satisfaction.
- It builds focus and clarity by defining who, whom, and what to target for a successful business. It differentiates between positive and negative directions.
- It reduces the waste of efforts, time, and capital on futile leads and customers. Thus, the budget is maintained.
Step-by-Step Guide to creating an Ideal Customer Profile
An ideal customer profile is just like a map to reach your destination. A rule to remember is that “NO ICP IS UNIVERSAL”. Different market segments and businesses need to find what suits them the best.
Luckily, finding and creating one is not as tedious as it seems. Here is a simple way to get started.
- Find your market segment: Many marketers skip this step and it results in diminishing focus. You need to find a particular market segment for your business where you will identify your customers. Every market segment requires a unique ICP.
- Make a list of your best customers: Use various key metrics to spot the best-fit customers. It could be based on their timeframe- how long they associate with your business or what is their repetitive rate. Follow your current customer’s performance and characteristics throughout to understand why they are best. Once you have this list, you have a rough idea of your ideal customer.
- Compare and Relate: Place all customers on your table and find how they are similar. What is common in all of them? There are various attributes to compare such as the size of the organization, location, growth rate and end, and industry. The more data you gather, you come close to creating specific ICPs based on their attributes. Make sure to take into account all challenges. Use surveys and tool-based analysis.
- Identify Opportunities and Challenges: After this, you need to tap potential opportunities and work towards challenges faced by your ICPs. This can be done by analyzing the buying process by interviewing the sales team and examining past email calls and feedback. Use the Diver Survey Method to gain in-depth customer experience. It enriches your ICP.
- Define Your Ideal Customer Profile from Collected Data: Sort and analyze all the data you gathered from your best customers in a specific market segment and create your Ideal Customer Profile. There are many ICP templates available online for free. Thus, ICP will include attributes, buying process, patterns, needs, and all details of your best customers. Document your ICP as Pdf or excel sheet.
Now use your ideal profile to qualify high potential leads. Leads having matching characteristics to your ICP should be taken forward.
Compare your ICP with the existing customer list and evaluate its relevance. ICP also helps you discover a new audience. Keep following patterns and reviewing your ICP once a year.