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Written in a typically practical and straightforward style, this popular book shows how to develop a truly positive outlook.
Our own research and experience has shown that the vast majority of companies today capture customer feedback in some form. Through working with a number of companies both in the UK and internationally, Customer Champions has identified ten crucial elements required in order to ensure that companies successfully transfer that customer knowledge into successful customer communication and change. It is not enough for the organisation’s senior management to simply agree to conduct a customer satisfaction programme.
Management schools have always placed great emphasis on the monitoring and management of the financials. A corporate wide programme will not succeed if there is only one person representing the customer in the business.
Questions of customers need to be linked to both the overall KPIs of the business, and the internal process metrics that are gathered and reported upon. Too often analysis of customer feedback focuses on what is wrong, and therefore identifies who in the company needs to put things right. Within Customer Champions’ own research we have identified that only 50% of companies consider themselves being any good at communicating customer feedback into their own organisation. However, the most effective will be those where there is a proven link to the KPIs of the business, i.e. Customer Champions have found that companies can falter at this stage as they allow individuals to express personal beliefs, based on anecdotal evidence on why something “has gone wrong”.
The use of a structured approach also supports a standardised reporting structure that allows comparison of progress against a number of areas that have been identified for corrective action.
The effectiveness of root cause analysis and the associated countermeasures will be greatly supported if links to internal metrics have been established at the earlier stage of the programme. Again the use of a structured approach at this stage will ensure that all possible countermeasures are identified and their feasibility and effectiveness can be assessed. As the countermeasures are deployed their effectiveness should be assessed through tracking either or all of the previously identified internal metrics, mystery shopping and customer feedback. Although the successful implementation of these 10 steps does not guarantee a successful customer feedback programme, there will be significant improvements for the customers, and therefore for the company.
Having worked with personas before the method ever came to be known as personas there are, from my research and practical experience, three important areas that have to be considered: the data material, engagement in the personas descriptions, and buy-in from the organization which is part of the development process whether it is redesign or a development from scratch. Working with personas is focusing on users in a certain context which originates from the project. The former division of businesses did not make sense in this project, as it does not matter which trade the one who has to do the reporting is in, what matters it seemed is how big the company is, and whether the persons who reports is employed within the company or a consultant of some sort.
In my experience the most difficult task in persona project are 'how to cut the cake' - coming from data to a decision of how may personas descriptions to include.
In 'Verification' the focus is on finding data that supports the initial patterns and at the same time supports the personas descriptions and the scenario writing. My inspiration in this and the previous step originates from making sense of data in qualitative inquiries. A crucial step is what to include in a personas description and how to avoid creating stereotypes. Drawing on knowledge from fictional writing of characters 5 areas need to be present in the description, not mentioned specifically, but possible for the reader to deduct from the description. I am fully aware that not everybody can be part of the process, newcomers arrive, a row of companies might be involved, but if the personas are not disseminated to participants they are not worth anything. As mentioned earlier the real purpose of the personas is to create scenarios from the descriptions. To ensure that all participants agree on the descriptions and the situations two strategies can be followed: ask everybody their opinion and let them participate in the process.
I am fully aware that not everybody can be part of the process, newcomers arrive, a row of companies might be involved, but id the personas are not disseminated to participants they are not worth anything. As mentioned earlier, personas are nothing in themselves, it is when a persona enter a scenario they prove to be valuable.
In this guide to How To Meditate in Ten Easy Steps you’ll discover the absolute easiest ways to make meditation a part of your life. One of the biggest mistakes people make when learning is that they don’t set aside the time to actually practice properly. So, step one in our guide is this: set aside twenty minutes in which you don’t have to do anything. If there are other people in the house with you, let them know that you are going to be meditating for the next twenty minutes and that you don’t want to be disturbed. If you want to make a daily routine, you may find it helpful to set aside twenty minutes each day at the same time, perhaps in the morning or when you get home from work. Put some plants in the room too and perhaps some paintings as these can create a suitable atmosphere too. To eliminate the need to keep looking at the clock, just set an alarm for twenty minutes, or however long you wish to meditate for. Many practices include specific postures, which range from the sitting positions of Zen meditation to the mudras of Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism. However, for this easy guide to meditation we don’t need any specific sitting positions or hand gestures (mudras).
Close your eyes and focus your mind on the breathing as it comes and goes between the space between your lips and nose. Many new meditators immediately find themselves wanting to try out more and more complex meditation techniques. The reason why most people want to try more and more complex techniques comes down to their ego.
Okay, this might seem like a weird thing for a teacher to say, but meditation isn’t divine. One of the best things you can do with meditation (well, with anything, actually) is find a group of like minded people.

If  you would like to discover more about meditation, my complete guide to meditation is now on sale. These ten steps outline skills to help people to take control, be flexible, accept reality, develop self-acceptance, accept change and improve relationships. This may be a formal customer satisfaction programme, or ad hoc analysis of customer comments, but the focus is on trying to support the company putting the customer at the heart of its strategy. Their focus needs to be on the key findings, and then very importantly the activities that take place because of the findings.
If customer satisfaction programmes are to be successful management need to place an equal emphasis on the customer feedback data, and what is being done about it. Each primary function needs at least one champion to ensure that the customer’s voice is heard in management decision making. The link to KPIs such as market share, ROI, or share of wallet, will ensure that customer feedback is owned and acted upon at all levels of the business. This will often be received as negative feedback to an individual, and will be perceived as an “additional task to be completed above their day job”. When we have examined closer what the issue is, it revolves primarily around the individual employee being able to translate customer feedback into his or her own role and responsibilities.
This lack of a structured approach can lead to incorrect identification of root causes, which ultimately results in both ineffective use of resources, and reduced likelihood of improving the customers’ experience. This information can also be shared with other corrective action groups as the countermeasures may also impact their work, and the customers experience with it. This is the rationale behind my development of 10 steps to personas, an attempt to cover the entire process from initial data gathering to ongoing development.
Any project that uses personas does not necessarily need to follow all 10 steps as long as the responsible party knows the consequences of skipping a step.
The data can originate from several sources: interviews, observations, second hand information, questionnaires, reports, cultural probes etc.
Often companies have a certain way of talking about their users that does not take into consideration the different context the users might be in when using a website or a system.
There had been a number of surveys performed, but none of these had this division in mind and had to be reread from the new perspective.
This takes several of the 10 steps and involves more than a group of consultants or project members to just hand over some descriptions. The persona method requires a certain kind of information that can help generate engagement in the descriptions and support scenario writing e.g.
The way you know that you are on the right track is when others can follow your argumentation and others can come to the same result. I have quite often seen personas descriptions that either depict super humans or stereotypes that is difficult to engage in. This one is tricky, in fictional writing there is a distinction between flat characters and rounded characters.
In my experience it   is few organizations who allow for team members to be part of the writing process instead they use consultants or the usability department to write the descriptions.
It is not only the personas that need to be distributed to everybody, but also the data behind (the foundation document as Grudin, Pruitt, Adlin calls it) and not least how and for what you are to use the personas.
Often the persona method is viewed as mean for communication users to developers and others, but is as much a process that ensures a user-centered development. It is not only the personas that needs to be distributes to everybody, but also the data behind (the foundation document as Grudin, Pruitt, Adlin calls it) and not least how and for what you are to use the personas.
This can be done if user tests suddenly show new results or if something changes in the personas environments. But before getting started you might like to bookmark this page (CTRL + D on your keyboard) or join us on Facebook. The majority of people simply feel like meditating, go and sit down and close their eyes, and then a few minutes later remember that they’ve left the oven on or that they have to make a phone call.
You need to allow yourself to relax and focus, and that means setting aside twenty minutes when you know you won’t be distracted. That way you will establish a habit and, before long, you’ll be practicing without even thinking about it.
Any clutter in the room is going to put you off and distract you, as will any source of noise. If there is something that means a lot to you and that helps you to relax or to get into what I call the “spiritual zone,” then include it in the room. Also, if you are a religious person, you might like to include some religious statues of whichever belief you follow.
Imagine being in serenity, sitting so peacefully on the floor, not a thought on your mind when BUZZZZZ BUZZZZ BUZZZZ!
That’s because meditation is all about focus, and the last thing that will help you focus is an itch or a cramp. So, when you’re meditating and you experience the thought I need to do more say to yourself, “That’s my ego talking” and return to the simple technique.
Because when you think that it is some supernatural miracle you start to expect amazing things to happen. If you go into it expecting to immediately be enlightened or to find supreme happiness after ten breaths, you will get nothing out of it.
You will also get to talk to meditation with other people, which helps you to progress in your practice. However, nearly all companies struggle to successfully implement change based upon that feedback – in short, proactive customer management presents a challenge because an understanding of how to action customer feedback coupled with a corporate desire is lacking. This will only happen if we can provide a link between customer feedback and company financials. They may be a provider of customer data, or a change management facilitator, but the primary role of this team of customer programme champions must always be to ensure that the customer’s voice is heard, listened to, understood, and never forgotten. The chances of effective corrective actions being developed and implemented in this scenario are somewhat limited.

The vast majority of companies are still functionally silo-based in their structure, yet customers experience a journey in dealing with the organisation that transgcends these functional silos. Employees need, as a minimum, to be able to understand what their functional team needs to do in order to improve the customer experience, and preferably bring this down to an individual level. In my experience large companies have often a lot of information about the users, reports from marketing, call centers etc.
In a recent project for a national Danish authority concerning redesign of a web portal business reports to different governmental authorities, the national authority had a tradition for dividing Danish businesses into categories of size and trades. Therefore it is of importance to show the categorization to other team members, project partners etc.
In this phase you must remember that the whole purpose of personas is not to describe users as such, but to create solutions that use the needs of the persona as a starting point. The flat character is characterized by having only one character trait which is reflected in all actions the character does and creates a highly predictable character close to the stereotype. The personas method should rather be perceived as a process where everybody should understand how the descriptions came about and what they can be used for. Many projects forget to inform and teach developers and designers how to use the personas, how to think in scenarios or how to use them in the use-cases.
Having a process view helps create sessions where as many stakeholders as possible can be involved in the developing the personas and in using them for design. I have seen quite a number of what I call happy scenarios, where a device solves all problems. It is crucial that not everybody is able to change the information, but knows whom to contact.
You will find that with a relaxed body and good posture, your mind automatically relaxed and your focus increases. So, sit on the floor (with a meditation mat) or a seat, make sure your spine is in good alignment and relaxed, your chin tucked in a little and that there is not itching or fidgeting going on. That’s why we’ll be covering basic breathing in this guide to how to meditate in ten easy steps.
The aim of meditation of to silence these thoughts so that you can focus your mind without distraction. Try counting your breaths, or focussing on the rising and falling of your abdomen, or, if you are stressed, focus on your hand as you clench and then release your fist (this is a great relaxation technique btw). And here’s the very strange thing about meditation: the more you expect to get out of it, the less you will. When, however, you enter meditation with a clear mind, when you don’t force meditation but you just sit back and let what happens happen, then you will see amazing results. The book has been updated in line with current therapeutic thinking, with particular emphasis on the concepts of resilience and mindfulness.
This article identifies ten simple steps that will significantly support the delivery of a successful customer programme. Proactive management leadership is not just about giving approval to a customer satisfaction survey – it would involve activities such as ensuring that senior management regularly report on activities undertaken and planned because of customer feedback, and tracking the impact these have on the bottom line of the business. A more effective approach is to get senior managers to literally sign up to the individual questions before the customers’ views are obtained. Therefore, to be effective, the team structure needs to mirror the customer journey rather than an organisational structure.
This approach will significantly impact the likelihood of corrective actions being developed and implemented, and the effectiveness of these plans. From interviews with staff in the call center and reading of several a hypothesis was formed. If you allow different team members to be part of the writing process they feel ownership for the personas.
Try to read this description of Mrs Tahira Khan  and how she overcomes her diabetes and you will see what I mean.
I often recommend having a personas ambassador, who looks into the descriptions now and then, and who project participants can contact if they find irregularities in the descriptions. Meditation is best when you are dedicates to it –and really, it’s only twenty minutes a day so it isn’t a big commitment. You’ll find that as soon as you accept your weaknesses—in meditation as in life—they will no longer have such power over you.
The rounded character has more than one character trait, is not predictable and easier to engage in.
They can be rewritten be a single person to ensure homogeneity in writing and presentation, but it pays off later to include more in the writing process or as we did in a project, to let the participant choose the pictures for the personas.
It is not a very realistic or convincing example that a 65-year old woman, who recently traveled to UK, who has undiscovered diabetes, hardly any understanding of the English language and relatively poor literacy in her own language overcome her diabetes with an electronic device. And as Adlin and Pruitt recommend in 'The Personas Lifecycle' to let the personas die, when they have outlived their purpose. When writing personas is becomes essential to avoid the stereotype and create descriptions that the project team members can engage in. If people are not willing to sign up to individual questions you have to ask whether it is a good use of your customers’ time telling you the answers!
In a case I had, the persona to be described liked to feel in control, from this the team members writing the description made her work for the tax authorities, this came to reflect her attitude to life, she became overweight and with few friends. I will focus as best I can.” Never blame yourself (I know I’m hammering this point a little but it is very important). For them the information of being in control created a negative attitude towards the persona that was repeated in all information.

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