How to Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes


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We have all been told to “walk in our customer’s shoes”.

When we walk in our customer’s shoes we can understand what our customers want:

  • What their problems are
  • What pressures they feel
  • What is going on in their minds

And if we can really understand our customers we can:

  • Communicate better with them
  • Give them what they need
  • Become their supplier of choice

And make billions (sorry, having a greedy moment).

What is not to like?

But we find it very difficult

Lord alone knows our own shoes are painful enough without trying anybody else’s on for size.

Here is a simple solution

Don’t try to act like a customer, hire some of them instead; employ people who buy from you:

  • They are fans of your business
  • They are far more likely to become engaged employees
  • They know exactly how it feels to walk in your customer’s shoes, they own a pair

It is ever so easy

Hiring your customers also makes recruitment so much simpler; after-all you know exactly where to find candidates. Follow the lead of Southwest Airlines who ran a promotion on their sick bags:

Sick of your job?
If you’d prefer a career that’s fun and challenging, join the crew of the airline reported in Fortune magazine as one of ‘America’s Most Admired Companies’.

(I’m not entirely sure they didn’t hire a load of motion sickness sufferers, but you get the point).

Of course, we will never truly understand your customers, no solution is perfect, but this one might just take us a step or two closer.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

James Lawther
James Lawther is a middle-aged middle manager. To reach this highly elevated position he has worked for many organisations, from supermarkets to tax collectors and has had multiple roles from running a night shift to doing operational research. He gets upset by operations that don't work and mildly apoplectic about poor customer service.


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