Customer Personas

Understanding Customer Personas

Customer personas are a key part of customer journey maps. While customer journey maps tell of a customer’s experience, customer personas give insight into the customers themselves. When trying to understand a customer’s experience, it is impertinent that you first understand who the customer is. Not all of your customers are the same, and to treat them as such is a grave misstep. Individualization is key in understanding the customer experience and bringing key insights to light that can help make your business more successful.

It’s not Necessarily a Design Issue

I regularly receive emails that go something like this: 

I have almost completed my organization’s journey map! Can you give me some design suggestions before I share it with my company?

This request comes from a good place, a desire to educate the company about the customer’s journey, but after a few questions, it quickly falls apart. There are at least three problems with this request. 

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An experience designed for everybody helps nobody

One unforeseen result from our journey mapping best practices survey was that a surprising number of practitioners – almost one-third – do not use segments or personas in their journey maps.

If you don’t use personas in your maps, then you probably don’t design around specific types of customers. And that’s a real risk.

Because customers are different. And if you’re not using personas to capture those differences to design your experiences, it’s likely that you’re missing some important nuances in your experience design.

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