Romancing Your Customer – – One “Personality” at a Time

LAURA CONNELLYDear Wellness Lifestyle Marketer,

 You may think you have me as your customer, but I just want to remind

you that I live in an option society and have a plethora of choices when seeking out

wellness spa services and experiences. While you run a perfectly nice establishment I prefer

not to have chatty Kathy at the desk probing me about my personal life. When I go for a massage

I am pretty much ready to check out of the world and disengage. I am seeking peace! Not new friendships!

 Truly,

Your “one and only customer”

P.S Make a note and don’t ever forget …it’s all about meeee!

 “Chatty Kathy” and Your One and Only Customer…

 Whew! What side of the bed did she wake up on?! You are thinking… here we are training our staff to be friendly and engaging and she complains about our hospitality! It is easy to dismiss these kinds of people and we do know that working with the “public” is one of the most challenging jobs one can have.

Why? Because all people are individuals and with that comes varied expectations and needs. It would be wonderful if we could market spa services and products to a simple demographic profile such as age, and income level but unfortunately these are only pieces of the client picture.

 If you have researched your target audience thoroughly and understand your demographics in terms of price positioning and market needs, you are off to a good start. But here is the breaking news…your biggest business challenge will be bringing your customer back and selling them up with additional products and services. You know only too well that it costs less to keep a current customer than it does to acquire a new one.  You want to say… “The heck with the grouchy customer, who needs her!”, but you can’t afford to do so and certainly can’t afford to ignore her feedback. In fact you are only too lucky to hear her feedback. It is exactly her “type” that may say nothing and just never return because chatty Kathy scared her away. Don’t fire Kathy just yet!

 Your staff may say “you can’t please them all” but you know better. You are learning that your business won’t survive in today’s experience economy without utilizing psychographics and making it your business to intimately know your customer and anticipate their needs.

 Wow, She’s Got Personality!

 Last week I left off with this powerful statement…

Capturing the hearts and minds of your “one and only customer” will become your main business objective and your distinct competitive advantage. Let’s explore what psychographics means to your business in this context and how you can be extremely successful by understanding the various personalities of your customers.

 Besides the pipe dream of having a highly skilled staff who are attuned to all kinds of customers and know exactly how to deal with each of them, you also need to use market research tools. One of the obvious tools to use is a Customer Survey. On-Line Customer Surveys are now effective modern tools to gather insight and direct feedback from your customers. We all have heard of social media and blogs, where visitors and customers can leave their very uncensored and opinionated comments! In the world of travel and leisure, Hotels are now subject to all kinds of reviews from not just travel editors but from the customers themselves. One bad experience with a bellman and a Hotel’s reputation for friendly staff and environment just went out the window until the next customer comes along and thinks the bellman’s off color jokes are hilarious!   Remember chatty Kathy because she is either a warm welcome or an intrusive nosy body to any one of your customers. After learning more about personality profiles you will discover that our grouchy customer who never came back because of chatty Kathy was just a “serious” type. She came for service and truly wanted peace and quiet. She is a no nonsense person who just wanted basic courtesy and privacy. Not necessarily a grouch but just another personality!

 Savvy Customer Surveys, Market Researchers and On-Line Tools

 The service industry is tough but you are now becoming smarter and savvier…

 A simple on-line survey is one way to begin. But it’s important to design one that effectively gathers information you can use to serve the individual. It is all about them and the more you learn what makes them tick, the better you will be able to serve them. KISS (KEEP IT SUPER SIMPLE! ) is a great way to think about customers surveys. The goal is to make them short, clear and easy to complete. There are so many approaches to constructing questionnaires and this is where things get sticky for most entrepreneurs. Gathering critical market knowledge about your customers is not easy.  Poorly written questions can be interpreted by a customer differently than intended which then produces misleading information. Once you gather the data, what do you do with it? How do you interpret and then apply what you have gleaned directly to the customer experience? Your answer may be …”that is what I have a Marketing Director for!” or more likely “I am the Marketing guru and I will figure it out!”. Fortunately technology has helped us progress in this area and there is a cornucopia of customer relationship management software programs out there to assist you.  

 If you have a decent budget you can hire a market research company that will help you write clear concise surveys and retrieve real useful market intelligence for your business. Larger companies like Claritas (a Nielson property) often have divisions dedicated to small businesses and may have special packages that will meet your needs. Sometimes the investment in an expert saves you lots of money in trial and errors and often they will get you on the smart track sooner than later…

What’s New and What’s Next in Psychographics?

You need CRM programs and you need trained professional staff. But neither may help you with knowing how a “serious” type needs to be treated! Just in case you missed it last week, psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. How can you really leverage psychographics so you do intimately know your customers? I recently discovered a new company called SOUL WORLDWIDE from Australia who has created a wonderful on-line psychographic marketing tool (not to be mistaken for CRM software) which will assess your customer’s personality style through a simple questionnaire. It is deceiving to say simple because actually it is really using science based research questions that create profiles as revealing as a Myers Briggs test often used by educational institutions and HR teams at major corporations.  SOUL is a clever acronym for four customer personality types (Serious, Outgoing, Uninformed and Loyal). Since I am not a representative for this company I will not go on in too much detail about the tool. I will rather direct you to their site and you can learn just how psychographics can improve your bottom line and give you that distinct competitive advantage we talked about. Visit www.soulworldwide.com for more details and take their sample on-line test to discover just how easy it can be to grow your business one personality at a time.

What is significant in our new Web 2.0 world is business owners can now benefit from on-line marketing solutions and psychographic tools cost-effectively. Through savvy questionnaires and on-line technology you can know your customers more intimately and serve their needs more personally. Romancing your customer just got easier and now each customer that walks through your door is a unique individual who just needs to be approached in their own special relating style. Even if she just wants to be left alone in peace and quiet you are on your way to a beautiful friendship…

Let’s talk next week about customizing marketing communications for your one and only customer!

Laura Connolly
Wellness Communications Specialist
Trendscapes Media
Serving Wellness Lifestyle & Culture
info@trendscapesmedia.com
609-613-4642

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One Response

  1. Great topics Laura – just a reminder that the Day Spa Association has some great surveys that help the day spa owner in their quest of knowing their customer
    (1) The Marketing Profile of a Day Spa Goer has been published by the DSA for the past 7 years
    (2) Our Day Spa Compensation and Benchmarking Surveys have some great and invaluable information for every day spa owner and
    (3) Retailing in the Day Spa Setting will be pubished later this fall, and shall give us insights into the retail environment in the day spa industry.
    These surveys and other DSA publications can be obtained through the Day Spa Association at the professional side of the website.
    Thanks for your efforts!
    Hannelore

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