Getting to know customers - reducing uncertainty about what customers need

Getting to know customers - reducing uncertainty about what customers need

At the 2019 British Legal Tech Forum Karen Waldron, Product Development Director at LexisNexis and Darci D Dutcher, Head of User Experience at LexisNexis presented on customer centric innovation. Discussing the benefits of client led change, Karen examined the pitfalls of undergoing change based on internally driven ideas and demonstrated the value of asking the right questions. Darci provided an overview of the tools you can utilise to ensure you maintain focus on the end user’s needs.

Avoiding innovating for innovation’s sake

Innovation can bring huge benefits to your organisation and customers, but how do you ensure your ideas deliver the value and results you want?

Asking the right questions and building a compelling story of why something is needed keeps you focussed on your end goals and avoids you falling into the trap of innovating for innovation’s sake. It is important to keep an open mind and don’t assume you know the answer before fully understanding your customers needs.

LexisNexis has a strong history of innovation and uses a set of tools to help build a framework which focusses on customers. These tools provide steps to identify and solve the problem, ensuring the end users’ needs are fulfilled.

Empathy Map

The empathy map, originally created by Dave Gray, helps to build an understanding of a customer’s attitudes, behaviour and context enabling you to focus in on what matters most. The tool can be used for all types of activities, from buying a train ticket to logging into a piece of software.

The empathy map looks at the following factors:

  • Think & Feel?
  • Hear?
  • See?
  • Say & Do?
  • Pain?
  • Gain?

By capturing a range of factors including intent, emotion and environmental stimuli, you can start to build a detailed understanding of your customers motivation and desired outcome.

Jobs to be Done

The ‘Jobs to be Done’ framework was developed by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen and works on the assumption that people hire products to do a job. The framework looks at the full context of the job, building a comprehensive view which includes the situation, primary goal, functional, emotional, and social and barriers.

The model also considers the human brain, breaking it into three elements: reptilian, emotional and intellectual. Building an understanding of the human brain builds a view of the customers needs, and helps provide insights into their actions at different times. For example, in times of stress such as tight deadline, the brain can become less logical. This knowledge can build a view of why a customer may act in a certain way.

Discovery Double Diamond

The Discovery Double Diamond was created by the British Design Council to support and visualise the problem-solving processes. The model is broken into four phases – discover, define, develop and deliver.

The first diamond includes the discover and define phases which first open the problems, pulling in many insights, before narrowing this back down to the problem with the most chance of being solved. The model then goes through a go/no go gate which asks if the problem can be solved for the customer. If the answer is no, they go back to the start of the model, if the answer is yes, they proceed to the second diamond.

The second diamond includes the develop and delivery phases which first looks at wide range of solutions before defining a solution which will most effectively delivery against the problem.


Whilst embarking on any innovation process it is essential not to lose sight on the problem you are trying to solve for your customers. Maintaining focus on the problem and speaking to relevant people will help you to successfully deliver value.

Make sure you discuss and analyse the problem and define the value. Build a clear timeline and structure for the process. And above all, interpret what you hear, not what you want to hear.

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