Act with Certainty

The ForeSee blog for CX professionals and the Voice of Customer community.

Part 2: Applying CX Data to Personas

This is the second post in a three-part series about which retail customers are the most and least satisfied, and how we can use that knowledge to improve business outcomes. All three posts are based on data from The ForeSee Experience Index – 2015 Retail Edition.

Last week in Part 1 we wrote about two crucial questions all retailers must ask:

  1. Which segments of our customers are the most satisfied?
  2. Which segments are the least satisfied?

Knowing these answers is the first step, but it’s not enough. Retailers must go beyond simple surveys and transform their VOC programs into strategic, rigorous business disciplines.

One way to integrate the voice of customer more systematically into marketing strategy is to include some understanding of the customer experience in persona-based marketing efforts.

Persona-based marketing has increased exponentially over the last decade, and most of the biggest companies have at least a few buyer personas developed and in use. A retail buyer persona is a fictional but representative example of an ideal customer. Personas tend to include basic demographics, but they can extend into a narrative that describes someone’s likes and dislikes, skills, preferences, and even goals. Customer experience data adds depth to these portraits, both in terms of their attitudes and behaviors.


If you’re a retailer using personas,
do you know what kind of experience that target customer is actually having with your brand? Do you know what levers you need to pull in order to improve that experience, and what the result will be?

The following three personas are high-level versions of very common retail personas:  

  • The Busy Mom: a woman between the ages of 25-44 with children under 18 living in her home
  • The Affluent Boomer: a man over the age of 55 with an annual income of over $100K
  • The Well-Connected Millennial: a man or woman aged 25-34 who uses a smartphone to access a retailer’s website

What experiences are living, breathing customers like these having with retail brands? We unlock the answers when we match these personas up to the data we collected in the ForeSee Experience Index:

Persona FXI Score What % of Browsers Actually Make a Purchase? What % Prefer to Research & Buy Online? What % Prefer to Research Online and Buy In the Store?
Affluent Boomers 77 50% 44% 21%
Busy Moms 80 59% 49% 16%
Well-Connected Millenials 81 67% 49% 14%

A few interesting findings emerge from a cursory look at the data on these personas. Connected Millennials are the most satisfied and are more likely to purchase than the other personas. Affluent Boomers, while having fairly high income, are the least likely to purchase and have the lowest FXI score.

Using the ForeSee Experience Index data, this analysis was performed on customers of the biggest retailers in the country. But, imagine if an individual retailer was able to do this with its own customer personas and its own CX data…

By treating VOC as a strategic, rigorous competency, retailers can finally run both their CX initiatives and broader marketing initiatives with greater certainty and more impact.

ForeSee clients: do you have filters for certain customer personas in the portal?  

This post is the second in a series using data from The ForeSee Experience Index – 2015 Retail Edition, available for free download today.

Next up in Part 3 of this series: Putting the Cart Before the Horse.



About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Read more posts by Eric Feinberg

Write a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*