Early on, it’s critical to understand the customer’s problem. Too often, entrepreneurs come up with an idea that’s good to them, but falls flat with the potential customer. Use customer discovery to understand the problem without trying to sell them on the existing idea.
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 that’s consistent with the existing idea
- Ask broad, open ended questions (remember the old adage: humans have two ears and one mouth for a reason — listen twice as much as you talk)
- Work to understand how things work currently with as much minute 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!)
Entrepreneurs would do well to use customer discovery to deeply understand the customer’s problem, and work to ignore their existing ideas.
What else? What are some more thoughts on customer discovery to understand the problem?