THE PERSONA AND CUSTOMER JOURNEY

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1 THE PERSONA AND CUSTOMER JOURNEY 1. Story telling You have been out and have been talking to your natives. Now is the time to share the stories you have heard in your teams and to capture the insights. Try to get as many observations, capture as many feelings, emotions and insights out of them as possible and put them on post-its. If there was a very prominent quote form one of your users make sure you write it down as well. Telling stories is about transforming the stories we heard during research into data and information that we can use to inspire opportunities, ideas and solutions. Stories are framed around real people and their lives, not summaries of information. Stories are useful because they are accounts of specific events, not general statements. They provide us with concrete details that help us imagine solutions to particular problems. It s best to share stories soon after research so that details are not lost. One team member should tell the story of the person(s) they met, while the rest of the team takes notes on post-its. Notes should be small pieces of information (no longer than a sentence) that will be easy to remember later. As a group you should be thinking, What does this new information mean for the project? Some tips on storytelling: Help yourself with the following questions to your natives to encourage the story sharing: Have you ever [done something]? How often do you [do that thing]? What makes you decide to [do that thing]? When was the last time you [did that thing]? Tell me about that. (and really listen). 2. Describe your native. Build the persona. A persona is a fictitious composite character based on your exploration that embodies your user. Personas help idea generation and help you become more empathic with your audience. Think about your persona as the person you are designing/building your product for. When creating your persona think about: Name

2 Demographics Needs Problems Values Quotes Tensions Insights Life stage Motivations Life attitude Building your persona will help you understand how to best find them, reach them and keep their interest. You can use some of these questions when you are thinking about your persona. How can you best reach them? In order to communicate effectively with your audience, you want to know where they hang out (in person or online) and what media they prefer. o How much time do they typically spend on the web, at home, out, with friends, alone, etc.? o When looking for advice, where do they go? o How big is their social and professional network? o What are their preferred social media channels? o Do they prefer written or verbal communication? How can you attract and keep their interest? Once you know where to find your target audience, you want to identify how you can pique their interest, drive them to your content, and keep them engaged. o What sites do they visit most frequently and why? o How much interaction and engagement are they seeking? o What type of content is most important to them? o How much time do they have to interact with you and/or your content? o What types of other people do they see, where? o Where do they go? What places do they visit? o Where do they interact with your product if it is not online? How can you help them? Remember our golden rule: Always Provide Value. Therefore, it s crucial that you determine how to best serve your audience. o What problems are they trying to solve? o What are their biggest pain points? o What do they want to get out of interacting with you and/or your content? o What s their level of expertise in their industry and in your industry?

3 How do they make purchase decisions? It goes without saying that ultimately, you want to convert your visitors into leads and your leads into sales. After all, you re running a business. As a result, you will want to know as much as possible about your personas decision making processes, so that you can nurture them appropriately along the way. o What are the driving factors when it comes to purchasing decisions? o What is their role in the decision making process? o How quickly do they make decisions? o How much research do they do before making a decision or recommendation? o If they are not the decision makers, what types of deliverables do they need to bring to the decision maker? o Where does your product fit in their life? Vis-à-vis other products? o Who is the decision maker? If you have more than one target group, then you create a separate persona for each target group. 4. The Customer Journey Now that your product gets in the territory of your natives and you are not there to explain what they should do with it and how they should use it in the best possible way, everything is a fair game. You have the human and the interaction with your product. Consuming of your product is a process, just like creating your product. The more you know your human, the better you will prepare your product to be interacted with during the customer journey, which is also a process. This map gives you the possibility to synthesise and capture everything you have discovered in your exploration phase. A customer journey map is a framework that enables you to improve your customer experience. It documents the customer experience through their perspective, helping you best understand how customers are interacting with you. It also helps you identify areas for improvement moving forward. It is not linear as the customer can jump from one phase to the other. It gives you the possibility to explore new truths about the customer and form your marketing, sales and product strategy. The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer. A customer journey map is rooted in research and provides us the freedom to explore new truths about our customers. It is not based on assumptions, it is based on observations and insights. What is the point of going through the Customer Journey? To build a lifelong relationship with your customer, not to make a transaction. Now is the time to look at your product with the eyes of your customer. As we already said, this is the basis of your product, marketing and sales strategies.

4 What would we use it for? Customer journey maps help us develop the best product roadmap. Customer journey maps help us prioritize competing deliverables. Customer journey maps help us plan for hiring and team expansion. Customer journey maps help us find the right 4Psfor this product and this user. How to build it? The timeline is just the starting point; next we need to look at what s happening at each stage. Perhaps it will help you if you think about: Actions: What is the user doing at each stage? What actions are they taking to move themselves on to the next stage? Motivations: Why is the user motivated to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? Why do they care? Questions: What are the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues preventing the user from moving to the next stage? Barriers: What structural, process, cost, implementation, or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage? 1. So, create the customer stages: Awareness Discover Purchase/Join Before During After Use for the first time Repetitive use Bonding or Exit Post-sales service Recommendation versus complaint 2. And then start coming up with the journey thinking about: Journey steps Touch points Observations and insights Emotions and Feelings Moments of truth Opportunities Use the information you gathered in the exploration stage, don t assume. And always keep your persona in mind.

5 This is a life and constantly evolving document based on your continuous interactions with your natives and enriched with the new insights you will inevitable dig out. A couple of useful resources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jajduxpd6h4 An Example of a Persona This is a Persona for Virk.dk. Virk.dk is a portal for digital reporting. At Virk.dk, Danish companies can find all the forms needed for reporting to the authorities. Dorte is 53 years old and works as a secretary in her husband s plumbing business in the suburbs of Copenhagen. There are 5-6 assistants and apprentices in the company. Background When Dorte was very young she trained as an office clerk in the accounts department in a department store in Copenhagen. She was married at the age of 21 to Jan who had just got his skilled worker s certificate. They have two grown-up sons who no longer live at home in the combined house and workshop/office. Their sons visit frequently as they still enjoy mum s cooking. Dorte likes to keep up with fashion. She often goes to the hairdresser, loves vibrant colours and elegant shoes. When she reads women s magazines, she looks for small tips that she changes and makes her own. She is always smartly dressed and stays fit. Dorte loves travelling to faraway countries; most recently, she and her family were on a trip to

6 Vietnam this summer. Before they went, she spent time reading up on the country and also watched the film Indochine starring Catherine Deneuve. Dorte always discusses the vacations with Jan, who would prefer to go to Rhodes with old friends, but it is Dorte who has the final say about the destination. In an average day, she tends to drink too many cups of coffee, and when the telephone rings all the time and she can t reach the assistants, she also tends to smoke a bit too much. Dorte makes payments to the Danish early retirement benefit scheme and looks forward to the day where she no longer has to be the mum of others any more and can spend more time travelling. Computer use Dorte does the accounts and the bookkeeping, VAT, taxes, vacation pay, the Danish Labour Market Supplementary Pension ATP, etc. She uses a mini financial management system that she has mastered after many years of use, but sometimes the system is not completely logical. If she were to use other systems or use new, digital reporting, she would prefer it to be demonstrated to her by someone. She feels unable to learn something new when it is just explained to her, and she dislikes reading user guides. She says it takes her a long time to study anything new and familiarise herself with it, and she tends to see more limitations than possibilities in new IT. Dorte often underestimates her IT proficiency and overestimates the time that it will take to learn something new, so she stalls before she even gets started. If she needs IT help, her oldest son and, less often, a woman friend provide the support. The friend works in a big company and is a super-user of the financial management software. Reporting Dorte handles the tax cards for the business. She deals with and reports the wages, vacations, sickness benefits, and maternity leaves of the staff. She does the VAT returns and annual accounts of the company. In addition, she fills in the reports for Statistics Denmark and the Employer s Reimbursement System AER. Dorte does not understand the logic of the IT system and does not trust everything to happen as it should. If she sends in a return form or report digitally, she likes a confirmation saying that the recipient has received the form. Her workday: She is not involved in the plumbing business as a trade, but she knows all the technical terms. She tidies things up. She does not want the others (her husband and the assistants) to make a mess in the basement where the office is as she is the one who has to look at it all day Tidy up! Your mum does not work here! She digs in and sometimes has to keep far too many balls in the air at the same time.

7 She holds the fort, but does not get a lot of professional recognition in the company from the boss/her husband. She answers the telephone, handles mail, deliveries of goods (including invoices and delivery letters), and . She handles the accounts, does some bookkeeping and writes invoices. She makes the coffee. She has occasional contact with the accountant. She does the invoicing of clients. She sends/delivers mail every day. She sends reminders. She handles customer contact (including damage control). She also walks the dog. Future goals Dorte dreams about a future where she no longer has to work and where she can spend more time travelling. She is still debating with Jan whether they should travel or buy a summer cottage where they can live all year round when they retire.

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