Understanding Your Customer

Customer Seat at the Table


Customer personas and journey maps are used in conducting opportunity assessments to identify customers, define customer segments, understand problems for those customers and determine whether there is a viable market opportunity.

A customer journey map is a diagram or several diagrams that depict the stages that customers go through in interacting with a company. This tool helps companies see what their customers truly want – the real moments of truth and the ways in which customers go about meeting their needs.

Personas are a description of the typical users for the product or feature and are important for creating shared understanding and empathy for the customer.


A User Persona is a specific, detailed description of a user type, designed to make the user real to the team. Similar to “avatars,” personas stand in for real users. We aim to understand the characteristics, goals, needs and behaviors of personas to help us map out specific requirements that fulfill their objectives. Personas are usually given a name and a face and described in detail with the goal of creating someone the team can design and code towards.

A persona description includes:

  • Name and demographics
  • Position or role
  • Needs, wants, goals
  • Behaviors
  • Values, fears
  • Any other information that helps to describe the customer’s perspective relative to the problem

Journey Maps

The customer journey map provides a method for stepping “into the shoes” of the customer and documenting their experience. It includes defining the customer using a persona, mapping the emotional journey that the customer goes through including touch-points, actions and their mindset, and generating ideas about how to provide value for the customer.