Content of this unit
Tools for customer analysis & definition
here are many different tools you can use to gain more insight into the needs, demands and characteristics of your potential customers. The tools below can be mixed and matched according to your needs, or whether you need more information on your potential customers.

You can start by using the “Persona” or customer profile definition you made for your potential customers in the idea generation and product/service development phase (see previous sections at 4.1) and define your potential customers in more detail, before you use the tools mentioned below to do so, revise the “Persona” or customer profiles and add on any details needed, as they will be the starting point for the more in-depth analysis that is to follow.

 An “Empathy Map” is a way to characterise your target customers with the aim of making decisions regarding the design and traits of your product or service. It is used to put into one single space all what you know about a customer of your product or service (needs, goals, expectations, behaviours, pain points, etc.). For each type or segment of customer need a different map, and these are considered “Personas”.

For each of the identified “Personas” (it helps to give them a name) you ask yourself: What would this persona think when they see my product/service?” or “What kind of missing information would prevent them from deciding on buying my product/service?”. You can fill it in using existing research, reports and analysis, but you can also ask a representative set of potential customers or experts in the field to help you fill in the map.

A “User Journey Map” is way to analyse the experience of a potential customer with your product or service, considering the experience as a series of steps. You can do it retrospectively (i.e. map how your potential customers are currently doing the things for which you offer your product/service) or prospective (where you map how they behave with your product or service). It is just a big table with steps through time on the top and themes to analysed on the left. The left side will reflect the following items (in each in one row), while the horizontal one will vary per products (or Persona):
  • Actions: what your customer needs to do to move to the next step mentioned on the top;
  • Questions: questions the customer needs to answer before they are willing to go to the next step;
  • Happy moments: positive things that improve customer experience;
  • Pain points: negative things like frustrations or nuisances that affect the customer experience negatively;
  • Opportunities: improvements you could implement in your product/service that solve any of the pain points, unanswered questions or other issues identified.

Both these tools can also be used in the phase were you are developing your circular initiative or idea, to get a first insight into your potential customers, and help to finetune the idea. However it is this phase of identifying and defining your customer needs in more detail where these will be more helpful.