We at the XM Institute have a saying: an experience designed for everyone satisfies no one. While the ultimate goal of Experience Management (XM) may be to design and improve people’s experiences with an organization, different people are going to perceive experiences differently depending on their individual needs, desires, goals, and beliefs. Just because an experience is easy and engaging for one person that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be easy and engaging for another.

Rather than trying to create experiences that appeal to everyone – which will only result in boring, characterless interactions – organizations should instead tailor the experiences they deliver to address the specific wants and needs of their target audiences. One essential tool for helping them do this is a persona, which is a vivid description of a prototypical person within a specific segment.

XM Institute’s report, Five Phases for Creating Powerful Personas, explores the benefits of having a robust set of personas, common persona elements, mistakes to avoid, and the five phases for developing strong personas: Preparation, Research, Analysis, Creation, and Deployment.

Here’s a short video that highlights best practices and guidelines around these five phases:

 

 

In addition to this report, we have also created a persona document template and editable Powerpoint to help you document and communicate the key characteristics of your personas. This tool includes a persona template, a description of each document element, a worksheet for building a persona narrative, and examples of what this template might look when filled out for a customer, B2B, or employee persona.

The bottom line: Use personas to tailor experiences to your target audiences. 

Isabelle Zdatny, XMP, CCXP, is an XM Catalyst with the Qualtrics XM Institute