Customer Segmentation Employee Training Tips

As a consumer, you may have been targeted by online ads, direct emails, social media and other forms of marketing. As a marketing professional, you know that to attract customers, old-fashioned marketing approaches are not enough.

Some of today’s consumers want the personal touch. They want to know not only about your product, but about your company, its values, its vision, and how it does business. They want to understand how your product will improve their lives and give them a reason to come back.

That’s where customer segmentation comes in. A recent survey by Bain & Company revealed that 81% of company executives thought customer segmentation was critical for profit growth, but less than 25% believed their companies used it effectively. Even when customer segmentation showed profits increase by more than 15%, there still seemed to be a disconnect between theory and practice.

One reason for this disconnect may be that different departments are not all on the same page when it comes to understanding and using customer segmentation tactics. Technology gurus may be dazzled by metrics and analytics; graphic designers and customer service might favor new social media approaches; managers may worry about the budget.

Businesswoman presenting pie chart in meeting to colleagues.

What’s the solution? Bring all involved departments together before embarking on your next customer segmentation project. Why? To train them about customer segmentation – what it is, how it works, and why they need to know how to use it. The departments will learn to use the right tools to design and implement a targeted program that gets results. For those who already use this method, employee training can be a refresher. For those who are unfamiliar with it, training will demonstrate just how effective this approach can be.

Here are 10 tips to help you design and implement an organization-wide customer segmentation training session:

  1. Start by identifying who needs to be part of the training. If you only include the marketing department, you might be preaching to the choir. Be sure to also include IT professionals who predominantly work with marketing, customer service employees and sales team members.
  2. Design a short online questionnaire to get an idea of the range of knowledge each involved member has about customer segmentation and the tools needed to make it work. You can limit this to 10 key questions or less.
  3. Analyze the questionnaire results to determine where you need to focus the training. You may want to have two sessions: a basic intro to explain customer segmentation to non-marketing professionals, and a second session to go more in-depth on how to improve the process.
  4. Use your professional marketing team members as mentors to other departments. The marketing department can guide the others in learning the ideas and processes necessary for a successful customer segmentation campaign.
  5. Determine how well your Customer Relationship Management(CRM) software works and if it is being updated regularly by all users. If you are relying on this data and it is not up-to-date, your project may miss its target. If not everyone understands how to use the CRM, schedule an additional training session for those who are not savvy with the programs.
  6. Provide additional training and/or assistance in data analysis. This includes the ability to read, understand and create simple analytics pertaining to customer segmentation. Being able to understand and use data is one of the key required traitsemployers are seeking in new employees.
  7. Use an open communication approach during the training. Be sure to welcome questions and ideas from all stakeholders and ask for feedback. You may be surprised at some of the insights you find.
  8. Stress the concept of “Know Your Customer.” Use scenarios and models to create sample customer profilesusing customer segmentation components.
  9. Consider developing a series of videos specific to each area of customer segmentation. Keep them short and targeted, approximately 10 minutes or less. If possible, make them a requirement for new hires in specific departments to simplify future training initiatives.
  10. Depending on time and money constraints, use online course providers or Learning Management Systems Fthat use short videos with scenarios, interactive choices and immediate feedback. This approach is especially appealing to millennial and Generation Z employees.

Next Steps

Technology changes daily, and so does the way we deliver our message. Ongoing, targeted training will keep your staff members at the top of their game and your organization ahead of the competition.

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