Must we always step into our customers’ shoes?

(Image source: Pexels from Pixabay)

Digital Strategy Consultant, Nigel T. Parker conducted research to analyse the customer experience of women who wanted to book a weekend holiday for their families online [1]. The customers knew where they wanted to go for the weekend.

So, the first thing that the customers – in this case, the women – wanted to find out was whether or not a particular house or hotel was available during the desired dates.

The research showed that customers didn’t want to waste time looking at offers that weren’t eventually available. Yet there were travel and booking websites that showed unavailable properties without giving visitors a chance to filter this information.

The next thing that the customers wanted to know was what it looked like inside. Were there enough pictures of the rooms? How was the bathroom at the property? The customers wanted to be aware of the conditions of the place.

They found again the one photograph that was missing on several self-catering businesses in the tourism industry was that of the bathroom.

On the other hand, they found many businesses populate their websites with information that failed to answer basic customer questions. For example, the prices of available bookings and other crucial information were revealed when customers registered and filled up a form.

Several customers preferred to know an estimate to compare with other offers without having to share any personal information. Hence, they found businesses that were transparent about their offers and didn’t need any signups.

When business owners do not put themselves in the place of their customers, they often cannot understand what their customer wants. It’s also likely that such businesses struggle to drive their sales business when they are unaware of the information that their customers are looking for.

It is true that occasionally customers don’t know what a business has to offer unless they are given a clear understanding of its product. Or sometimes in the overload of information, customers can often get lost and don’t know where to begin their search.

So how important is it to step in your customers’ shoes to create a journey for them?

Most of us might be familiar with the iconic statement by Steve Jobs,

“People don’t know what they want unless you show it to them.”

As humans, we often make several biased as well as unbiased decisions throughout the day. Our environments and interactions often influence our decisions and moods.

With the sun shining bright, a warm summer morning would lift the spirits of a person, making them want to spray on some sunscreen and spend the day outdoors – a win for companies making all sorts of sun-protection products.

But to the same person, endless warm summer days could be irksome, making them want to stay indoors and watch movies instead. A win for online streaming services.

How might we help our customers decide and choose better in an environment where decisions can be highly influenced by the quality and quantity of offerings?

This is the question we as innovators, as business owners, as designers, as industry disruptors need to ask – does the customer always know what they want? Where would we be in the advancement of technology had we only created at the behest of every customer’s wants and needs? How does customer empathy direct the course of our business?

(Image source: Luisella Planeta Leoni auf Pixabay)
As a principle, when designing a service or a product, we have to put the customer at the centre of the map and create a journey around them. Here is where identifying their struggles, pain points, ill-experiences, loopholes, and obstacles take the forefront.

How might we as service providers address these issues? What are the many problems that we are looking to solve?

This is the time to see the world from our customer’s perspective.

Customers have the power to offer valuable insights into their problems. However, asking the correct questions and asking the questions correctly can result in either generic feedback or clear, sincere insights, which can be valuable to your innovation process.

Being the silent observer yields profoundly valuable insights into the behaviour of your customers. This enables you to tailor and target how you might reach out to them and communicate with them.

To be successful, it is always necessary to step in your customer’s shoes. But before you walk in your customer’s shoes, take off your own shoes to walk through their experiences openly.

With our deep-rooted values in customer empathy, we understand the importance of delivering smooth customer experiences.

Reach out to us at, and let us create these seamless experiences for your customers together.

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