[ Get to know the audience ] Raise your hand if: You have a product or service that you’re trying to reach customers with that product or service You’re using data to inform decisions you make about this product or service You want to get better at understanding your customer and listening to your customer
It’s hard to be a good listener even when you have data. You wanna scale, you wanna grow But if your method of listening doesn’t scale then the more you grow the harder it will be for you to hear your customers.
Many people think of using data around customers as a simple thing. You look at how customers behave, draw conclusions based on the data, and that informs design. Sounds easy, but it’s really not But it’s not done with averages it’s done with profiles.
“Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” - Mike Tyson
So back to this: It’s HARD to be a good listener. Because even with data it’s hard to get it right. Let me show you what I mean
This is a case study where the data was there, but the use of that data went horribly wrong because it wasn’t well understood
In the late 1940s, the United States air force had a serious problem: its pilots could not keep control of their planes.
Why is this happening? Brass says Pilot Error Pilots say Planes are unpredictable Air Force investigates cockpit design
Air Force hires Lt. Gilbert S. Daniels He was an anthropologist His undergraduate at harvard was measuring hands No two people are alike Zero people are average
Lt. Gilbert S. Daniels measures pilots Out of 4,063 pilots, not a single airman fit within the average range on all 10 dimensions. less than 3.5% of pilots would be average sized on all three dimensions.
They went to Boeing Do it We can’t Market will change We can and it’s cheaper
Key takeawaway: “No one is average”
Even when we have the data, if we don’t understand it, it’s not going to help us.
But the Air force had data, about body shape/size List some data they had They were taking averages, and that was an obvious fault, but the real problem was the air force had data blind spots. how do we find our own data blind spots?
This is how we find data blind spots. This is how we identify bad assumptions and mental shortcuts
Customer avatars are a framework for understanding customers in a detailed way. These help you identify your blind spots
Align your product with his/her overall goal, if your Avatar buys your product, you better have something that can help them accomplish their goals or at least become a facilitator. Make sure you have something to offer them, be aspirational and you will sell more. You will understand their values, what do they believe in, how can we use this information to target them better and offer them a real value of your product and service.
Probably one of the hardest to detect, try not to think of your product or service at all here. These are their challenges as professionals, their fears. These are their actual daily worries, where they may focus most of their productive time.
This often requires the most research and requires talking to real customers. It requires using the product or service you’re making.
If customer pain can become out pain, this gets easier.
This spans beyond just problems with your product.
This is problems with their life, problems with their business.
What keeps them up at night? What are they trying to solve and what roadblocks are coming up?
What objections might they have? Perceptions Price Education Do they have the purchasing power, or are they just an ally for you?
Who do they trust? Where do they get their info?
1-This informs ad spend, and placement. A plumber might not need a snapchat. Or maybe they do. 2-Create content to be published on these channels to educate the avatar about the importance of your service and product. Adding value to their life will make you more credible and valuable. 3-Understanding what books/media/channels they consume
Who are they used to listening to?
What other voices are in this space?
Once you have these avatars, you’re ready to expand them into empathy maps. If you are missing info, you have identified a blind spot. But this takes it even a step further to identify more.
What are they seeing happening in the market? What are other companies similar to theirs doing? Do they see a change, a shift in the industry? What are magazines, blogs or articles of these avatars talking about in the industry? All this information is valuable to understand their external stimuli, how is this affecting them, or how will this affect their decision-making process. If we can have empathy, we can talk to them and present them with solutions that will ease the change. We have to be proactive in understanding how we can generate more trust and have our products be a solution to an immediate problem they foresee.
What are their reactions? What are they talking about either to us or others and what do we imagine they are saying? Frequently people do one thing and say another, especially if they are not informed accurately about the industry.
Get an understanding of context and environment for the customer. This is often done in conjunction with see. If you’re telling them something, what are they hearing? How does all this sound to them?
What do they fear most? Are they frustrated, anxious, or even worried about their present situation? Identify their pain points.
Then, identify their gains, their dreams, and hopes, what do they want!
What are the customer's pains? What frustrations and stresses do they encounter? What risks and threats do they face?
What are the customer's gains? What do they need to be successful and achieve their goals? How do they measure success?
This can help in many many ways, but the way I’m focusing on here is understanding what customers are telling you to help you listen better.
Here’s what I mean by that (next slide)
Who has heard this quote before?
He probably never said that
So let’s just take away that attribution
What I think people often get wrong about this quote is that a customer of Ford, asking for a faster horse, is really useful customer feedback!
If we’re thinking about these things we can take “faster horse” and turn it into “a more convenient and more accessible way to commute”
Study behavior and numbers. If a customer says one thing but behaves another way, use that information. Instead of asking “is this easy” test it. Speed/accuracy. Beware of the vocal minority. This is why social media polls often don’t work. Sample a relevant group. Ask good questions. Open ended Questions that add context Questions that help you understand
Ancestry had a problem
A UX Lead was seeing the same searched over and over. A Product Lead was seeing people search for themselves. It’s how people were testing it
They used this kind of thinking to better understand the customer
So they listened.
One of the biggest questions “Okay but what do I do tho?”
13 pages of buttons
Guides with specific action items to take to succeed online