Best of all, most online survey services compile and organize data for you, giving you a quick overview of all the responses without having to handle the raw data yourself.
6. Gather data from customer complaints.
This may sound like an odd place to gather data, but hear me out.
It’s no fun to trawl through the comments of unhappy customers. However, these comments may include valuable information for your customer personas.
For example, does a certain type of customer always seem to complain about the same pain point? Could it be that this isn’t your ideal type of customer, or are they being served the wrong product for their needs?
Complaints contain insights into the challenges your customers face and whether or not your product is meeting those challenges. This is also a great place to draw information for your negative customer personas (more on that below).
7. Ask the right questions.
Whether you’re gathering data from your CRM, phone interviews, or an online survey, you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
So, what are the different aspects that make up your ideal customer? What common traits show you which of your product is right for a certain customer?
These are questions you’ll need to determine for yourself when deciding how you want to build effective customer personas. After all, customer personas should be unique to each business.
Most importantly, as you go along, remember to ask why they responded in a certain way. This allows you to dig beneath the surface and find the true motivations behind those responses.
8. Create as many customer personas as you need.
Don’t limit yourself to just one or two customer personas.
If your products fit into a wide range of customers, make sure you create a persona for each market you’re targeting. That way, you’ll be able to segment your marketing and sales efforts accurately.
9. Teach your team how to talk to each persona.
Each customer persona has their own language and way of speaking depending on where they’re from or their educational background.
That’s why it’s important to determine how best to talk to each persona, and share that information with your team.
To do this, develop a separate ‘elevator pitch’ for each persona.
After all, a certain aspect of your business may be more important to one type of customer than to another.
For example, let’s say you provide accounting software for businesses of all sizes. Your elevator pitch doesn’t need to mention that your software allows for over 500 users if the business you’re talking to has only two employees.
10. Identify your negative customer persona.
From the data you collected, you’ve found your ideal customer.
However, you can also use this data to create a negative customer persona. For example, this could include visitors to your website who aren’t in the right stage of the buying process, or companies that are too large (or too small) to find your product useful.
With negative customer personas, you can quickly weed out leads that aren’t valuable to your company.
11. Give them a name, and include a real-life picture.
When creating your customer persona documents, get creative! Give them a name, and add a picture of an actual person (using free stock photography websites like Pexels).
Then, flesh out your customer personas with a cool design tool like Canva, or use a dedicated tool like Smaply to drag and drop visual elements into your customer persona.