Introduction to Personas
Customer personas are a design technique to provoke empathetic, customer-centric thinking by capturing the key attributes of your core customer segments.
A persona is a fictional character created to represent a user type; the user type for the persona can be a target user, a current user, or simply a relevant user. Personas can be used to give a customer segment a face and name and make it easier to step into the shoes of the customer.
Personas make talking about customers and their characteristics more tangible and concrete and make it easier to refer back to a pattern of characteristics.
We recommend creating multiple personas to represent the diverse needs of different stakeholders within a specific journey.
Creating a persona from your dashboard
1. Go to your dashboard and go to the "Personas" section.
2. There's a button at the top "+ persona" to create a persona and the pop-up box will appear.
There are four template options you can choose from when making your persona; they are the standard persona, the sales persona, the think - feel - say - do persona, and finally, there is an option to copy the structure from an existing persona template.
The standard persona is a simple persona template that you can use as a blank slate for any type of persona that you wish to create. The standard persona consists of the narrative, characteristics, behaviours, and needs and wants.
The sales persona is especially useful for bringing to life a customer who will be buying a product or paying for a service. The persona template includes the narrative, needs and wants, pain points, goals, and characteristics.
The think-feel-say-do persona is a great way to provide an overview of a person’s experience. It is perfect for building empathy and really stepping into the shoes of the persona to understand them from an emotional level.
Any persona you make can be customised to your liking and you can later base new personas from your customised persona by clicking the “copy structure from existing persona” dropdown in the Template section.
Once you have chosen the template for your persona you can then fill in the details and specifics for the persona in the sections.
To share your persona, there’s an E xport button at the top right-hand corner of the screen when you go to view your persona. Once exported, share it with your team and discuss what could be improved or added to complete your persona.
To give you a quick view of what it would look like, here’s a snapshot of a finished persona that has been exported as a PDF:
As you can see, the persona above is named and has a narrative. The narrative of the persona gives a broad overview of the fundamental aspects of the persona. The narrative usually touches on all the main points that will be explored in detail later on in the persona.
The characteristics section outlines the most defining attributes of the persona, here you will strip the persona to its bare bones and present the customer in a simplified way. You could, for example, state their age, job title, and work type to name a few.
The preferences and desires of the persona give you a window into what makes the persona tick. Here you talk about things that the persona always ensures they do and things they always strive to incorporate or do.
Based on who you’ve made your persona out to be and their unique characteristics, preferences, and desires you can formulate their goals and motivations. For them, their goals and motivations are what drives them; it is what they are striving to, and wanting to, achieve. The goals and motivations can be as simple as meeting KPI’s or as complex as implementing new software.
Finally, you’ve got concerns and challenges. This section is all about potential problems your persona could face or things that your persona would like to avoid. These insights can be powerful when connected to a strong value proposition that can alleviate these concerns or challenges.
Personas can be accessed quickly when completing a Journey Map by clicking the persona arrow on the left-hand side of the screen. This allows you to quickly reflect and remind yourself of the important factors for a persona as you create a journey map or service design blueprint.
By the time your customer personas are at this stage, you'll probably be quite proud of them. You'll have identified your core customer segments, and created different personas for each one.
Share and validate with your team
The challenge at this stage of the process is that if your customer personas aren't accurate, you leave yourself open to a range of different risks as you move forward with your CX improvement plans. Failure to validate your personas can lead to:
- Personas that are corrupted with the assumptions and biases of you and your team.
- False insights in your CX tests.
- Missing key personas.
That's why it's crucial at this point to validate your personas. The best way to do this is by showing them to customers themselves, and asking for their feedback - but you can also get useful validation from a broader selection of your customer-facing staff. Often a design or strategy team is one step removed from day-to-day customer interactions, so it's really useful to speak to the staff who are talking to customers every day for feedback on the personas you've created.
You can do this by clicking the gear icon and share button on the top right of a collection.
Once you have validated your personas with your team, we strongly recommend exporting them and going out to your customer segment to get their feedback and validation. You can easily export your personas to PDF and JPG via the platform.