A customer is defined as a person who pays a business for goods and services. If a person does not pay, they are not a customer. The nebulous term of “user” is assigned when a person is accessing goods and services without directly paying for them. Call them a visitor, a prospect, a constituent, whatever you want. Until they pay you, they’re no customer of yours — and you have not fulfilled upon your purpose as a business.
My friend Steve Portigal, an esteemed customer research consultant in the Bay Area, has a series on his blog titled “War Stories” — anecdotes from ethnographic researchers about the craziest things that have happened to them in the field. One entry from Priya Sohoni is particularly striking. Titled “Taking empathy to a whole new level,” [Keep Reading…]
How often do you get hugged at work? How often do you give them? Paul Zak, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA, is conducting a study that shows that Oxytocin, the chemical released by hugs and many other positive interpersonal interactions, increases [Keep Reading…]
Is Seth Godin reading my blog? His piece last week titled “If I were you…” is a booming echo of my mantra “The user is not like me“: “If I were you…” But of course, you’re not. And this is the most important component of strategic marketing: we’re not our customer. Godin has written a [Keep Reading…]
The user is not like me. August 25, 2003. It was the first day of my senior year at Carnegie Mellon University. It was the day I learned the mantra that would shape my career. The user is not like me. Words uttered by Bonnie John, my professor of 05-410 Introduction to HCI Methods (now [Keep Reading…]
It is with tremendous excitement and huge dreams for the future that I am finally ready to announce that I have formally changed the name of my company to Vicarious Partners™. This new name much better reflects my mission to help organizations build deeper connections amongst colleagues and customers in an effort to deliver the [Keep Reading…]
We don’t know. We believe we know. Our experiences, education, instincts and values all add up to our beliefs. They also include assumptions and misperceptions and past truths. We believe something once and then we “know” it forever, because that’s easier than always having to ask. Asking isn’t easy. It takes time. It introduces risk. [Keep Reading…]