Project Everest

Customer Segment

[Customer Segment]: SoCon Fiji - Early Adopters - July 2019

Lean phase: Customer segment

Aim: This months aim was to restart the lean canvas to identify our customer segments who extracting data from both financial institutions (FIs), as well as small-to-medium business holders (SMEs). 

Through data collection and survey results from 11 institutions across 16 branches, 3 customer segments have been identified: Early adopters, Early majority and key stakeholders. The segments differ in how many of these categories they satisfy:

  1. Have a problem

  2. Identify they have a problem

  3. Are willing to pay for a solution

Early adopters must satisfy all 3 categories. Early majority satisfy 1 or 2 categories. Key stakeholders do not satisfy any of these categories. 

Financial Institution:

Early Adopters:

Customers in this category have a problem of accessing or profiling customers due to poor processes and strict requirements, meaning that they are missing out on viable customer segments such as small businesses. In addition, they are aware of the fact that they have this problem in accessing or profiling customers and are willing to pay for a solution. The FIs we identified as early adopters are Bank of Baroda, Merchants Finance, Fiji Development Bank and Credit Corporation.

All 4 banks have these features in common: Currently paying for marketing services, understand they have an unreached customer market, are interested in expanding their future market and are interested in increasing brand awareness. The early adopters consist of small to medium banks and as such, were community and locally minded. Each FI stated they saw turning away customers as a last resort and endeavoured to assist customers in obtaining a loan. 

To increase the likelihood of adoption, it would be beneficial to emphasise the potential ability of increasing brand awareness, as Credit Corporation suggested this was something they were lacking. Our solution should encompass their desire to maintain a high level of customer service as it would result in an increase in word of mouth marketing, customer advocacy and customer retention.

Early majority:

The early majority are the FIs who will adopt the product after witnessing its success with early adopters. 100% of the early majority have a problem but may not independently identify that they have a problem or might not be willing to pay for a solution just yet. Under this category we identified Bank of South Pacific, BRED Bank, Home Finance Company and Carpenters Finance. They are all currently paying for marketing services and believe current methods are able to increase their customer base, with 4/4 early majority FIs having a problem and 3/4 FIs actually identifying they have a problem. The 4 early majority FIs do not perceive unsuccessful loan applications as having a negative impact on the business but do endeavour to maintain customer experience by encouraging potential loan applicants to return with the correct documentation. The early majority FIs are not yet ready to pay for a solution as they believe their current marketing methods will steadily increase their customer base. Our potential solution must show early adopters it's ability to decrease the number of customers that are being turned away as one of their biggest priorities is to attempt to service everyone that walks through their door. 

Key stakeholders:

Key stakeholders are those characterised by not having a problem, do not identify that they have a problem and are not willing to pay for a solution. The key stakeholders are ANZ and Westpac, with South Pacific Business Development Bank acting as a key source of information. By evaluating results, the larger banks of ANZ and Westpac did not see any negative impacts as a result of turning away customers and instead even suggested they benefit from not servicing certain customers as it saves them resources and time. Furthermore, these banks were not interested in expanding their customer segment to include start up businesses due to liquidity and security issues. Larger banks do not intend to revisit their stringent loan requirements or repayment schedules to suit the needs of potential customers and therefore are not part of our target customer segment.

 

Small and Medium Enterprise Owners:

Native fijians living within inland villages and working within the industries of tourism and agriculture highlight emotions of helplessness, frustration and demotivation when dealing with issues of financial management. Post data collection highlighted that the demographics that struggled the most regarding budgeting and loan requirements, include: Inland; ages 18-30 and 51+; working within the industries of tourism and agriculture

 

Early Adopters:

Our data highlighted that 33/63 people, interviewed,  identify as early adopters: those who have problems with accessing financial management, they identify they have a problem and are willing to pay for a solution to aid them. These respondents lack access to capital and the knowledge of how to correctly use and obtain personal and business financial management schemes. Of those 33 individuals 78.8% live inland with the majority (45.5%) working within retail, 33.3% tourism and 21.2% in agriculture. 

When identifying access to financial 14 of 33 early adopters currently do not keep any form of financial documentation. Sales and costs are the most likely for our early adopters to manage with 52% keeping them regularly. 

11 have previously had a loan, the majority with SPBD. 

 

Agriculture: 

Agriculture is one of the largest industries in Fijian villages. Out of all the agriculture businesses we interviewed, they were all owned and run by the family. Majority of these farms, where self sustaining and any extra produced made was then distributed to the local markets to be sold for extra income. From interviewing these farmers, it is evident that documentation isn’t a problem for village life as farmland is passed through generations, thus there is no need for legal documentation. On the other hand, some villages the farmland is community owned, making it more difficult to establish documentation. Family businesses means that financial documents such as hours worked and payslips are not kept. Employees and owners are paid via cash in hand. Many have used the Department of Agriculture Grant: a one off, yearly grant of up to $1000 which is provided through machinery, tools and seeds for farmers. The majority of farmers benefited from this grant, and would be interested in finding another way to obtain these services. 

 

Tourism:

Tourism is widely used within village life as a secondary source of income, this includes; handicrafts, village tours and the participating tourists in cultural activities. These jobs are usually performed by women, especially when men spend the majority of their time running their farms. From speaking to the interviewees, it is evident that this provides a secondary income for the family, but also provides jobs for the women in the community. Many women struggle to make a consistent profit due to tourism season fluctuations and competition between the women in the same village and neighbouring villages due to similar products being produced. Both within the village and when selling at markets or hotels all transfers are received by cash, thus no receipts are kept. It is evident that it is very unlikely that they keep documentation in the form of sales or costs. The majority say that their primary reason for operating this business is for family. Most are interested in producing more products, however they still wish to keep it on a small scale. 

 

Inland:

78.8% of our early adopters live in villages, that were classified as inland. The inland segment were found to be less educated in financial documentation and management. This could be due to the fact that coastal villages have benefited from workshops that have been run by the surrounding hotels, and many are employed by the hotels, who produce payslips and other financial documents. It is challenging for people that live inland to travel to banks, and are more inclined to bank with SPBD who travel to their villages to advocate their loans and products. 

 

Ages:

Of all 63 data points, it is evident that the age range of 18-30, 60% have a basic idea of financial management. 31-50, 75% have a basic idea and 50+ 45.5% have no idea with 42.4% having a basic idea. Overall, the age group of 31-50 have the greatest amount of knowledge with 15% assessed having a good idea, compared to 12% within the 50+ range and 10% in the 18-30 range. 

 

Customer gains

Our identified customer segment highlight desires of business expansion and greater disposable income to progress and grow their business as well as the ability to greater support their family. 

An accessible and easy way to manage their finances. Many interviewees expressed a want for greater education surrounding financial management for both business and personal reasonsings. A key finding was that many villages has not tried to access loans due to lack of documentation and knowledge of the difficulty of obtaining it. Furthermore, those who have previously or currently have a loan, in particular using SPBD due their face-to-face repayments, however are unwilling to obtain another loan due to the high interest rates. 

Customers aim is to ensure that they are able to support their families, and ensure their children are able to obtain a proper education. Another dream is for the customers to be able to support the community, in both a financial and emotional setting. It is evident from our interviews that majority of villagers is to grow their businesses and teach their children skill sets. 

To ensure the adopted solution is implemented by our customer segment, we have to ensure that the product has a high level of useability. Some of the potential users of the product may not be educated, thus the product must be very simple and easy to use. When demonstrating the adopted solution, it must be clearly outlined what the end goal of the product is. There is a need to explain why it is important that they use this product. 

 

Next move

The next step in the process is to ensure the implementation of our proposed MVP, firstly through our early adopters.

 

edited on 23rd July 2019, 04:07 by Fiona Ye

Seif Zakri Stacey Jul 26, 2018

This is good information, your customer segment segment sounds a lot like we have in Malawi. I think it would be great however if you could clarify what assumptions you made about your customer segment and how exactly you validated in your surveys. I was just a bit confused on which of your customer segment you were covering in this post, from what I gathered it was primarily focused on your farmer segment?

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Wade Tink Jul 26, 2018

Good point. This could also be done as another post highlighting the results of your validation methods, or added as an attachment. Thus keeping this post to clearly lay out the customer segment information.

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Wade Tink Jul 26, 2018

Within this post you have laid out the three customer segments you engaged with. Given that alot of people have no background context on these segment could you expand the information to include more characteristics. Geography being an important one for future teams. I've attached so guides that may help.

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Charlotte Jones Jul 27, 2018

Thank you Tink, this was helpful feedback. I have changed my post in response to your comments.

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Andrew Vild Aug 10, 2018

Status label added: Customer Segment

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