We all work for our customers. In some cases, we are in direct contact with them. For the majority of us, the customer is quite far in the value chain, and we don’t have direct access to him. So we imagine what he wants, what’s important to him, how he’s going to use our product.
Unfortunately, even with a lot of imagination, we are often wrong. In this article, I give you several tips to better understand your client!
Do we really know what our Customers?
In this video, customers use the product provided, but not quite as expected by the manufacturer…
Watch customers use the product or service
By being as discreet as possible, so as not to influence his behavior, go and see how your customers use your products. Marketing teams organize workshops or simulations. Ask to participate as an observer. It’s very informative.
In some cases, you can just go there. This is the client Gemba, which I detail in a another article.
For example, I met a person who took the time to observe the lighting of the building that her company designed. She took several photos to share with her colleagues. She could also interact with passers-by and ask them how they find the building’s light enhancement. After all, whether the buildings are public or private, the customer remains the citizen.
Putting yourself in the shoes of customers
Another technique is to slip into the client’s skin. Are you drawing cars? Put-on a pregnant woman’s belly, or an aging simulator and then get on board a vehicle.
Are your clients children? Get down on your knees, the world is very different at their height. A lot of new details will appear.
Create detailed personas
The last technique is to create personas. These are invented characters, who use your product.
Beware of your cognitive biases, these customers must be different from you. You know how you’re going to react, how you use the products. For the persona to work, they have to be different. Age, sex, job, ethnicity, … Their relationship to time, money, family, consumption is different from yours. Beyond the persona, detail his story: where he comes from and his aspirations: what does he want. The more accurate and documented he is, the less your biases will influence your work.
The use of persona will be richer than a categorization of your customers, but it will always be limited. Always focus on the Gemba and direct observation!