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Who Are Your Customers?

Mar 12, 2008
Are you aware of who your customers are? Are they male or female? What is their age? Are they married or single? If you answered no to any these questions you are not alone. Many organizations are unaware of who their customers are.

In a recent study (Rostrvm Solutions Limited 07) when asked these questions:

1)Roughly what proportion of your customers are under the age of 35? and
2)What proportion of your customers are female?

nearly two thirds of the answers were 'I don't know!'

However, it was noted that smaller companies had a stronger awareness of customer demographics when compared with larger operations.

Here's my working definition of Demographics: The statistical characteristics of human populations, such as age, gender, geographic location, marital status, ethnicity, and income, used by businesses to identify markets for their goods and services.

Demographics are used to identify who your customers are (now and in the future), where they live, and how likely they are to purchase the product or service you are selling.

While demographic studies of customers frequently confirm what you might already intuitively know, they just as often can hold surprises. After all, few companies have a single customer profile.

Why are demographics important?

First, they help you in deciding which channels of communication are most valuable to you.

Secondly, for new and potential customers, knowing your target audience is crucial.

Third, demographics serve as a means of locating geographic areas where the largest number of potential customers live.

In an interview with Delia Passi Smalter, the former publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines, (Incentive Magazine, p. 62), I found the following statistics regarding female demographics very interesting.

Women are making over 85% of consumer purchases, and influencing more than 95% of total goods and services.

Smalter distinguishes the purchasing process women and men go through. The biggest one, she says, is that women need to feel more of a connection to the customer service person they are dealing with. They need to trust the corporation and the brand. Price becomes secondary. Additionally, women take in a lot of information, including recommendations from friends and family, company and brand reputation, feelings about her contact person, and how the brand will impact her life.

This is not the process men go through. Men, on the other hand, take a systematic approach, allowing outside influence to some degree, but mostly men are focused on price.

Wouldn't this information be important for you to know when creating your product and/or service, and influential in targeting your market?
About the Author
Rosanne Dausilio, Ph.D., customer service expert, provides needs analyses, customer service training; authors Wake Up Your Call Center, Customer Service & the Human Experience, Lay Your Cards on the Table, Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch tips newsletter at http://www.HumanTechTips.com
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