The customer stories that you don’t see, and often ignore, offer wonderful insights into how your product works for customers. There’s a story behind everything your customer does, behind every interaction they have with your product. Thinking about these customer stories can you give you a potential game-changing advantage over your competition.
The Stories Inside Customer Interactions
For example, think about how you handle failed monthly subscription payments for your web service. If your customer just fixed a flat tire and arrived home to sick child, you want to make it easy for her to enter a new credit card if her previous payment failed. You want to minimize barriers and make the process painless so that she can get back to what’s most important to her. This is a situation where your product could easily garner a negative association in her mind if something doesn’t go smoothly.
Another example is canceling a subscription. Think about the reasons a customer might want or need to cancel, and keep those in mind while designing your process. A customer may be extremely unhappy with your service, or perhaps they are happy with the service but can’t afford the payments. Those are two drastically different reasons for wanting to cancel the service, so which one do you focus your interaction design on? Do you want to be able to market to the customer later and try to get them back? All important questions.
If you think from the customer’s perspective, you may be able to improve their experience with your product. Think about the customer’s story. Designing better user experiences is often the difference between successful products and failures. Every advantage matters.
Customer Stories in Marketing
Large marketing departments are often masters at understanding customer stories and commonly use them to build their campaigns. You always hear, “Sell benefits, not features.” You have to understand the customer’s story to be able to turn your product’s list of features into benefits customers can’t live without.
Do you think through customer stories in your design process? How do you decide which customer story to focus on?