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Use Persona to visualize insights and to build empathy with your customer

How to create a persona?This article focuses only on the first process phase of the Design Thinking and User research process, which it deals with understanding your target customer group as well as their behaviors and feelings in order to get a clear picture of their daily goals and needs.
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How to create a persona?

This article focuses only on the first process phase of the Design Thinking and User research process, which it deals with understanding your target customer group as well as their behaviors and feelings in order to get a clear picture of their daily goals and needs. This is essential before you can develop more precise solutions, tailored exactly for your customer.

Empathy allows us to feel what it is like to be in somebody else’s shoes— a prerequisite for customer-centric and lean innovation. The more we put yourself in the position of the frustrated customers, the better we will understand his pain points.
Involve observations, interviews, consulting with experts, and measurements to gain empathy. There are some open innovation toolkits available, of which I like Mozilla’s available and comprehensive library

Quick market and competitor research will help you to understand the industry and current opportunities with their strength and weaknesses. If your planning is to offer competitive products, the blue ocean strategy is one of the best ways to highlight your competition entry points and allows you to focus on product features you should focus on. Use this spreadsheet to start with the analysis right away.

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Source: TheInnovationManager

It’s important to relate to physical as well as conceptual elements to avoid assumptions and make objective assessments.

To capture all your relevant information it’s best to create Personas. This allows everyone in your team to visualize key insights on your target customer group. Use Customer Journey’s to analyze every process step that your customer takes during his buying interactions with your company. Both methods allow you to make customer thoughts, feelings and behaviors transparent and will provide every team member as well as people outside the team with crucial information, where your customer faces problems. This activity can be done either with your existing products and services or any other competitive solutions which the customer is already using.

With Pyoneer our goal is to provide every Design Thinking practitioner with the right toolset. With our Persona and Customer Journey tools we believe to simplify applying Desing Thinking for everyone, whether he is an expert or a bloody beginner, and wish our solution takes this great customer-oriented framework into the daily work of more and more people.

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Most products fail because we waste needless time, money, and effort building the wrong product — something nobody wants.

We need to embrace the fact that customers are significantly different than ever before.

Today, products are delivered via the internet, which has led to a dramatic shift in how people consume, demand, and interacts with products. The challenge companies face today is to deliver personalized, valuable, and immediate experiences.

The old “one size fits all” mentality doesn’t work in the future, where companies develop and market products based on market segmentation and demographics. The assumption that products, features, and marketing will meet the needs of all people within that demographic is obsolete.

Use Persona build empathy with your customer

Personas are fictional characters that contain insights from your customer research. They represent one customer type that is interested in your products, services or brand. This archetypes of people incorporate customer goals, problems (often called “Pain Points”) behaviors and interests. These help teams and decision makers to think from a customer perspective and add a human touch — in contrary to the traditional internal perspective. Additionally, they allow you to understand patterns in from your research, what is synthesized in archetypes of people you seek to do something for. Personas are also known as model characters or composite characters.

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Value of using Personas

Personas are a great way to visualize what you currently know about customer needs and behaviors. In a rapidly changing world, it’s the only way to ensure you build what customers want is to engage them continuously. Personas are the best way to control the changing needs of your customers.

Create and update Personas when:

  • You receive a product, feature or service request of customer –
  • To agree no your product planning to prioritize feature based on the Persona value
  • Teams with different roles collaborate to create products or value for the customer
  • Your teams need to be aligned to share the same customer understanding

Personas in the Design Thinking process

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When to create Personas

The risk of product-failure in our fast evolving world can be reduced with a continuous engagement of your customers. Customer research provides teams and organization with the required insights and confidence to ideate and develops the right products. All innovation and product development activities need to have a clear purpose to create value for your customers and to solve his problems. A persona represents exactly this “voice of your customer”.

Personas are normally created during the second phase of the Design Thinking process — the Define phase. Design Thinkers synthesize their findings and insights from customer research. Very often teams also start to create Proto-personas which are based on secondary research. Secondary research, like competitor or market analysis, allows quick insights for the first draft of your Persona.

Using personas is just one method, among others, that can help designers and development teams to define the customer problem statement. This so-called Point-of-View (PoV) is a guiding statement that focusses on specific users, and insights and needs that you have uncovered during the customer research. You can articulate your POV by framing the information about your customer (Persona), the needs or problems and the insights in the following sequence:

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Point-of-View Statement

The PoV defines the RIGHT challenge to address during the next Design Thinking process step, which is the Ideation phase. It

Get feedback from all your customer touchpoints in one place

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Many organization oversees the real value of their data generated by customers. There are dozens of “Voice-of-customer” solutions with customers, like support systems, survey tools, app reviews, sales tools, NPS services, internal tools and many more. It’s relevant to get all your data in one place to uncover what your customers are saying and requesting. Personas are fictional characters but they represent your existing and living customers, that’s why it’s necessary to update these archetypes with your frequently gained insights.

Customer feedback via social media or product review sites like Amazon can horribly damage brand reputations. It is so important to consider every touchpoint with your customer. In our fast-changing world one of the main goals of the organization, today is to have an up-to-date understanding of all your customer groups to ensure continuous innovation. Create Personas during your customer research and update them, whenever your customer leave relevant insights with problems or needs.

Beside creating Personas, connect your “Voice-of-Customer” tools to get all your relevant customer feedback from customer research, sales, marketing and service in one place. With the centralized data, you can very easily select and add insights to your Personas, that your teams will always be provided with the required customer information. This enables teams an instant view of customer problems and needs, to be equipped with the required information to come up with better products that deliver real customer value.

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How Pyoneer supports to do better customer research

 

About the Author

Stefan is a passionate Design Thinker and founder of Pyoneer. Follow my professional network on LinkedIn, on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter on Design Thinking and Lean Innovation.

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