Understanding your customers
We examine the importance of better knowing your customers' needs, wants and expectations, and delve into the art of persona creation, looking at how it can improve service delivery when applied well...
The Importance of Personas
Customers are the life blood of any organisation, that is stating the obvious, but how well does your team know your customers? The truth is, if we know our customers well we can provide them with improved services that better meet their needs. In this way avoidable costs can be reduced saving everyone time and money.
With the advent of the digital service standards in 2017, if you've not done so already there's no time like the present to create your personas and use them to improve your service delivery. This will help you to evidence the requirements of those standards and to achieve a successful assessment. So how do you get to know your customers, especially when there are possibly thousands of them?
At GOSS, we help you segment customers into smaller more manageable groups, creating a persona to reflect each one. This enables everyone to understand the different categories of customer and in turn get to grips with what distinguishes each group from the next. Quite clearly there are many benefits to creating personas that accurately reflect your customers, such as:
- Gain a better understanding of your customer groups and their individual needs
- Develop a shared understanding of your customers, right across the organisation
- Ensure that new members of staff receive an induction that is focussed on your customer types
- Design services that meet your customer needs
- Develop communications that are targeted at specific customer groups
- Improve customer access and satisfaction
- Achieve savings by delivering services in the most efficient way
- Reduce failure demand
Making Your Personas a Reality
As part of helping organisations implement digital transformation, GOSS offers a specialist service that handles these challenges. GOSS Transform are best-practice experts in helping organisations improve and accelerate their transformation aspirations, achieving improve customer satisfaction, cost savings and streamlined service delivery.
GOSS Transform works with you and selected members of your service delivery teams, to develop and share a detailed understanding of your customers. We start with a fun, interactive workshop, offering a powerful and enlightening experience to those in attendance. Experience tells us that in order to accurately reflect your customer base, we need to define between 7 and 10 segments using your own customer insight data. Once this part of the exercise is complete, things start to get really interesting!
For each segment, we create a persona that reflects that particular group of customers. We add reasons for those customers to interact with your organisation, which then become the basis for your customer experience stories. Once we have fully developed, three dimensional personas there are many ways in which they can be used to help your staff and improve service delivery, such as:
- Creating profiles and banners that can be used around the organisation to build awareness
- Using them in customer focus and engagement events to develop a shared understanding and progress improvement and communications plans
- Using them to instil a customer focus during team meetings
- Utilising your personas and customer journeys to ensure that your proposals are customer focussed when reviewing your services and processes
- Using them to support staff induction and training to ensure persona knowledge is shared throughout the organisation
If your organisation is or intends to follow the digital standards route, the creation and use of personas will help provide evidence against quite a number of the standards including:
- Understand user needs
- Ongoing user support
- Encourage everyone to use the digital service
- Make sure users succeed first-time
For more information about GOSS Transform the customer persona support we provide and how we could help you deliver your transformation programmes click here.