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The Benefits of Customer Profiling

(September 2011) posted on Wed Sep 07, 2011

Catering to specific clients.

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By Jared Smith, president of bluemedia

Service fleets
With service fleets, it’s all business. These clients have a schedule to keep. They need their vans back on the road as soon as possible and cannot put up with delays. The price point needs to be sharp and the communication must be constant and proactive. If you’re reading this and saying, “This is true for all client types,” you are correct – but you’re missing the point. The game here is to understand the differences, even minute differences, in how common attributes rank differently in order of importance to different buyer types. For a client that has eight HVAC service trucks, it’s extremely important to convey confidence and deliver as promised because this client has set up six service calls for its trucks, all starting the morning after you said it would be ready. So I suggest you call that client at 3 p.m. on the day of the install and let them know everything is on schedule as promised.

We also take special care to immediately inspect these vehicles when they arrive, looking for any item that needs to be addressed. These items include: the correct unit number was delivered; pre-existing damage that needs to be noted; the correct year, make and model as quoted and produced; external surprises such as ladder racks, vents, or equipment not disclosed or accounted for. If any of these items exist, they should get addressed very early in the day so the fleet manager can take appropriate actions. Be proactive and help them keep their fleet working. Ask when the next appointment is. Get each driver’s phone numbers and a backup number. Ask about DOT graphic requirements. Know this client and their schedule and, in return, they will know you as a great solutions provider for them.

The most important single lesson here is to put yourself in their shoes. Try to envision what their office looks like. Think about what else they have to do today. What else are they responsible for? If you were them, what would you be concerned about and in what order? See the deal from their view. If you know they have been burned on inferior materials in the past, send the warranty document with your quote. If you know they’re spending their last dollar on this marketing effort, send stats on the ROI of the vehicle-wrap medium. If you suspect that your buyer is extremely busy, stress how your team will own this project to completion and ask how they’d like to receive progress updates.

Don’t be their partner
The concept of customer profiling is very easy to master and can return huge results. Study your clients. If you worry about their concerns while staying steadfast to your sound business model, your concerns will be solved. Don’t be their partner. Instead, be their expert and be available to serve. True experts not only know their own business, but they understand the differences in their clients and they provide specific solutions that address those differences in a manner that capitalizes.