When a company thinks about its customer most only consider the customer that purchases their product or service. With that thought they also create Experiences, whether negative or positive, for that one customer type. That experience, when it’s positive, normally centers on creating an environment that encourages a customer to buy, buy more or refer someone else to buy. This strategy is a one dimensional as it only pin points one customer type. However, in most organizations there are at least three different customer types; Purchasing Customer (Queen), Supporting Customer and Strategic Customer. In some cases there is also an Investing Customer. In order to ultimately satisfy the Purchasing Customer the organization must have an Experience to satisfy the other customers as well.
Creating one Experience that encompasses all the customer types is suicide. Though many Experiences may be similar in nature it must be a key difference in order to satisfy the unique customer type and their ulterior motives.
Let’s look at the four major types:
Purchasing Customer: This customer is the basis of growth and actually the “Queen” customer. Experiences created for this customer must be produced to satisfy the emotional need of purchasing a product or service and their logical reasoning for purchasing it. It is important to create an Experience that satisfies their need to talk about their purchase to others.
Supporting Customer: This customer is the employee of an organization, the “King” customer. In order to create a Profitable Experience for the Purchasing Customer, the “Queen”, it is important that the Experience created for the Supporting Customer is built around Team Work and Individual Growth. If the Experience for this customer is not satisfied an organization risks the chance of creating a Positive Experience for the Purchasing Customer. To neglect this customer is to neglect company growth and increase employee turnover.
Strategic Customer: This customer is usually a provider or vendor. Referrals from strategic relationships are a huge deal these days. Vendors have a vested interest in an organization especially if the vendor has a single product that it delivers. If the organization stays in business then the vendor prospers as well. Experiences created for this customer group centers around team work, communication and empowering the vendors to refer business. This will also result in higher service quality which could result in better product and pricing for the organization.
Investing Customer: This customer is your investor. The Experience for this customer must center on creating an emotional and logical reason for this customer to increase their investment or bring other investors to the table when needed. The Experience for the Investing Customer is not as emotional as the Purchasing Company however there is an emotional side to this logical customer type.
Once organizations begin to identify each customer type applicable to its business, create an effective Experience for each type their marketing investment will decrease and productivity will increase in a record amount time and their pool of satisfied Purchasing Customers will be unlimited.