Using Your NPS Data to Build An Ideal Customer Persona (and then 10x your growth with personalization)

I’m going to teach you a little trick — one you can use to impress your friends at dinner or your co-workers at your next meeting.

What you’re going to do is draw four shapes on a piece of paper: A triangle, a circle, a square and a squiggly line.

Don’t let your friends see what you’re drawing beforehand.

Once you’re done, tell them that they’ll need to pick one of the objects they see within 5 seconds of seeing them.

BUT, before you give them the option to choose, YOU need to write down what each of them are going to pick.

Don’t worry, I’m going to tell you how you’re going to do this in a second.

Once you’ve written down your choices, you’re going to conceal those answers and place the folded paper where everyone can see.

Now it’s time for your friends to answer. They can either say them out loud or write them down on a piece of paper. But remember, they need to pick quickly — in 5 seconds or less.

After they have all picked their answers, it’s time for you to blow their minds.

If all goes as planned, you’ll have accurately predicted the shape each person chose before they actually chose it.

How did you do this?

It’s pretty simple really. Psychological studies have shown us that we’re all instinctively attracted to one of these 4 shapes based on our own personality.

Go ahead and try it on yourself … take a look at the shapes above and quickly pick one.

If you’re analytical, you likely chose the square. If you’re a social butterfly, you probably went with the circle. If you’re a leader, you probably went with the triangle. And if you’re creative, it was likely the squiggle.

I mean, this isn’t an exact science, but as a fair estimate, you’re going to nail it 90% or more of the time.

Obviously, you need to be somewhat familiar with the people you’re doing this with … but I’ve got a hack for you if you’re not.

Just ask them what they do for a living.

Here’s the cheat sheet:

  • Accountants, programmers, statisticians, etc. — Square
  • Managers, CEO’s, C-Level, Public Speakers, etc. — Triangle
  • HR, Event Planners, Stay-at-Home Parents, etc. — Circle
  • Designers, Artists, Musicians, etc. — Squiggle

Go ahead, give it a shot. You can thank me later.

Personalities and Personas

So, you may be wondering … aside from entertaining your friends and colleagues with a silly personality test, what was the point of sharing that with you? And, what does it have to do with creating ideal customer personas?

The fact is, one of the secrets to engaging prospects and converting them into customers is in the way that you communicate with them.

Have you ever spoken with a sales person that just bored you to tears? Must of us have at some point … and it’s painful.

Chances are, that salesperson probably wasn’t just a boring person by nature (I mean, I guess they could have been), but rather, they probably just failed to engage you in a meaningful way. I.e. The way you prefer to be spoken to.

Most salespeople are great at asking questions and taking visual cues to make on-the-fly adjustments to their pitch based on who they are speaking to. And, oftentimes, this is largely based on the personality of the person they’re pitching.

Our individual personalities are tied very closely with how we process the data we’re receiving. If we’re a squiggle, we want less detail and more pictures. But, if we’re a square, we want to understand every last nuance.

Understanding the personalities of your ideal customers will ultimately help guide you in how you should be communicating to your ideal prospects and in turn, convert more visitors into leads and leads into sales.

BUT … how do you gather this data?

I mean, it’s not like you’re going to start asking your prospects and customers to pick from random shapes, right?

Using NPS to Build Your Ideal Customer Persona

According to a recent State of Segmentation study done by our friends over at RightMessage, a website personalization platform, over 80% of list segmentation done by businesses today is based only on behaviors. In other words, what someone has done in the past — i.e. signed up for a webinar, downloaded a lead magnet, purchased product A or B, etc.

This information can be very useful … but it tells you very little when it comes to understanding your customers true buying intentions or motivations — i.e. what they need most from you.

The study also indicated that the two least common ways that companies segment their database is based on who they are and what they need — which are arguably the two most important factors in building an ideal customer persona.

That’s a big missed opportunity for these companies, but great news for you — especially if you’re reliably collecting Net Promoter data.

Using a combination of tagging feedback and tapping into the existing attributes associated to your customers, you can easy filter your NPS results down to only your Promoters, and find the commonalities within customer base.

Start with answering the question, “who are our happiest/best customers”.

For some companies, this could be based on role type … i.e. 60% of our Promoters are Director-level employees and in companies with more than 500 employees.

For other companies, the who might refer to the customer’s demographic or geographic attributes … age range, physical location, etc.

Depending on the tools you’re using and the data you’ve gathered on customers in the past, you may or may not have these attributes already collected.

Either way, it shouldn’t be too hard to gather. You could use a data enrichment tool such as Clearbit to populate these fields in a matter of minutes.

Once you have the attributes properly associated to your customers, you’ll just load those into an NPS platform like Promoter.io, and BAM … you’ll be able to slice and filter NPS data with your enriched data points and various customer segments.

Note: This data enrichment capability isn’t available with all NPS solutions, so you’ll want to check with your provider beforehand. This is supported natively at Promoter.io.

Now that you’ve narrowed down the “who”, it’s time to figure out the “what”.

What do our happiest/best customers need most from us?

Or, another way to think about this is, what do our customers like or appreciate most about working with us.

Often times, the feedback they provided will give you the insights you need to answer this question immediately.

Tagging their feedback will allow you to quickly filter down the most common answers among your promoters (or optionally take advantage of our new Keyword Analysis feature).

To give you an example, you may hear from a customer that your product/service helped them reduce internal costs by X%. Another customer may say something about it helping them save 1,000’s of dollars.

While said in a different way, these are both referring to the ROI your company has delivered.

Using a tag of ‘ROI’ will allow you to now group these together.

It’s also possible that, after filtering through the NPS data from your promoters, you discover that you haven’t been given enough feedback to come to any meaningful conclusions.

The good news is, you know who your promoters are, so all you need to do is ask them. :)

Using Your Ideal Customer Persona to 10x Your Growth

Now that you’ve compiled the data on who your best customers are and what is driving their interest in your product or service, it’s time to multiply your growth.

This starts with targeting.

Using lookalike targeting, along with an export of your ideal customers, you can begin promoting your company to your most ideal niche and focus those acquisition dollars where it counts most.

Alternatively, now that you have a better understanding of the characteristics of your ideal prospect, you can use those data points to align them where they can be reached — communities online, conferences, etc.

Once you figure out how to find the best prospects for your business, it’s all about the messaging — which goes back to how this post began.

If your business is driven primarily by in-person or over-the-phone sales, you’ll want to arm your sales team with data and talking points that will resonate most with these prospects.

From there, a good sales person should be able to navigate the nuances of each unique prospect outside of their commonalities as an ideal buyer.

Where things break down for most companies though is when it comes to their website — the place where the sales most often take place.

Most marketing websites today say the same thing to everyone — which is why conversion rates are so terribly low.

Even when you’ve narrowed your messaging down to match that of your ideal customer profile, you still miss the personal touch that occurs in a 1-to-1 sales conversation.

This is where website personalization with a tool such as RightMessage comes in.

The tool essentially layers on top of your existing content and allows you to personalize the content and calls-to-action based on things such as which ad someone clicked on, where they are in your sales funnel or their behaviors on your site.

It’s the next best thing to having a salesperson live on your site 24 hours per day.

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Customers today are looking for products and solutions that are seemingly meant just for them. This is the level of relevancy that customers have come to expect.

Using a combination of the NPS data you’ve been collecting along with techniques designed to reach and communicate with your ideal customers is the formula for a growing and profitable business.

In addition to everything else you use NPS for within your organization, make sure you’re using it to level up your marketing as well. The ROI here can be quite dramatic.

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Chad Keck

As a product lead and executive for numerous successful ventures (Rackspace, HP Cloud, AppFog), Chad founded Promoter.io to help bring the actionable insights provided by Net Promoter to all businesses. He is a native Texan with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs.

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