We read about how to make customers happy and how to measure customer satisfaction. But who is your niche CUSTOMER? Who is the best customer for you? For many of us in small business, we can say that everyone is our customer. But many small businesses won’t survive if we are looking to sell to everyone. We need to focus our search for clients on the ones that are best for our business.
CHOOSE 3 CUSTOMERS TO CLONE:
One way to figure out your niche customer is by first looking at all your clients. Take the list of clients you have had since your business started. Who were your very best clients? Did they provide steady income or substantial one-time income? Were they easy to work with? In what way were they easy? Robert Simons, in the Harvard Business Review article, "Choosing the Right Customer"
discusses identifying your primary customer. Simons states, "Identifying the best primary customer for your firm involves assessing each group of customers along three dimensions: perspective, capabilities, and profit potential."
Once you have narrowed down your list of best customers, choose 3 customers that you would like to clone.
Try thinking back to when you barely knew the customers and list their characteristics: What industry are they in? How did you find them and convince them to work with you? Were they difficult or easy to work with in the beginning? What level of income do they have? List their attributes that helped them be your best customer.
Shawn Busse, in the article “Finding the Right Customers and Becoming More Profitable”
states, “Experienced business owners will tell you that the best clients are a pleasure to work with. They’re profitable, appreciative, and truly collaborate to create a win-win scenario.”
Here is my example Customer #1:
Small business, local, easy to work with, trusts me, interested in a long term relationship, can easily see how my company can help in the future, is excited to work on the business and is looking to grow, has been in business for over 20 years, automotive repair industry, appreciates our honesty and ethics, appreciates are know-how, …
From this example, I need to look for other well-established small business customers that appreciate what we have to offer and are interested in a long-term relationship. I can even look specifically in the automotive repair industry or other similar businesses.
If I find clients that appreciate what we have to offer and how we run our business, keeping them satisfied is easy. So go out into the world and find your best customers’ clones.