How to Make It Enjoyable for Customers to Get Things Done!


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Seybold_Detail src=”” title=”Seybold_Detail” /> By Patty Seybold

the one thing you can master that will win you more happy customers?
Identify the things that customers want or need to get done, notice the
context they’re typically in, and design an experience that will make
it enjoyable for them to get those things done. We call these Customer

Most customer-centric executives have
an innate ability to identify customer-critical scenarios. For example,
many retailers design streamlined experiences for the “grab and go”
customers. “I just ran out of something and I need it fast.” Staples
rearranged its stores to put the printer supplies right at the front so
that people who just ran out of ink or toner can run in and get what
they need. They worked with manufacturers to ensure that you can
quickly find the supplies you need for your particular printer. The
paper is right next to the ink and toner. Staples also streamlined the
rebate process to make it easy for customers to get a good deal.
Staples’ “That was Easy” branding is all about making it easy for
customers to get things done.

There are entire industries designed to support particular customer
scenarios, like planning and taking a trip (travel agencies and
aggregators), investing for retirement (brokerage and mutual funds),
and launching a new product (PR firms).

We’ve been using customer scenarios in our consulting practice for over
20 years. We’ve been teaching others how to engage with customers to
co-design them for almost as long. Yet we often assume that people know
what we mean by customer scenarios and why they’re an important basic
tool for any customer-centric executive.

Customer scenarios are more than “personas.” They include the notion of
a persona—a particular kind of person who is in a particular context.
But they also provide a clear understanding of what these customers
need, what matters to them, what they want to accomplish, and how they
measure success. They are also different from a “customer journey,”
which typically focuses on every interaction point a customer has with
your firm.

Customer scenarios describe the activities a particular group of people
in a particular context ideally want to do to get things done. Every
business or organization should know what their customers’ most
critical scenarios are.

We’ve learned that there are three different types of scenarios:

• Customer/product lifecycle scenarios

• Event-triggered scenarios

• Outcome-based scenarios

You’ll discover that there are customer scenarios your business
supports really well, and others that you’re probably clueless about.
Identifying and streamlining customer scenarios should be a core
competency for anyone on your team.

Streamline Customers’ Critical Scenarios

The Key to Making It Enjoyable for Customers to Get Things Done
By Ronni T. Marshak, Sr. VP and Sr. Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, February 11, 2010

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ronni Marshak
Patricia Seybold Group
Ronni Marshak co-developed Patricia Seybold Group's Customer Scenario® Mapping (CSM) methodology with Patricia Seybold and PSGroup's customers. She runs the CSM methodology practice, including training, certification, and licensing. She identifies, codifies, and updates the recurring patterns in customers' ideal scenarios, customers' moments of truth, and customer metrics that she discovers across hundreds of customer co-design sessions.


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