Your Homework: Do At Least One Customer Interview

Thundafund Crowdfunding Customer ValidationSome solid advice from Dave Duarte on the importance of customer validation!

Customer interviews are essential as part of the marketing process, as they help us make sure that what we are offering actually has willing buyers, and that we’re presenting it in a way that is compelling for these potential buyers.

Here’s some suggestions for how you’ll structure your interview… Feel free to go off-script or create your own questions. (Plus, shiny gold star for anyone who does 5 or more interviews!)

1. The Person

Build the foundation by getting to know the person you’re interviewing.

  • Who are they?
  • What’s their role?
  • Where do they interact with peers?
  • How do they find new products for home or work?
  • How much time do they spend on [Task X]?
  • How is their budget handled?

Your goal: get to know them and how they make their choices relating to the category of your product | service | solution. 

2. Their Needs

Build the walls by finding out about their problems.

  • What are your top 3 challenges you face in your job related to [industry]?
  • Why? Tell me more…
  • What’s frustrating or time consuming about [problem area]?
  • If you could wave a magic wand… what would the solution be?

Your goal: find out if they have the problem you’re solving.

3. Your Product | Service | Solution 

Finally, share your solution!

  • Does this solve any of the problems discussed above?
  • Would you be willing to pay for this?
  • Are you interested in signing up to be one of your early users?
  • What’s your biggest concern with my product?

Your goal: gauge their interest and gather feedback. People are polite, so it’s not what they say that is important, but how they say it. Read their body language. 

Tips to make the most of your interviews:

  • Make good notes – perhaps record the interview(s) and write notes afterwards.
  • Be curious about them and their problems, DON’T SELL. Help them feel comfortable to tell the truth.
  • Be conversational – go off-script.
  • End with an ask and FOLLOW-UP if they’re keen.
  • Be open to new problems and idea – the point of the interview is that you learn and adapt your offering.
  • Make good notes.

Thanks, Dave and Sparkup! First Tuesday Meetup for the event. (Image via Small Business Trends.)

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