Customer discovery is hard. As an entrepreneur with a bias towards action, the action of building features in a product is much more fun than talking to potential customers. Only, if you don’t talk to potential customers early and often, the chance of success is significantly diminished. Once you’ve mentally agreed that talking to potential customers before or during the earliest stages of product development is key, it’s time to do customer discover interviews.
Here are a few things to keep in mind with customer discovery interviews:
- Don’t lead the witness — it’s all too common to try and guide the potential customer down a path the jives with your desires
- Ask broad, open ended questions
- Get a good understanding of how things work currently with as much excruciating detail as you can uncover
- Find out what the ideal solution would be if time and money were no issue (if you could wave a magic wand and have anything you wanted , what would it be?)
- Never show any prototypes you might have until after you’ve asked all your main questions (don’t introduce bias!)
Customer discovery interviews are super valuable and should be employed by all entrepreneurs.
What else? What are some other ideas on the art of the customer discovery interview?