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Why customer discovery hard?

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In customer discovery, you don’t need to conduct a complicated, detailed and perfect research. You don’t need to use sophisticated statistical tools. All you need to do is to collect reliable feedback and clues.

Yet, for many of us, this is one of the hardest part in a new startup building process. Why? There are several reasons for this and some of them are:

• Many a times, we fall into love for the product we build and that makes anything else not so important any more.
• It is very hard to resist the temptation to pitch or sell our product and in the process, we tend to forget “learning” as the core objective of customer discovery.
• There is a hard work involved in locating prospects to be approached for customer discovery and at times it is hard to reach out to them and convince them to spare time for us.
• We feel shy to approach an unknown prospect.
• We don’t know what to talk and how to talk to a prospect. You may find some interview scripts on the internet, but its best not to follow any script in a customer discovery. So, you need someone to handhold you to clarify your thoughts and approaches needed for this, besides the required framework.
• The whole process is time consuming.
• It would take focus away from product development, design and sales.
• Prospective customers are not good at expressing their needs, problems and opinions out of context. So, easy option such as surveys doesn’t work. Further, surveys cant build a relationship with potential customers.
• When you’re getting prospects give you feedback on their situation or your products, you should be talking with just one prospect at a time. Focussed group discussion, yet another easy option for market research, suffers from a tendency of ‘group think’.
• Its hard to articulate and curate an MVP, based on our specific situation, so we may end up spending resources in an effort that is not needed.
• Even if we manage to conduct customer discovery interviews, we don’t know how to make sense of them and draw meaningful inferences from them.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you?

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Why customer discovery hard?

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