Customer Focus

A Day in the Life…

Posted on April 5, 2011. Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Focus, Differentiated Messaging |

We see it on TV, in magazines, even on the web. “A Day in the Life…” Whether the focus in on the president, business executives, celebrities, teachers, Olympic hopefuls, Miss America, or some other interesting character…you name it, we seem to be obsessed with a day in the life of those we don’t know.

But are we obsessed with knowing what a day in the life of our customer looks like? I’d venture a guess to say few of us are. I find it interesting that we care so much about the lives of people we’ll never touch and yet ignore the lives of our customers who we may touch every single day. Instead, we tend to assume what that day looks like. And you know the risk with the tendency to assume.

So if you want to improve your ability to be relevant to your customers, what are you to do about it? Here’s a thought: find out what a day in the life of your customer looks like. You can shadow them, much like reporters do with those people whose lives we read about…but that might get kind of weird in some situations. For instance, if you’re a dentist, your patients may not get all excited about having you follow them around, watching what they eat, how often they brush their teeth, how often they “forget” to floss.  A viable alternative might be to ask them. Focus groups and traditional customer research are great for this, as are intentional conversations. Ask your customers what a day in their lives are like. Actively listen, ask questions, be present in the conversation, and you’ll be amazed at how much insight you gain.

Having these conversations will help you understand the critical objectives of your customers and the challenges that keep them from reaching their objectives. That allows you to develop and position solutions that address the pain points and message in the sweet spot – that area where your customers have needs that you can address with differentiated solutions.

You can assume all you want, create personas until your brain bursts, and dream the loftiest dreams, but until you are obsessed with a day in the life of your customers, you will be guessing at the solutions and messaging that are relevant to them. But once you get a picture of a day in their life, you’ll be able to focus on them with pinpoint accuracy. And though “a day in the life” of your customers may not be TV-ready, what you find will be pretty interesting and exciting for your business.

jkl

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