What A Face Mask Can Do for Customer Segmentation
Everyone has an opinion about face masks. Some think they help stop the spread of COVID-19; some think they are unnecessary and a nuisance; others fall somewhere in between. However, what you probably didn’t know about face masks is they can help you customize moments of your Customer Experience so that no matter what opinion your customer has, they feel like you understand them.
This episode of The Intuitive Customer discusses this essential and relevant chance to participate in customer segmentation. Customer segmentation, you might recall, is the opportunity to take your more substantial groups of customers and put them in groups based on a characteristic(s) they share. In this case, our segmentation example is regarding face masks by asking customers when they wear them to determine how they feel about the global pandemic.
Here are the key takeaways from this episode:
People have had different experiences during the pandemic this far, and it will affect customer behavior. Different countries and states had varying degrees of “lockdown,” ranging from none at all to shelter in place. It is essential to understand what conditions your customers had to determine how they feel before they walk through your door.
People will emerge from the pandemic in different emotional states about their safety. Like the conditions they experienced, people have varying degrees of regard for their safety as the world returns to the new normal. Some are terrified and will avoid returning to brick and mortar locations; some flout requirements to wear face masks, calling the pandemic a “hoax.” It would be best to know what type of emotional state your customers are in so you can provide the appropriate response in your Customer Experience. We know that in some countries face masks are being politicized. This doesn’t matter for this segmentation as we are talking about how Customers Behave.
A Golden Questions helps determine the customers’ emotional state regarding the pandemic. If you ask people how they feel about the threat of COVID-19, they probably won’t tell you the whole truth, especially if they don’t know you. To get to the heart of their feelings, you should ask a different way. A Golden Question is an example of a query that reveals how a customer feels about something without asking them about that something directly. In the case of face-mask segmentation, we think the Golden Question is, “When have you been wearing a face mask?”
We have identified five likely segments of face mask wearers. We have determined the five divisions of face mask wearers here:
Full Metal Jacket: Someone that has been locked in and is venerable or looking after someone venerable.
The nervous face mask: Forced to go out for food shopping or work but is nervous.
The social conscious face mask: They are concern but understand the science. They are not that worried about face mask but realize their social responsibility
The pocket face mask: They have a face mask in their pocket/purse and will see what others are doing or will wear it in certain conditions.
The freedom fighter: Never wear a face mask as I don’t want government to tell me what to do. It’s all overblown.
It is important not to judge any group. Empathy for each of the groups will make this exercise more successful.
Segment your customers into the face mask wearers. Once you have asked your customer the Golden Question about Facemasks, you should then segment them into one of the five groups we identified based on their answers.
Try to step outside your feelings. Like everyone else, you probably identify with one of these groups. You find their feelings easy to understand because you feel the same way. However, we recommend that you try to “step outside your feelings” and see the issue from the other group’s perspective.
Use the face mask wearer segmentation to customize your experience (and messaging) for each group. Since each group shares an emotional state about the threat of COVID-19, you can design responses that appeal to each group’s unique psychological needs. For example, you can communicate to Full Metal Jacket face mask wearers all the things you have changed to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in your experience and send a warm, “Welcome Back!” to your Freedom Fighters.
Recognize that what people need now is not what they needed three or four months ago. Customer’s needs change based on the situation they experience. Before the pandemic, we would have said that having an easy experience was essential; after the pandemic, I would say safety is paramount. Adapting and responding is key to your ability to navigate the “new normal” successfully.
Guest Author: Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market.
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