When to Use Customer Co-Design

You can engage customers in co-designing the experiences they want to have and/or products and services they value. The 12 techniques of customer co-design that we employ in our consulting practice are useful in many settings, both to prepare for and execute customer-centric initiatives. Our Customer Scenario® Mapping methodology, which applies all of the techniques in a systematic way, is a valuable framework to use to identify, capture and design customers' ideal processes, and to specify and prioritize the requirements to support those processes.

Although most valuable when conducted in a complete Customer Co-Design project, these techniques can also be used independently and combined with your existing practices—whether to jump-start the definition of a successful new product or service, or to develop and nurture a win-win Customer Advisory Board.

12 Customer Co-Design Techniques you can mix and match for a variety of customer-impacting projects

Our 12 Customer Co-Design Techniques

We often find ourselves mixing and matching different techniques for each customer project. These basic building blocks work well for a wide variety of customer-impacting initiatives:

Identify, Recruit, and Understand the RIGHT Customers and Roles

  • Identify and recruit the right customers and roles--you usually want "lead customers" — clients who will push the envelope
  • Interview customers in-depth—strategic conversations about what they're really trying to do
  • Observe customers in situ—we see the things they don't tell us about, including how they interact with others, and why

Capture What Makes them Tick and What Situations are Most Crucial for Them

  • Identify behavioural segments and customer-critical scenarios for each—e.g., Working single mom with a sick kid!
  • Define customer personas in context—e.g., Mary has 4 kids and no health insurance coverage, etc.
  • Understand customers' decision-making criteria—e.g., what trade-offs does she make in what priority?

Co-Create Customers' Vision and Their Current Reality

  • Surface key customer issues—what's not working the way things are today
  • Identify opportunities and build shared vision—how would we ideally like this to work?
  • Facilitate mapping of customers' ideal scenarios—Customers & your team map out how the customer ideally wants things to work and how that could take place

Create a Customer-Prioritized Implementation Plan

  • Focus on customers' success metrics to drive priorities—this tells us how to measure success from the customers' viewpoint
  • Develop and validate scorecards, action plans, roadmaps—combine customer priorities with your priorities, what's quick, what's hard to do, what's the best payoff for both
  • Set up and manage online customer communities—keep your customer co-designers as your ongoing advisors


Learn more!

For more information about how and why we advocate these techniques, browse our recommended reading or contact us.

6 Ways to Use Customer Co-Design:

What are the best opportunities to engage customers?


1. Co-design a unique branded customer experience 

2. Co-develop new or improved products or services

3. Streamline customer-impacting processes

4. Embed voice of the customer (VOC) into your culture

5. Profit from customer ecosystems


Want more details? Download this PDF!

Learn Customer Co-Design Techniques!

Want to learn the methods of Customer Co-Design? 


What Is a Customer Scenario Map?(click on image to enlarge)


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