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How To Actually DO Customer Discovery

How to actually DO Costomer Discovery by Steve Blank, founder of Lean Startup methodology.

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How To Actually DO Customer Discovery

  1. 1. Conducting Customer Discovery How to actually DO Customer Discovery
  2. 2. You’re not selling, not talking (much), But LISTENING to your customers! Customer Discovery: Much more than “do you like it? ● How big is the market? Not today…eventually! ● Who’s the customer? ● What’s the product/service/need? ● Does the product solve the problem? Fill the need? ● Who else solves it? Cheaper? Better? Faster? ● How do you create demand? ● How do you deliver the product? ● Will the customer let you make money? FIRST, Some Ground Rules ● MUST be done by Leaders, not researchers ● You’re never selling, always asking, probing ● Know the industry, issues, subject matter ● The customer steers the conversation ● No customer can answer every question ● Ask for 5 minutes(consumer) 20 (b-to-b)… ● …charm them, keep’em talking longer! Always remember rule #1: NO SELLING ALLOWED 2. Define hypothesis “success” so you know it if you find it ● Define discovery pass/fail tests ● Results cannot just be anecdotes ● …what does success look like? ○ 4 of ten get really excited/want to buy ○ One appointment in five calls ○ 2/3 would learn about it where I’m headed ○ Half would tell >3 friends REMEMBER: recompute the financial model based on this feedback…it changes LOTS of things.
  3. 3. Customer Discovery: Before your First Interview ● Know your subject…memorize your questions ● “Dress for success,” make them comfortable ● Consider/Rehearse your “Opening Line” ● ALWAYS stress “this is not a sales call” ● NEVER get caught following a script ● Be curious, dig deeper, don’t push an agenda ● Let the customer guide the conversation 3. Discovery: ROUND ONE! ● PRIMARY MISSION is “test the problem” ● Anything else is gravy…get what you can ● Avoid details on product much as you can ● …how do you solve it now ● …anyone solve it well for you ● …problems with current solutions …but mostly: do customers care?? Who Do I Call On? ● Do NOT do Discovery with friends, colleagues ● Use existing company customers, contacts ● Get referrals from lawyers, accountants, pals ● Cold calls are a badge of honor ● Find consumers where they hang out ● “attack” people in malls, Starbucks, cafes ● Don’t worry about titles or the right person ● Can you really talk to anyone? I Have a Meeting – Now What? ● The goal is to test all hypotheses but… ● ALWAYS get to product/market fit ○ Does the value proposition match the segment? ○ Do the customers seem to genuinely care?? ● THEN move to other issues ○ What channel do they use to buy? ○ How will you get their attention? Google? Blog? ○ How much will they pay? Do they pay today?
  4. 4. What Do I Say? ● Remember you are 1st testing the problem ● “Hi, I’ve been told you’re the smartest person in this industry. We’re building x and I’d like 10 minutes of your time.” ● Don’t try to get all the answers at once ● Every sentence is a question ● Use “Stack ranking” ● Three columns…Dummy Boxes…“Dry testing” 3 POINT INTERVIEW ● Do you have [insert specific problem]? (context) ● Tell me about the time you dealt with this problem? (story) ● What’s your ideal solution for this? (solution) Conversation Starters ● Does the person match the Target Segment? Yes/No ● Objective 1: Problem Exploration ○ Learn if they have the Problem, and how much of a problem it really is by hearing about their Existing Behavior/Usage Conversation Starters: Beginner Beginner: I’m working on an idea around… ● Have you ever…? ● Tell me about a time you’ve… ● I hear many in my customer segment have this problem of… Conversation Starters: Advanced ● Advanced: Just start a conversation! ● I am a describe yourself as your target customer segment with your problem, then ask “do you have any suggestions?” ● Start with questions around what they’re doing at the time of your interview Finding the Customer’s Level of Pain ● How frequent? How much time or money is lost to the problem? ● Have you been looking for any other solutions? ● If you could wave a magic wand, what would be your ideal solution?
  5. 5. Remember: it’s just a simple chat with another person, people love to talk! Conversation Prompts ● “Have you ever had ________ experience?” ● “Can you tell me the story about that?” ● “And then what happened?” ● “Why [or how] did you do that?” ● “What did you love [or hate] about that?” ● “If you could wave a magic wand, what would it be like?” During the Interview: DO ● Take notes ● Smile ● Ask open-ended questions ● Get their story ● Shut up and listen DON’T ● Talk about your product ● Ask about future behavior ● Sell ● Ask leading questions ● Talk much After the Interview: Debrief DUMP (5min, solo) ● 1 idea per sticky ● “What I heard” ● “What I saw” ● “What stood out” SORT (10min, team) ● Collect similar items ● Label groups ● Stack duplicates ● Note trends and exceptions
  6. 6. 4. Meetings Done. Then what? ● Did you meet enough customers? ● Did the answers become consistent, repetitive? THEN: Assemble all the data, organize/rank responses ● Slam it against industry, third party resources ● Get a tighter, more concise view of the market ● …and adjust your Business Model as you go! Next: ● Test the “solution” in a very similar way ● It’s more like “test selling”…but not hard-selling! ● …and determine if you “pivot or proceed” After “Problem” Discovery: Google and Industry Research ● How big is the market? ● Who’s the customer? (How’s their problem/need solved today?) ● How do you create demand? ● How do you deliver the product? ● Google your product/category 8-12 hours ● CONFIRM your findings w/industry info Research Tools will help ANALYTICS ● Google Analytics ● KISS Metrics ● Mixpanel ● Flurry ● LocalLytics ● Stats Mix (just an api) CONVERSION TESTING ● Unbounce ● Optimizely UNMODERATED TESTS WITH VIDEO ● Usertesting.com ● TryMyUI
  7. 7. ● Userlytics ● WhatUsersDo ● Loop11 HEAT MAPPING ● Crazy Egg ● Click Tale ● Gaze Hawk MESSAGE RECALL ● ClueApp ● FiveSecondTest MICRO USABILITY ● Navflow ● Usabilia ● Clicktest ● Verify ● Intuition HQ ● UserZoom 5. Research Done. Now what? ● Did you meet enough customers? ● Did the answers become consistent, repetitive? THEN: Assemble all the data, organize/rank responses ● Slam it against industry, third party resources ● Get a tighter, more concise view of the market ● …and adjust your Business Model as you go! Next: ● Test the “solution” in a very similar way ● It’s more like “test selling”…but not hard-selling! ● …and determine if you “pivot or proceed” Testing the Solution: Dreaded Questions ● Will people use it? ● Why won’t people use it? ● What’s wrong with this? ● How could I make this better? ● How can I improve conversion?
  8. 8. ● Are we making progress? ● Do people like this? ● Did we do the right thing? ● Why is there dropoff? Design Test We believe that people like ___(customer type)_____ have a need for (or problems doing) ____(need/action/behavior)___. We will know we have succeeded when ____(quantitative/measurable outcome)___, or _____(qualitative/observable outcome)__, which will contribute to ______(KPI)____. Always remember rule #1: NO SELLING ALLOWED FIND the EARLYVANGELISTS “FOAMING AT THE MOUTH” ● Have the problem ● Know they have the problem ● Searched for solution ● Hacked a solution ● Paid for a solution

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