Why an Emotional Portrait of Your Customer Matters

Is it possible to emotionalize how an organization actually helps someone? Is it realistic to think we can step out of our shoes and into those of our customers?

Yes, people. In fact, entire organizations often align around a collective emotional portrait of the customer they serve. It starts with cIs it possible to emotionalize how an organization actually helps someone? Is it realistic to think we can step out of our shoes and into those of our customers?

A persona is an emotional portrait of the customer we serve. When we step into the minds and hearts of our customers we have an intimate perspective on how our product or service impacts their lives. It helps us identify our strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunity. A persona, when organizationally adopted and internalized, drives more effective, customer-driven decision-making and prioritization.

Here are three important considerations when building a customer persona.

  • Use existing primary and secondary market research targeting the emotional attributes of your customer base. Personas are grounded by research, not subjective opinions.
  • Involve a cross-functional team comprised of key stakeholders within sales, marketing or customer service; anyone that is customer-facing. The personas will more likely be adopted throughout your organization having been built by a broad base of support.
  • Reinforce the adoption of your persona. Top level sponsorship, consistent communication, and integration of a persona into decision-making processes is vital.

A customer persona is based on emotional attributes universally shared across your customer base. They are the desired needs that are met through interaction with our environment, relationships and the products and services we offer.

A persona usually doesn’t include demographic attributes, such as region, income, gender, or age. Demographics are important and when used together with a persona can have profound impact on how and why strategic decisions are made.

Want to learn more about creating a persona? Our friends at Hubspot have created a great video for developing a persona. While HubSpot focuses on the impact to an organization’s marketing department, we believe persona development impacts much more than just marketing. It shapes organizational strategy across product design, manufacturing, sales, and service.

StrategyCheck – When was the last time you stepped into the minds and hearts of your customers?




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