Selecting and Recruiting Customers for Customer Scenario® Mapping Sessions

How to Identify and Solicit the Right End-Customers for Customer Co-Design Sessions

June 9, 2005

So you’re thinking about running a customer co-design session? You’ll need trained and certified Customer Scenario® Mapping consultants, customers, and employees. You may also want to include your channel partners. What’s the best way to recruit customers (and partners) for Customer Scenario Mapping sessions? Here are suggestions for ways to build customer co-design into your normal activities. We also describe what kinds of customers to recruit, and how many.


The key to using Customer Scenario® Mapping effectively as a customer co-design and requirements-gathering tool lies in your ability to identify and to recruit end customers who are both good representatives of your target audience and visionary enough to be able to think outside the box. Since a Customer Scenario is,by definition, a customer’s ideal process for accomplishing an outcome, you want to work with customers who are interested in co-designing new and improved processes. Good facilitation techniques will enable any group of customers to brainstorm new and improved approaches and even to engage in breakthrough thinking. Having customers who are willing to be playful and adventurous improves your odds for breakthrough design.

Many practitioners find that customer recruitment is the hardest part of running customer co-design sessions. That’s because they’re starting from scratch each time, and each time they need to recruit customers for a session, they have to win over skeptics within their organization — in particular, their sales force. Here are some tips for making customer selection and recruitment relatively routine.


Customer Scenario® Mapping (CSM) is a 15-year mature methodology that enables customer-led process innovation. Your customers work together to redesign their own ideal processes for accomplishing their desired outcomes with assistance from your cross-functional teams of partners and employees. You co-invent your customers’ ideal processes. You learn an incredible amount about their contexts, their conditions of satisfaction, their moments of truth, and how they measure success. Together, you explore ways to meet and to anticipate their needs today and in the future.

Customer Scenario Mapping is a transformational process design technique that is used most effectively to gather end customers’ ideal requirements for customer-impacting initiatives, applications, or processes. While you can use the Customer Scenario Mapping technique by having employees role-play customers, having actual end customers play themselves yields much more reliable and predictive results.

What Role Do Customers Play?

In each customer co-design session, end customers who share the same roles and contexts team together to design their ideal process for accomplishing a desired outcome that they all have in common. For example, teams of consumer customers might explore how they’d ideally like to do financial planning for retirement, how they’d like to move across country and into a new home, or how they’d like to have their car serviced...


For a more complete description of typical applications of the Customer Scenario Mapping technique, see “Let Customers Co-Design Your Customer-Critical Initiatives,” May 26, 2005

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