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Sensemaking and the Customer Experience

How much do you know about your customers…I mean really know? Get beyond the demographics, beyond the statistics, beyond the purchasing numbers. How much do you know about how your customers interact with their everyday world? And more importantly for you, how do your customers interact with their world using your product or service? It’s in understanding this interaction where your brand can go from ordinary to extraordinary.

Enter anthropology and the expertise we anthropologists offer. The way we humans behave is deeply rooted in our everyday culture. It influences how we make sense of our reality. It also explains why we consume what we do and what we’re ultimately trying to communicate to others around us. Because sense-making is largely a symbolic process at a cultural level, anthropology is ideally positioned to help explain the relationships customers have to a brand. In other words, if you want to know more about what your customers really think and actually do, bring in an anthropologist.

As humans, we interact with things in order to make sense of our world (if you’re unsure about this, watch a young child for a few minutes). We’re also trying to make sense of ourselves and our identity in relation to others around us. I’ll even argue that most of us want the businesses and brands we interact with to understand us better and help us in our sensemaking process.

So here’s my question for you: what is your business doing to understand your customers and help them make sense of their world through their interactions with you?

photo credit: courtneybolton (via Flickr)

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