From Talking to Humans PDF
Talking to Humans
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Everything should be through your customer's eyes.
Think of customer discovery as a listening session to ensure product/market fit. Without talking details about what you think the problem is or what you think the solution is, talk to your potential customers to find out everything they think about the pain (or problem or need) you want to solve.
This is your chance to get real, unbiased feedback. This is essential to solve the problem and come up with a solution. Your goal is always product/market fit, meaning your product is what the market wants.
Talking to customers is part of how you validate that there is even a problem that is in need of solving.
This is how you ensure the right marketing mix - offering the right product, in the right place, at the right price, on the right channel.
Customer Discovery - is primary research (meaning you do the research directly) and could include a variety of methods, include talking directly to your customer in a conversation, a survey, a focus groups, interviews, etc.
"Simply put, customer discovery is the process of learning what customers want rather than trying to find customers to buy what you already have." - Wayne Barz
No matter if you are a tech company or a main street, community-based business... you will need to make sure you know what your customer wants or needs. You must be solving their problem in the right way. This is what Product / Market Fit is all about.
BONUS: as you talk to them to confirm your assumptions about the problem, pain, or need they have, you are also gathering valuable information from them about any emotions they have about this problem. These emotions and issues they discuss could be potential future marketing content for you. So take note of that as you talk with them!
Does your business have the right product / market fit?
Prepare for customer discovery
Read Talking to Humans! (at top of page)
Read the rest of this page
Decide how you will do your research - survey, focus groups, interviews, conversations
Prepare your questions (see below!)
Read Customer Interviews: Tips, Do’s, and Don’ts by Agostinho Almeida, Venture Well, Oct 2018
Make sure your questions are not biased! Read the OWL Purdue resource about creating good interview and survey questions. Optional more reading on the Theory page
Make a plan for where you will do research. Make sure it is targeted to your key customers! Don't just post in a Lowell based Facebook page if you are opening up a restaurant in Wells, Maine.
Refine questions, have Professor look at them
What to ask?
Learn how to do Customer Discovery with Justin Wilcox from ExEC
Prepare your questions beforehand, don't wing it. What are you trying to prove based on your assumptions? What do you need to find out? Now is your time to find out answers your customer can provide! Remember, it isn't about the solution you want to provide. It's about the problem or need that people have.
Ask questions about:
The Customer Problem ….
What is the hardest part about _(insert the problem/pain/need)_?
Tell me the last time you had that problem.
Why is that (insert emotion they described in the problem answer - hard, troubling, difficult, frustrating, etc.) for you?
Current Solutions …. (your competition)
When did you last try to solve this problem?
What did you use/do?
Deficiencies …. (product/market fit - where you can fill a market opportunity!)
What’s not ideal about that solution?
How could it be better
Channels …. (where the customer looks to buy and how they buy)
How did you find that solution?
What are you trying to prove based on your assumptions? What do you need to find out? Now is your time to find out answers your customer can provide! Remember, it isn't about the solution you want to provide. It's about the problem or need that people have.
Goal is to make it easy for them to make a selection:
Give choices - make it multiple choice, or allow to select one or two responses
If necessary, only give 1 - 2 open-ended questions for additional feedback
Not too many questions, max 7-8 questions
Keep it simple, make sure the information is easy to understand
What cereal do you buy?
Pick all that apply:
Below is an example of a beauty goods store. She used Survey Monkey and then posted this survey on local Facebook groups with a majority of women of color. She posted there because that was her most likely customer. She received over 450 results. What is nice is that Survey Monkey also automatically creates charts of results.
Chart example show the results. This info told her valuable information about her customers and how often they use services at a salon, this will inform market opportunity. This data will help her forecast future sales.
After customer discovery
Now what? What do you do with the info?
"How to analyze survey data" by Survey Monkey
Review the "How to Make Sense of What Learned" chapter in Talking to Humans, page 58