Customer analysis or: Why customer behavior is so important

June 2016

Many business owners believe they can assess their customers' behavior fairly adequately. They claim they know how regular customers behave, after all, and via the market segment which is served they think they are able to draw conclusions about potential customers. But is this really true? In part this assessment is certainly correct. If the company was really so ignorant as far as its customers are concerned, they would stay away sooner or later. Still, an intuitive review of customer behavior cannot replace a profound customer and target group analysis. It is only through detailed research and the resulting insights that proper impetus for a potentially necessary segmentation or an optimization or even new positioning of your company can be given.

It would be best if you commissioned a customer analysis via a professional market research company like Market Researchers. Here you have an experienced team of analysts, which will first conduct a customer structure analysis and if necessary, also so-called consumer research, within which the exact customer behavior and expectations are analyzed. Customer analysis in a narrow sense or customer structure analysis deals with determining the structure of your customers along geographic, demographic, sociographic and also psychographic criteria. Demographic criteria include age, sex, marital status and household size, for example, while geographic criteria comprise towns, countries and climate. Sociographic criteria on the other hand relate to issues like income, purchasing power, level of education and occupation and psychographic criteria to motivation, attitudes, expected benefit and personality traits.

In order to determine the customer structure it is also necessary to analyze the information behavior, i. e. the communication behavior and the media use of customers. Their buying patterns like e. g. brand selection, brand loyalty, price awareness or the value of their average purchase are also of great importance when it comes to gaining insights for the future orientation of your company through customer analysis. Finally, the usage behavior is also of interest, i. e. the intensity, the environment and the recommendation behavior. On the basis of the criteria mentioned it is possible to determine the structure of your typical customers. This should, however, always be viewed in relation to your top customers since these generate the most revenue for your company.

Following the customer structure analysis you should closely investigate which expectations and needs your customers have. These can be determined easily within the above mentioned consumer research, for instance, in which Market Researchers can support you competently. With both forms of research it is important not to lose sight of customer value. Determining customer value is about examining to what extent a particular customer or customer group contributes to the economic success of a company. In doing so, you have to differentiate between two types of value, monetary customer profitability on the one hand and information and reference value of customers on the other. The first one deals solely with the revenue or contribution margin per customer while the second one covers all customer information which is utilizable by the company, e. g. also complaints since these can be the motivation for optimizing performance.