Offering a highly targeted customer experience is much easier when you create effective buyer personas. Learn more in our best practice guide below, with tips on what to include in your buyer personas and how to use them to better your business.
What is a buyer persona?
Buyer personas (or customer personas) are representations of your ideal customers. They’re mostly fictional characters that serve as examples of the customers you’d like to target.
Created using market research and other data on the types of customers you want to attract, your buyer personas can help you to define the specific needs of your customer segments.
Why are buyer personas important?
Buyer personas are an important part of customer journey mapping, as they help you to determine how a certain type of person might travel through your customer experience touchpoints.
Without having a clear idea of who you’re creating your products, marketing, and customer experiences for, your customer journey might be less effective.
Your aim is to drive people to a sale or a signup – and if your journey isn’t what your potential customers are expecting or looking for, chances are they’ll go elsewhere.
With a fully fleshed-out buyer persona, you can answer the following questions:
- What is my potential customer looking for, and what do they expect from my customer experience/products and services?
- What problems are we solving for them?
- What would convince this customer to buy from us?
- What would make this customer choose us over our competitors?
What are the benefits of creating a buyer persona?
It’s much easier to design products and create digital marketing or customer experience strategies when you have an example customer in mind.
Rather than guessing or just offering what you think will work, you’re better able to plan your approach to various customer segments and bring your strategies to life.
There are several benefits to creating a buyer persona:
More focused products and services
Your buyer personas highlight the reasons why your customers are looking for a product, and what they expect to find. Your product development will become more focused when you’ve aligned your designs to your buyer personas and the solutions they’re looking for.
More targeted marketing
If you know what your potential customers value and are seeking from your products and services, you’re better able to tempt them with your marketing campaigns.
Your content marketing and social media outreach are easier to personalize to your customers when you’ve collated their information into a buyer persona. Rather than aiming for a generic target audience, you can aim for specific types of customers based on their demographic and channels of choice.
A tailored customer experience
Your customers have preferences for the channels they use, the way they solve problems, and how they prefer to contact you. They also have likes and dislikes when it comes to purchasing processes, such as how they prefer to browse products or pay.
When you’ve narrowed down your customers’ preferences and created a buyer persona, you’re more easily able to create a customer experience and journey that feels tailored to individual consumers or specific business customers. Even though you’re targeting a whole segment, your single-persona approach will feel more authentic to your customer.
Better problem-solving and lead generation
With a buyer persona, your customer service teams will have a deeper understanding of your customers’ background and pain points. Their handling of issues will be backed by the information you can provide on the types of problems customers encounter, and the way customers prefer things to be resolved.
Not only that, but your sales teams will have an easier time creating leads, as they’ll know how to approach potential customer problems and offer solutions via your products and services.
What does a buyer persona include?
A great buyer persona has a lot of information about the kind of customer you’re aiming to entice with your products and services. To build out a thorough persona, you’ll need to source the following information:
- Your target demographics, such as age, occupation, and ability to make purchase decisions
- Your customer’s location
- Their goals, such as product purchase, profit, or business growth
- Their top factors for choosing a provider of products and services
- Providers or brands they might already buy from
- Their main problems or pain points
- Their basic needs, such as a product that solves a particular problem
- Which channels they prefer, such as email, face-to-face contact, chatbots, etc.
With this data, you can create a buyer persona that feels authentic to a real customer and their needs.
How to create a buyer persona
The following steps will help you to create a thorough buyer persona, whether you’re a small business or a scale-up organization.
1. Do your market research
It’s likely you’ve already done a lot of marketing research into your potential customers and segmented your customers into separate groups.
These are helpful as a starting point for your buyer personas, as they’ll likely already have demographic data and more included.
2. Decide on your target customer audience
From each of your marketing segments, decide on a group of customers you’d like to use to gather information for your buyer persona.
You might want to create a research panel from this group to use as a baseline for future surveys. This means you can compare results gathered over time.
3. Create surveys
There are numerous survey types you can use to gather insights into your customers. Each will provide you with a different view of your customers’ experience with your brand and can help you to flesh out your buyer persona further.
Useful surveys include:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Understand how loyal your customers are to your brand
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Find out how satisfied your customers are with their experience
- Customer Effort Score (CES): See how much effort your customers need to use to navigate your service
- Product Market Fit (PMF): Understand how well your products fit the market need for your customers
The questions you use in these surveys can help you to narrow down your customers’ preferences and opinions. You can use initial questions to get a general opinion, and then drill down with Additional Questions to get further detail.
Here are some examples of initial questions you might use:
[CSAT]: How satisfied were you with your experience today?
[NPS]: How likely are you to recommend our product to your peers?
[CES]: The website made it easy for me to compare products
For your Additional Questions, you can ask the customer to expand on their response, or ask further questions to get more detail. This helps you to get customer’s feedback in their own words, better illustrate their pain points and understand their goals more thoroughly.
4. Send out your surveys
There are multiple ways to deliver your surveys to your chosen audience. You can use:
- Text message (SMS)
- In-app surveys (SDK)
Choose how often your surveys are to be sent out, and make sure you’re thinking about when they’re delivered throughout the customer journey. Ideally, you will send regular surveys to your customers to understand how their needs and opinions change over time, or how they feel at particular journey points.
5. Filter your feedback
When creating your surveys with solutions such as Delighted’s experience management platform, you can add Properties to your survey requests that personalize surveys to each customer and make feedback more specific.
You can filter your feedback by the following:
- Basic customer details such as length of time as a customer, products purchased, etc.
- Their geography and language
- Their demographic information: Age, education, income, and other demographic factors
- Their purchase location
- Whether they’re new or existing customers
- Their customer type, such as buyers or consultants, or their tier level, such as free plan, premium, or enterprise
- Your product lines
This helps you to add more detail to your buyer personas.
6. Collate and analyze your data
Now’s the time to review all the data you’ve collected. Looking through the lens of your customer segments, begin to draw conclusions about your customers’ preferences and requirements. This is where Reporting can come in handy to help present your data clearly and concisely.
You can also add in additional layers of information, such as sales data, to see how these customer details affect your financial outcomes.
7. Create your buyer personas
With the data you’ve collated neatly divided into customer segments, begin to create a fictional persona that will represent the buyers from that group.
Your buyer persona should feel as real as possible. If it helps, you can add a name, images, quotes, and more to make this “person” easier to imagine.
With the level of detail you’ve gathered, your buyer persona’s motivations, needs, and goals should be clear and easy to understand.
TIP: Remember that though B2C customers might be easy to translate into a buyer persona, your B2B clients might not be. With multiple stakeholders and more complex requirements, you may need a few personas to help you meet their needs.
From creating your buyer persona to mapping a customer journey, Delighted surveys make it easy to understand your audiences and perfect their experiences at every stage of the customer lifecycle.