Understanding your customers
Customers - can't live without them, can't live with them!
Customers are the life blood of any organisation - that's stating the obvious but how many staff really get this? How often do you experience people who treat you, the customer, as a nuisance that gets in the way of them doing their job? Sadly, these are the people who really should be offering great levels of customer service.
The better we know our customers, the better the service that we can provide to them. Which in turn brings in more income or reduces avoidable costs, saving everyone time and money. With the advent of the digital service standards there is 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?
Here at GOSS, we segment them in to smaller more manageable groups, creating a persona to reflect each one. This way you can understand the general traits and needs of your customers. It doesn't stop you treating them as individuals, in fact it enables you to provide improved services from a point of knowledge.
There are many benefits to creating personas that accurately reflect your customers:
- Gain a better understanding of your customer segments 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 segments
- 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
- Through developing a detailed understanding of your customers, you will be better able to forecast future requirements from your service
We work with you and selected members of your services to develop and share a detailed understanding of your customers. We start with a fun, interactive workshop, offering a powerful and enlightening experience to delegates.
The more the merrier is not a great approach when creating your customer personas! This doesn't help you to get to know your customers, it creates confusion and apathy. We aim to define between 7 and 10 customer segments from your customer insight data, which will accurately reflect your customer base. Once we have the key segments from the customer insight data, then it starts to get really interesting!
For each selected segment, we create a persona that reflects that group of your customers. We add reasons to interact with the organisation and these become the basis for your customer experience stories. We have a future blog dedicated to this as it's a whole topic by itself, watch out for this in the coming weeks.
Once you have your customer personas, there are many ways that they can be used to inform your staff and your service delivery:
- Create profiles and banners to be used around the organisation to build awareness
- Use them in customer focus and engagement events to develop a shared understanding and to develop improvement plans and communications plans
- Use them to engender a customer focus in team meetings
- When reviewing your services and processes use your personas and their customer journeys to ensure that your proposals are customer focussed
- Use them to support induction and training to ensure that new and existing staff alike hold that same knowledge of the customers that they will be or are delivering services to
If you are or will be going down 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;
- do ongoing user support;
- encourage everyone to use the digital service; and
- make sure users succeed first-time.
Talk to us about how we can help you to develop your customer personas. If you already have personas, talk to us about how you can get the most out of them within your organisation.
Ask us about facilitating engagement events for you, we offer interactive and engaging workshops that allow you to really explore and share customer insight.
For more information about us, the work that we do and how we could help you deliver your transformation programmes visit www.gossinteractive.com/digital-transformation