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Create a Customer Scenario*

What is a Customer Scenario?

A customer scenario is a narrative description of a hypothetical situation in which a customer interacts with a product or service. It describes the customer's goals, motivations, behaviors, and expectations, as well as the context and environment in which the interaction takes place. Customer scenarios are often used in product design, marketing, and customer experience (CX) research to help teams understand the customer's perspective and design products and services that meet their needs.

What are the Benefits of Customer Scenarios?

There are several benefits of using customer scenarios, including:

  • Improved understanding of the customer's perspective and needs
  • Better alignment of product and service design with customer needs and expectations
  • Identification of pain points and opportunities for improvement in the customer experience
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration among cross-functional teams
  • Increased empathy and customer-centricity among team members
  • More effective testing and validation of product and service designs

What is Included in a Customer Scenario?

A typical customer scenario includes the following elements:

  1. Customer Persona: A fictional character representing the customer with specific attributes, needs, and goals.
  2. Situation or Context: A description of the circumstances that the customer is facing, such as a problem to solve or a task to complete.
  3. Task or Goal: The objective or outcome that the customer is trying to achieve.
  4. Actions and Behaviors: The steps that the customer ta
  5. kes to achieve their goal, including interactions with the product or service.
  6. Emotional and Cognitive States: The customer's feelings, thoughts, and attitudes during the interaction.
  7. Pain Points and Opportunities: The issues or challenges that the customer encounters, as well as the opportunities for improvement in the experience.

  8. How are Customer Scenarios Best Used?

    Customer scenarios are best used in a collaborative and iterative design process, where cross-functional teams can work together to understand the customer's perspective and design products and services that meet their needs. Some ways to use customer scenarios include:

    • Idea Generation: Using customer scenarios to brainstorm new product or service ideas that meet the customer's needs.
    • Design Validation: Testing and validating design concepts and prototypes with customers through scenario-based user testing.
    • Requirements Gathering: Using customer scenarios to identify and prioritize product or service requirements based on customer needs and goals.
    • Marketing and Communication: Developing marketing messages and campaigns that resonate with the customer's goals and emotions.

    5 Steps to Creating Customer Scenarios


    Customer: “My problem is _______”

    The first part of the dialogue is the customer letting you know the problem they’re having and or what they’re trying to achieve from this interaction.


    Agent: “I can offer you _______”

    After you’ve heard your customer’s issue now it’s your turn to offer the solution available.


    Customer: “Does that solve my original issue?”

    Next, the customer will acknowledge the potential solution and relate it back to their original issue. Will this issue solve the problem that the customer was having?


    Agent: “Explanation of Solution”

    Now, the agent will explain what the solution they offered does and why it will alleviate their original issue. Here is a great chance to throw in some additional benefits this solution may have that the customer wouldn’t obviously be aware of.


    Customer “Thanks – this will work”

    Finally, if the solution you provided will alleviate the customer’s original issue, they will acknowledge the solution and you can consider the problem solved.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Customer Scenarios

    How do you create a customer scenario?

    To create a customer scenario, start by defining the customer persona, situation or context, task or goal, actions and behaviors, emotional and cognitive states, and pain points and opportunities. Use research and data to inform the scenario and make it as realistic as possible.

    How many customer scenarios do I need?

    The number of customer scenarios you need depends on your project goals and the complexity of the product or service. It's best to start with a few key scenarios that represent the most important customer goals and behaviors and iterate as needed.

    How do I use customer scenarios in agile development?

    Customer scenarios can be used in agile development by incorporating them into user stories or user epics. They can help the team understand the customer's perspective and design features and functionality that meet their needs.

    How often should I update my customer scenarios?

    You should update your customer scenarios as needed based on changes in customer needs, market trends, and product or service updates. It's important to regularly review and revise your scenarios to ensure that they remain relevant and effective.

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