Tag Archives: personas

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of July 2023

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of July 2023Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month, we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are July’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. 95% of Work is Noise — by Mike Shipulski
  2. Four Characteristics of High Performing Teams — by David Burkus
  3. 39 Digital Transformation Hacks — by Stefan Lindegaard
  4. How to Create Personas That Matter — by Braden Kelley
  5. The Real Problem with Problems — by Mike Shipulski
  6. A Triumph of Artificial Intelligence Rhetoric — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  7. Ideas Have Limited Value — by Greg Satell
  8. Three Cognitive Biases That Can Kill Innovation — by Greg Satell
  9. Navigating the AI Revolution — by Teresa Spangler
  10. How to Make Navigating Ambiguity a Super Power — by Robyn Bolton

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in June that continue to resonate with people:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

Have something to contribute?

Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last three years:

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How to Create Personas That Matter

How to Create Personas That Matter

by Braden Kelley

When doing customer experience work, better to create a range of personas based on where potential customer journeys are likely to diverge and what their behaviors and psychology are.

To create more impactful personas, leave out the demographics and instead choose a collection of representative photos (one per persona), name each persona, and create a descriptive statement for each persona. This is enough. And it will leave you more room (and focus) left for the kinds of information that will better help you not just step into the shoes of the customer, but into their mindset as well. This includes information like:

  1. THEIR business goals
  2. What they need from the company
  3. How they behave
  4. Pain points
  5. One or two key characteristics important for your situation (how they buy, technology they use, etc.)
  6. What shapes their expectations of the company

Focusing more on what the customers think, feel and do will enable your customer experience improvement team to better understand and connect with the needs and motivations of the customers, their journey and what will represent meaningful improvements for them.

Continue reading the rest of this article on HCLTech’s blog

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Image credits: Pexels

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Customer Experience Personified

Customer Experience Personified

by Braden Kelley

When it comes to doing great customer experience work on behalf of HCLTech clients, personas are foundational. But it is harder to create meaningful, actionable personas than people might think.

An Introduction to Personas

Personas are a key part of bringing the customer experience, and the customer, to life. Personas set the stage for the activity that most people associate with customer experience work – the journey map. But for most organizations, not all customers have the same journey. So, it is important to identify the relevant and distinct customer groupings that it is critical to build personas for. Personas serve a number of important functions:

  1. Validate customer segments are sufficiently different from each other
  2. Capture key details about each customer segment on a single page
  3. Serve as a quick reference for the chosen customer segment(s)
  4. Visualize each customer segment as a representative individual people can relate to
  5. Empower people to put themselves in the customer’s shoes (and ideally – their mindset)

For optimal results, personas should be built AFTER conducting research to better understand the customer’s experience via interviews, focus groups, and panels directly with customers across a range of customer sizes and types to understand where their journeys, needs and expectations diverge.

Continue reading the rest of this article on HCLTech’s blog

Image credits: Pexels

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How the Customer in 9C Saved Continental Airlines from Bankruptcy

GUEST POST from Howard Tiersky

When Gordon Bethune took over as CEO of Continental Airlines in 1994, the carrier had just emerged from its second bankruptcy and was headed for their third and potentially final round.

US Department of Transportation statistics from that year show among the ten largest US airlines, Continental ranked dead last in every single key customer service metric.

Against all odds, Bethune was able to turn the company around.

He did it with outstanding leadership, no doubt, but also through the help of one very significant “customer.”

Bethune’s Litmus Test

In his book, From Worst to First, Continental’s Remarkable Comeback, Bethune describes the challenges he faced when he first became CEO of the troubled carrier, including an overwhelming list of problems with the customer experience, on the ground and in the air.

It was too much to tackle all at once, and due to the company’s poor financial performance, money was short.

If the limited resources weren’t used properly, it could mean the end.

Bethune needed a simple method that the executives and managers in his organization could use as a litmus test for what was important when making decisions.

Customer in 9C

Bethune introduced the concept of “The Customer in Seat 9C” — a composite image of their best customer segment —business travelers— who were paying a premium fare and willing to pay more if their experience could be improved in meaningful ways.

Continental analyzed, then pinpointed the key traits, preferences, and concerns of “The Customer in Seat 9C.”

When prioritizing or deciding between different approaches, employees were trained to ask, “What would make a difference for the Customer in Seat 9C? What would make them prefer to fly with us? What would they be willing to pay more for?”

Over the next ten years, with this simple but disciplined focus, Bethune “piloted” Continental out of bankruptcy and to the title of “Fortune’s #1 Most Admired Global Airline.”

Why Your Customers Are Like Snowflakes

Of course, the concept of what “The Customer in Seat 9C” wants is a massive generalization.

On one flight, 9C could be occupied by a 60-year-old bank executive and on the next by a 23-year-old running an organic farming business.

Surely, their needs are not identical.

Like Snowflakes, Every One of Your Customers is a Completely Unique Human Being. But, Also Like Snowflakes, Many Are Extremely Similar

You may very well have noticed this during your customer research.

After listening to 40 contact center interactions with customers calling to order parts, or talking to 15 brides shopping for wedding dresses, or speaking to a dozen owners of luxury cars, while you hear many unique stories, you also start to hear the same themes over and over.

Identifying these patterns is a key part of your customer research.

Once you can analyze and synthesize all of your data, then you get actionable insight that you can use to drive your decision-making.

Personas Are Powerful

Personas are Powerful

That’s why it’s so critical to have customer personas developed for your company that any employee can quickly understand and internalize. It’s great to have decks full of customer data, but a simple, easy to understand vision of who the customer is and what they care first and foremost about makes it actionable to the enterprise.

Your Turn

Do you use customer personas at your company? If so what impact have they had?

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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