How To Think Like Your Customers 2

How To Think Like Your Customers

Running a successful website and business these days is all about getting into the mind of your customers. Your customers are your tribe, and if you don’t learn how to communicate with them and build something that they understand, your message will get lost in translation.

  • Define customer personas
  • Don’t make assumptions based on your own behaviour
  • Spend time in the places your customers are

So how do you think like your customers? It’s not as simple as asking them a for feedback or to fill in a survey (although these things can obviously help), you need to go deeper.

Put yourself in their position

Picture a day in their lives. Dedicate some to to imagining and jotting down every part of your customer’s day, and how your product or service might fit into that. Even if you can’t manage to find a link to your product, it’s still useful to get into their mindset and understand the way they live their lives.

Define customer personas

One surefire way to ensure your website, marketing materials and customer interactions are centred around their needs is to create personas. What do we mean by personas? Well, they’re basically mini case studies/profiles of different types of customer you might have.

For example, one persona might be Dave, who likes gaming and squash, lives in central London and is working his way up the career ladder. Define five or six of these (or as many as you need), and then use them when writing any content for your audience. Always makes sure it appeals to one, or several of these personas.

Do your research

Without insightful research, it’s pretty difficult to tap into your customer’s minds. You can hazard a guess at what they might want, but nothing beats research-based strategies. For example, when it comes to designing your website, it’s important to carry out tests to see which aspects of your site customers prefer. This will help you to build a user-friendly site that is responsive to the way your customers think.

Don’t make assumptions based on your own behaviour

It’s all too easy to make this mistake. Just because you think doing something a certain way will benefit your customers, doesn’t mean they will feel the same. Sometimes, we think we know our customers when really, we haven’t got a clue. So, don’t make website changes based on what you think is going to work, instead, take your customer into consideration.

Spend time in the places your customers are

Immersing yourself in your customer’s world is an excellent way to learn how they think. This might involve spending time on the social media channels they use and seeing what sort of things your audience post, or it could be physically visiting the places they might go to, like cafes, shops or restaurants.

Go through the customer journey

Mentally walking through your customer’s journey to purchase can help you to consider their needs. It can also help you to pick up on any problems along the way and improve your service offering. If your business is online based, go through the customer journey yourself from start to finish. This will help provide you with a better understanding of what goes through their mind from the research process through to final purchase.

Talk to your customers

And finally, the simple act of talking to your customers, and trying to get inside their head as you speak to them can really help. Try to engage with your customers on a regular basis so you are constantly staying in touch with their needs, expectations and habits.

Andrew Machin
Andrew Machin

With over 25 years’ experience in UX and digital strategy, Andrew has helped many national and global brands such as John Lewis, Harley Davidson, Johnson & Johnson, and Interflora create exceptional digital product experiences.

Through the success of such projects Andrew has received high-profile accolades that span innovation, strategy, and design, such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.

This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university, and speaking at seminars and conferences across the UK.

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