I came across this interesting article shared by SoDA this week – Digging in the Dirt: Getting Into the Field for Your Customer Journey Map – and it got me thinking about how often we talk about the customer journey, customer path to purchase, customer experience and so on. But how often do we actually get out there and walk in the shoes of our customers and see things from their perspective? We spend so much time in the office, often scrutinising and interpreting customer data and research reports. Yet a lot of the time, how we describe a customer journey or experience is best explained through an actual experience. An anecdotal observation through walking in the customer’s shoes can help us understand what the research tells us, and in some cases (in the absence of research) it provides a starting point.
The customer journey – whether online or offline – involves a number of steps and touch points, and there are so many points where we can easily engage with customers and walk in their shoes. Here are just a few ways that we can get a first-hand look at our customers’ experiences:
• Visiting the places that the customer likes to visit – not just where they make the purchase; there could be other specific places such as bars, retail outlets, tourist destinations, or even just walking around the customer’s neighbourhood
• Listening to the music the customer likes
• Consuming the media the customer likes to read / watch
• Following the blogs and social media sites the customer follows
• Following the brands the customer likes – observing how the brands behave, what they stand for, how they communicate with their customers etc.
There are so many ways that we can learn about our customers just from walking in their shoes; it’s also a really interesting and enjoyable experience as part of the discovery process.