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The Failsafe Way to Think Like Your Customer

Think like a customer

There's no shortage of ways to measure customer satisfaction.

Customer interviews, surveys, CSAT scores, NPS scores, customer success managers, quarterly business reviews — you can do all of those things, and it's true that incorporating at least some of them into your program will deliver you valuable insights.

But, the myriad components that make up the entire customer experience, and the complex way human beings think, don't really lend themselves to be completely captured by formal, restrictive measures like survey results.

There's an art to asking questions to elicit helpful answers, and you can expend a lot of effort to gain information that you're not really sure what to do about.

You are a customer.

Every day, you're somebody's customer.  So is everyone on your team. 

Your entire company knows how to think like a customer. 

They all know how they feel when things run smoothly, and when they don't. 

They know good service from bad. 

They can tell any other business what they liked, what they didn't like, and what they wish would change.

It's not just easy. It's obvious.

Behave like your own customer.

There's a failsafe way to think like a customer, and that is to behave like a customer.  Your own customer.

Use everything you offer, just like a customer would.

Use your product.  Install and use your software.  Call your help line.  Log in to your customer portal.  Order your product online, and get it delivered.

Browse your website in incognito mode / using a private window, so you experience it like you're seeing it for the first time.

Personally do every single thing you ask customers to do, and notice where you hesitate.  Where you're not sure what to do next.  What takes longer than you'd like.  What annoys you.  What makes you smile.

Then, ask your team to do the same.

Make it a game.  A competition. 

Give kudos to those who can uncover things you could change, and especially to those who offer solutions you can implement. 

Include everybody.  You'll be blown away at the insights people who have some distance from your solution can offer.  

In fact, the less they know about how to use what you sell, the better.  They haven't yet learned how to work around things that could be easier to use, so they'll call them out as frustrations, just like a customer would.