Streamline Customers' Critical Scenarios

The Key to Making It Enjoyable for Customers to Get Things Done

February 11, 2010

A customer’s goal isn’t to spend money with you. He wants to get his stuff done! By figuring out his scenarios, you help him be successful and win his loyalty in the process. The article explains how to understand customer scenarios and how to identify the ones that are most important for your target customers.


Why Is This Important to Customers? Customers don’t come to you just to spend money; they come to you because they have something they need to accomplish. These are their scenarios. Customers, whether consumers or businesspeople, are under constant pressure to get their stuff done! They are constantly looking for ways to do this more easily, more quickly, more enjoyably, and for the least expense.

Why Is This Important to Your Company? Those companies that most effectively address customers’ scenarios are the ones that customers will keep doing business with.

Your Next Steps. Use the scenario model to understand what your target customer segments want to do and how you can help them be successful in reaching their goals.

Event-Based Scenarios Span Most Phases with Sub-Scenarios

Event-Based Scenarios Span Most Phases with Sub-Scenarios

© 2010 Patricia Seybold Group

Illustration 2. Although most customer scenarios span two or three of the lifecycle phases, event-based scenarios begin with the Plan stage and move all the way through the Manage phase. Within, for example, the overall event planning scenarios are multiple sub-scenarios that typically follow a standard select and buy scenario pattern or span the use and manage phases when changes must be implemented.


Today is a busy day for me. I have to:

  • Plan a business trip to a client site for a Customer Co-Design session. Both Patty (Seybold) and I are going, so I need to do the research and booking for both of us, and we are leaving from different states!
  • Work towards the publishing and launch of 2.0. Indeed, writing this article is a step on the path towards completing that ultimate goal, as is the meeting I have later with Patty, and the research I will then conduct on best practices.
  • Reorder a prescription. Not a big deal, but with these other two daily projects looming, I need to make sure the task doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

I imagine you have similar to-do lists for your day—whether formalized or held in your head. There are things you need to get done; steps you need to take to accomplish your goals.

Any help completing my day’s tasks is most welcome. I am forever grateful to online travel sites, such as Orbitz and Travelocity, which make it easy for me to arrange flights, rental cars, and hotel reservations for multiple people in a single environment. I revere those people at CVS who let me reorder a prescription with a single phone call, especially when there are no refills left, and that same phone call initiates a call from the pharmacy to my doctor for approval.

Now if only someone can find a way to automatically convert my research to brilliant prose in my voice, I’m pretty much done for the day!

Although it is unlikely that every to-do on your list can be completely handled by a merchant or an automated system, you and your systems can make it easier for a customer to achieve his goals. This is an important point. A customer’s goal isn’t to spend money with you. He wants to get his stuff done and be successful in his endeavors. The provider who helps him will win his loyalty and his business.


Focus on Making Your Customers Successful

The customer’s goal is never to buy (and pay for) a product or service from you. Most of the time, the fact that customers do business with you is incidental to what customers really want...


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