How do I assess how well I understand my customer? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Well, the simple approach would be:
Formulate A List of What You Believe Their Demographic Conditions Are
For instance, if your attacking B2B industry, is your Ideal Customer a large company, a medium-sized, small teams inside a Fortune 500? Does it have to be from a specific segment? Are they going through a very specific transformation event (recent funding, acquisition, etc.?
Formulate A List of What You Believe Their Biggest Problems to Be and Why You Think You’ll Help Them
Your building something to help someone do something better, cheaper or with less effort, right? So, what is it that they are doing today? What are the problems? Why do you think those problems exist? Why do you think you can do better?
Talk to Your Customers
Reach out to a handful of customers that share the characteristics you defined on step 1 and ask them to attend a customer development call with you. Promise you won’t sell anything, you just want to listen to them and learn from them. They will usually accept this quite easily. Get on the phone (better, in person) and ask them about what their issues are, ask them why they think they have these issues, etc. Basically, you want to ask open-ended questions and see if their answers match up with what you thought was true.
Analyze Your Results
- Did you get the customers segments right?
- Do they really have the problem you thought they would?
- Do they realize they have that problem?
- Are they actively looking for a solution? How they think this can be solved?
Figure Out What You Missed
It’s possible that you didn’t get everything right from the start. You might have missed an important characteristic; you might have missed the demographics completely. Maybe they don’t have the problem you thought they would. Maybe they see it differently. Maybe it’s not a problem at all.
Rinse and Repeat
Every time you do this you will get iteratively better on knowing your customer. This is a never ending road. So get used to doing this as often as you can.