Are you one of those people that a company would choose to call to get feedback about their products or services?
Do you have the right characteristics? In business, we call it the voice of the customer. And it turns out, there are certain types of people who are better at this than others.
The Emergent Customer
The term “emergent customer” was coined by Donna Hoffman, a researcher from the University of California where she identified an emergent customer as a type of customer that seems to be better at giving feedback than your everyday customer.
Emergent customers have the ability to wrap their heads around certain new ideas. They look at things in a way that allows them to give more detailed and more interesting feedback than people who are so-called non-emergent customers. They’re better at imagining how a concept would address some latent unmet need.
The Key Characteristics of Emergent Customers
- They’re open to new experiences. They have a predisposition to seeing new things versus people that are more wedded to the status quo.
- They have the ability to use reflection. Reflection is a learning tool where you look back at something you just did, what could have been improved, what was different than what you expected, and then doing something about it. And people that have good reflection skills seem to be better at embracing new innovations.
- They use both experiential and rational processing styles. Emergent customers combine logic and experience to achieve a better effect.
- They have both verbal and visual styles. We’re all visual and verbal learners, but it’s just a question of balance.
- They perceive themselves as creative.
- They tend to have more optimism than other people. A person who has hope is more likely to be able to ideate and create new innovations than a person who has lost hope.
How to Be More Creative
A method of creativity you can learn is called Systematic Inventive Thinking or SIT. It’s based on five patterns that have been used by mankind for thousands of years, and which are still embedded into the products and services you see around you every day. By learning this method, you’re going to open your mind to more innovative ideas you see day in day out.
To hear more on the characteristics of an emergent customer, listen to the full podcast episode here: Episode 028: Why Some People See Creative Ideas More Clearly Than Others.