Marketing teams frequently use customer personas to develop campaigns and for branding purposes. But that's not all they're good for. A well-crafted customer persona provides insights that can benefit everyone on your team.
From executives to sales, and from product development to support, the more connected to your customers your team feels, the better equipped they are to support them. And in today's world, a connected experience can be the difference between your customers choosing you or a competitor.
But how can you use customer personas across your organization to create a more unified experience? You can use them...
...to create business plans.
Strategic plans outline how your business will reach its goals, and I believe the best plans are defined with your customers in mind. They account for who your customers are today and who they may be in the future, as well as their needs and wants, and where you can find them.
If you're working on the strategic plans for your business and haven't seen your customer personas, ask your marketing team for a copy. If your marketing team hasn't created any customer personas, you may want to consider working with them to create or build them.
The ideal time to evaluate customer personas is during the research and analysis phase of the planning process. Understanding your customer better is an important step to creating well-thought-out and comprehensive plans.
Once those plans are in place, you can use the same personas to track progress, validate new assumptions, evaluate trends and much more.
...to audit your business processes.
Everyone in your company is connected to your customers either directly or indirectly. Understanding your customer's perspective on their various connections to your team can help create a positive brand experience.
So, it's important that you're aware of how your customers view your brand. One way to do this is by using your customer personas to conduct a business process audit.
During a business process audit, the goal is to review business processes. If you're looking for ways to understand your customers' perspective, you can use your customer personas as a guide for the audit.
To start, walk through each of your business processes as each of your customer personas. Then document your findings and highlight gaps or areas of opportunities.
Frequent business process audits can be a good way to make sure your business is keeping up with the needs of your customers. As your customers change, your personas and business processes should change, too.
...to build your products and services.
You want your customers to love your products and services. One way to do that is by keeping your customers top of mind during the product/service development life cycle—not just in theory, but in practice.
Customer personas offer teams that aren't typically customer-facing an opportunity to connect with customers. For example, software companies use customer personas to drive key decisions on design (i.e. "What colors should we use on the interface?") and prioritize their feature list.
Service-based companies can use personas to help determine what to offer and how to offer it. This could mean revisiting how you bundle or unbundle your offerings.
Incorporating your customer personas into your product or service development process can help you focus your energy on building things that create direct value.
...to craft sales and support materials.
It's important that your sales and support teams feel connected to your customers. The more engaged they are, the more opportunities you may have to create a positive customer experience.
You can use customer personas to help create these meaningful connections—in person, on the phone and online. For example, let's say you're looking for ways to create a more unified sales experience. You can use customer personas to create sales scripts, playbooks or training sessions that address the needs of different customers.
Have a support team that uses knowledge-based articles to service customers? You can share the customer personas with the team's manager or the individuals who write the articles so they can account for all of the use cases the different personas present.
Say you're using chatbots (which are growing in popularity) as a tool for supplemental support. You may want to connect with your technology team. They can use the customer personas to create detailed requirements for the chatbot, which can help make them—and ultimately, the customer's experience—better.
Customer personas are powerful tools that provide helpful insights into the lives of your customers. I believe they should be shared across your organization—these are just a few ways you can use them. If you take a moment to evaluate the people, processes, products and services within your organization, you may find even more ways they can be used.
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