By Tremis Skeete
Building products than resonate with many customers are not built in a vacuum. We want to build products customers love, and that sometimes requires connecting with what real people care about and understanding from their perspective what problems are worth solving.
How do we connect with these customers in order to understand them? This is where identifying customer types can be useful in focusing research activities. Here is one way you can identify three customer types.
There are essentially three types of customers that use your software product:
1. The cold customers: They historically have not expressed a deep interest in using the product, and if they do, they rarely use it.
2. The casual customers: They use it more than cold customers, but they are not “in love with the product” so it is not a habit or part of their lifestyle for them to use it.
3. The core customers: The customers who found a way to connect with the product. They personally discovered how it could improve their lives, they love your product, and they do not want to visualise their lives without it.
It's only natural to focus on your core customers, because they have valuable experiences and stories that led them to being loyal to your product. That’s why capturing those stories can be valuable for developing other services and launching marketing initiatives. Core customers are the ones really using your product and can provide invaluable insights.
Regarding the cold and casual users, one can work to examine their respective user journeys and the thoughts and feelings they associate with it. To accomplish this, strive to do the following:
1. Understand the actions they take in your product
2. Understand what they think and feel as they take those actions, and
3. Don’t forget to ask why.
As a digital designer, remember that your customer's perception of the product matters more than yours - so as you dive deeper into customer data, don’t forget to explore how the perceptions they share can evolve your design process. In time and with enough practice, being mindful of these three types of customers can help you gain valuable knowledge to improve conversion and retention rates, and increase your digital product lifespan.
Tremis Skeete is a Product Manager at This is Milk. Click on his name to go to his Linkedin profile or email him to chat more about product management.