Walking in Your Customer’s Shoes

Most everyone has heard the old adage that you can’t really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. This is so very true when it comes to working with people to influence change and to create better outcomes for your customers – both internal & external. A key aspect to keep in mind is that what you might envision as a successful outcome is not necessarily what your customer envisions. In this article, we will explore how you can gain better insights to more holistically understand your customer’s experience.

Collect Feedback
In order to know what is working well and where there are opportunities for improvement, it’s really essential to collect feedback. Without clarity on what’s important to your customer, you could try to solve a variety of challenges that really don’t matter much in the grand scheme while overlooking the top concern your customer might have about you, your team, your product, or your service.

Observe Interactions
In Lean, we always talk about “going to gemba” – gemba being a Japanese term for “the real place” – or where work gets done. This is an incredibly important concept and essential to seeing opportunities for improvement. The US show “Undercover Boss” exemplifies the concept of observation quite well as it affords company owners to experience what it is like to be a customer or employee of their own company. What better way could there be than to go and experience firsthand how your team interacts with their customers? 

Use an Empathy Map
This is a useful tool for helping analyze the experience for your customers as it pushes you to look at the engagement from 4 lenses: What do they SAY, what do they DO, what do they THINK, and what do they FEEL. By empathizing with your customer through this analysis, it truly improves the relationship as it helps us focus on what matters most to them.

By listening to your customer, observing their experiences, and empathizing with them, you’ll start to embark on a journey of continuous improvement that will result in more positive outcomes built on solid relationships. Here at Adonis, we do our best to live by this philosophy as we aim to continuously improve in all of our customer interactions and we’re happy to share this perspective with you.