Customer Personas: Using Personas

This is part 5 of our series on Customer Personas, previous segments are available in our archives.

With our customer personas in hand, it’s time to use them to make some decisions!

As I mentioned when we started, customer personas are useful as stand-ins for large segments of your customers. You can use them to evaluate many different decisions through the eyes of your customers. For example, if you are…

  • … considering adding new features. Will your personas care? What is the utility to them and how will they perceive that utility? Do they have time to use more features or are they already spending as much time as they can with you?
  • … considering a new brand message. How will it stand out for them? What other messages are they receiving and how will this appear in contrast to those? Is there a way to speak in a language that appeals to them directly?
  • … considering a new market. Do your personas exist in the new market? Will you need to reach entirely new types of customers, or reach the same personas in new ways?

Most companies will take it one step further and use their personas to assemble customer focus groups, which are simply panels of customers that fit into a given persona. By collecting customers by persona, you can get live and relevant feedback about upcoming changes from real customers in a way that should be directed and consistent. Customer focus groups built from personas are far superior to general customer panels, where you will get many conflicting interests and perspectives.

However you use your personas, make sure everyone at your company knows what they are and uses them as a reference point for decision making. If you do, you’ll find your team making better and more consistent customer-focused decisions.

In Review: Customer personas are a simple way to make sure you take customers into account during every decision that you make. By creating a few profiles of typical customer types, you make it easier to see through the eyes of your customers.

Quote of the Day: “I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. ” ― Walt Whitman