WHAT ARE CUSTOMER PERSONAS? GUIDE TO CREATE THEM CORRECTLY

customer personas

Like other useful tools in Customer Experience methodologies, the creation of Customer Personas has become a fashion. This is a very positive trend for companies that do it well but means bad news for those that do it only to follow “the fashion trend”.

We will also find it mentioned as Customer Profiles, Buyer Personas or Customer Archetypes.

 


In this post we will try to end several “urban legends” about them, and we will explain in detail, how to create excellent Customer Personas. Ready? Let’s start!

To begin with, we must distinguish the different concepts that are misunderstood regarding Customer Personas and their application in customer experience:

 

1 – Empathy map

An empathy map is psychology tool applied to marketing, and aims to get into the mind of any person, customer or consumer of a brand or company in a structured way. Therefore, an empathy map would be a very good tool to develop a well described Customer Persona. But a well-done empathy map is not a Customer Persona, it is just a valuable input.

 

Empathy Map

 

2 – Segmentation

Segmentation is not something from the past; it is as important as Customer Personas. Segmentation is needed to structure and organize customers’ data and is based on demographics and his/her interactions’ history with the company. However, it only means the “rational” part of the customer’s life and is used in combination with the Customer Persona that represents the “emotional” part. Both represent super-boosters of understanding and profound knowledge of customers.

3 – Buyer Persona

It is another for Customer Persona, but we do not like it. The intention may be good and the result similar but calling it always “Buyer Persona” you might assume it is only focused on selling, not to create better experiences in the customer’s Customer Journey. Therefore, we recommend you avoiding using this concept.

4 – Customer Personas

So, what are they?

They are a description of a group of customers or potential customers with similar needs and habits in terms of:

  • Consumption and leisure
  • Life experience backpack
  • Professional concerns
  • Personal concerns
  • Priorities in life
  • Fears and challenges

 

The symbiosis between the Customer Personas and the Segments, will give us an excellent external view and also allows us to group different Customer Voice evaluations on the same Customer Journey.

Here you can clearly see the differences and at the same time, the complementarities between the Customer Personas and the traditional Segmentation.

Buljan&Partners Traditional segmentation versus customer personas

Source: Buljan&Partners Consulting

 

So, identifying and defining customer profiles or archetypes is what we call defining Customer Personas.

Through them, you will be able to know for each of your Customer Personas, their reality, needs, expectations and even the desired experience for each interaction or point of contact in their Customer Journey.

In conclusion, Customer Personas are not an end in themselves or a nice description of your customers that you name nicely and hang up in your office. They are much more. They are necessary to understand the behavior of our customers on their customer journey. That is the objective.

 

And now, a bonus for having made it this far!

If we had to make a template to create customer personas, what would it look like? We will show you through a practical example.

Imagine that you are a company that designs and sells furniture for terraces in the hotel and catering sector (B2B).

One of the Customer Personas we will call Pedro, could be like that:

Buljan&Partners Customer persona example

Source: Buljan&Partners Consulting

For the furniture company, knowing your “Pedros” will help in the following way:

  • Segmenting when collecting customer feedback
  • Designing desired and future experiences
  • Discuss the value and price of your products and services
  • Estimate the frequency of contact moments in the different phases of the Customer Journey
  • Adapting the style of communication, including choosing the most suitable sales representative to visit/call the client

In other words, it allows you to be a customer-centric company.

And as a final note, when creating the Customer Personas, we must think of the most frequent archetypes, which together cover 80% of the business.

There is no need to create a Customer Persona for every “exceptional” customer. Just like everything else in the business, less is more.

See you in the next post!

 

This post is also available in: Spanish