What is a customer profile template? And how to create one

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When growing a business, understanding the company's customer base is crucial for maximising revenue. This relies on building customer profiles, which outline the lifestyles, needs, interests and demographics of a company's typical customers. Learning about customer profiles and how to make an effective template can help you develop better sales and marketing strategies that target these customers. In this article, we explain what a customer profile template is, outline how to create a customer profile and look at a template of a customer profile.

What is a customer profile template?

A customer profile template is a document that companies use to understand their target audience. These templates typically contain information on a range of customer traits, such as the average customer's socio-economic status, educational background, interests, values and lifestyle choices. A company's marketing department typically puts together a customer profile, as they have access to most of the data that helps businesses understand customer buying habits. These profiles can help companies target campaigns to those who are likely to make a purchase.

Customer profiles are beneficial for sales and marketing staff as they include a customer's potential needs and pain points. This allows the company to effectively sell a product or service to that audience. Following a template when creating customer profiles ensures that staff members across a company follow the same guidelines. This helps to ensure consistency and makes it easier for sales teams and analysts to assess potential sales. Some of the information that companies focus on in customer profiles include:

  • Age: This refers to the age bracket that the majority of customers fall into, which is beneficial for creating digital marketing campaigns with specific targets. Gaining this information helps increase the efficiency of spending on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

  • Gender: This refers to the target customer's gender. Companies may produce different marketing materials and product branding depending on the specific preferences of the target customer's gender.

  • Interests: This part of the customer profile outlines the target customer's interests that they pursue outside of work. Gaining this type of information can help companies to develop marketing materials that potential customers have an emotional connection with, helping to boost sales.

  • Location: This refers to the typical customer's location, which varies depending on the type of business. For instance, whether the company is a local shop or a business selling to international customers and delivering from a central hub.

  • Income: This refers to the customer's average income. Gaining this information helps companies to set appropriate prices and develop a strategy for encouraging more customers to purchase their products or services.

  • Marital status: This refers to an individual's relationship status, such as whether they're single, married or have a family. Information like this can help companies determine the kinds of challenges their customers face, their future goals and how much disposable income they have.

  • Pain points: This section of the customer profile includes the issues customers have with the company's products or services. Gaining this information helps companies to address these problems and create products or services that meet their customers' needs more closely.

  • Existing products: This part of the profile indicates the company's products or services that the customer currently owns or uses. Companies may use this information to guide their sales strategies, such as creating accessories for products that the target customer owns.

Related: A guide to getting demographic information from surveys

How to create a customer profile

Below, you can find out how to create a customer profile:

1. Gather relevant data

To create a customer profile, it's necessary to thoroughly research the business's customer base. A company's customers might include one or more specific demographics, and understanding these demographics can help companies to maximise their potential sales. When completing this step, it's crucial to learn about the business's existing customers and those that may have an interest in purchasing the business's products or services. In particular, studying the latter group is crucial for expanding a company's customer base and sales.

Companies may gather relevant data to compile their customer profiles in several ways. For instance, they may send out surveys. Additionally, they may use focus groups, which involve asking existing and potential customers questions relating to a company's products or services and their purchasing reasons. This information can help sales and marketing teams to develop more effective business strategies. Moreover, it can help research and development teams to identify improvement areas for their products or services.

Related: How to design and conduct effective focus group discussions

2. Choose a template

After gathering relevant customer data, choose an appropriate template to use. Selecting a template for each customer profile you make ensures they're all consistent. This increases efficiency across an organisation, as people are more likely to understand the information that other professionals include in these documents. Following a template consistently also increases corporate cohesion. This prevents disagreements in the workplace and increases morale as everyone works towards the same outcomes.

When choosing a template, it's crucial to consider several factors. First, try to keep it as simple as possible and use a clear structure, as this allows employees to quickly identify and process the relevant information. Additionally, it's vital to include numerous fields in the template. This ensures those completing the profile add as much information as possible, which is crucial for gaining a detailed and accurate view of a business's customer base. After choosing a template, share it with each company department. This ensures that the company's employees start using the template as soon as possible.

Related: How to be customer-centric in your organisation (plus tips)

3. Record the main details

After choosing a suitable template, the next step involves writing the customer profile itself. When completing this step, write the information succinctly and clearly. Try to only include the fundamental details in the template, as this helps other professionals to easily assimilate this information. When including data, try to display it in such a way that prevents confusion while also providing valuable insights as to who the company's target customers are. Doing this helps companies to make sound business decisions more quickly.

Example: A company employee gathers data to complete a customer profile. They determine that the ages of a sample of their customers are 19, 20, 20, 18, 34, 67, 68, 71 and 72. There are two clear age groups in this section.

To make it clearer for those who are reading the profile, the employee states that the first age group of the company's target customers is 18-21. Then, they state that the second age group of the company's target customers is 65-75. Finally, they mention that there are few customers between these age ranges. By doing this, the company's decision-makers quickly become aware of the data's key insights.

Related: What is strategic decision-making? (With examples)

4. Review the process

After a period, review the process for creating customer profiles. This involves looking over sales figures for each period, examining advertising data, such as click-through rates, and talking to staff members who use the process. Doing this allows you to identify improvement areas, enabling businesses to create more compelling customer profiles. Generally, if several people agree on a particular issue regarding how the company makes customer profiles, this suggests that improvements are necessary.

When completing this step, try to consider all areas of the process for creating customer profiles where you can make potential improvements. For example, if staff members find it challenging to gain all the information the template asks for, consider omitting some of the fields in the template.

Related: Performance management importance: how to review employees

Template of a customer profile

Below is a template of a customer profile:

Customer Profile
Age: [The age range for this customer profile.]
Gender: [The gender for this customer profile.]
Location: [The customer's location and where they shop.]
Interests: [The customer's interests outside of work.]
Income: [The customer's income.]
Pain points: [These are the issues that prevent the company from completing sales to this type of customer.]
Ideal strategy: [These are the sales and marketing strategies used to target this customer profile.]
Goals: [Organisational goals when targeting these customers, such as sales targets and other measurable information.]

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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