Talking to Customers

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Slides Beth Temple recently used in her discussion w/ mentees of The Product Mentor. The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People. Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

Transcript of Talking to Customers

  • 1. Talking to Customers MENTOR: Beth TempleThe Product MentorOctober 18, 2013 bethtemple4u llc, 917.446.2871 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED1

2. It is commonly estimated that between 70-90% of new products fail.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED2 3. Which is a frightening statistic because new products are continually in demand.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED3 4. Evidenced by the fact that product lifecycles are shortening.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED4 5. Why product lifecycles are shorteningrequiringrapid advancement of technology createsan overabundance of productsconsumer attention spans shorteningbethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED5 6. Change is happening quickly and it is directly aecting product viability.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED6 7. Its up to us to eradicate product failure!bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED7 8. What are the 5 mistakes you dont want to make?bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED8 9. Top 5 reasons new products fail 1Dont know who your customers are. If you dont know who your customers are you dont know what they need, how they will adopt and use the product, what other products they use, how big the market is, or how to market to them.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED9 10. Top 5 reasons new products fail 1Dont know who your customers are. If you dont know who your customers are you dont know what they need, how they will adopt and use the product, what other products they use, how big the market is, or how to market to them.2Lack of value proposition. Without it you wont be able to make decisions or youll make bad ones. This is where you identify the problem that needs to be solved.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED10 11. Top 5 reasons new products fail 1Dont know who your customers are. If you dont know who your customers are you dont know what they need, how they will adopt and use the product, what other products they use, how big the market is, or how to market to them.2Lack of value proposition. Without it you wont be able to make decisions or youll make bad ones. This is where you identify the problem that needs to be solved.3Focus on a feature and not the problem to be solved. Features come and go problems persist and multiply.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED11 12. Top 5 reasons new products fail 4Dont get out in front of customers early and often enough. Issues can be discovered in early stage testing that save time, money and reputation.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED12 13. Top 5 reasons new products fail 4Dont get out in front of customers early and often enough. Issues can be discovered in early stage testing that save time, money and reputation.5Building by committee. There should be one person, who oversees a diversied team, who is accountable and responsible for the product and its outcome. You build successful digital products through collaboration but not by committee.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED13 14. Out of the top 5, 4 are about customers.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED14 15. nWhynWhennHowtalking to customers bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED15 16. A product shouldnt be internally determined. It should be externally inspired.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED16 17. Important reasons why you talk to customers nCustomers are what makes a product a businessnMitigate the risks of uncertaintynDiscover and assess market opportunitynUnderstand behaviors, needs, and expectationsbethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED17 18. 2 things you should know about customers nThe product must solve a problem a customer has or helps them accomplish a familiar task in a better way.nCustomers are not focused on just one way to nd a solution they are looking at all kinds of ways to nd the right solution. bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED18 19. The only way to nd out what your customers are thinking is to talk to them!bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED19 20. You cant build product in a conference room nThis is a typical way to build products people sitting around in a conference room with an idea!nSmart people with customer data and product and business know how what more could you need?nThis is rife with risknEric Ries calls this GOOB (get out of the building)nThe value of your product is outside of the conference room in your customers behavior, needs and expectationsbethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED20 21. 2 big disruptions you create nCustomers need to gure out how your product will t into their day/life (practical application).nCustomers need to gure out how it works (technical application).bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED21 22. Customers are now part of the process nLean: build measure learnnAgile: user storiesnLearn through customer feedback cyclesnValidate product viabilitybethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED22 23. nWhynWhennHowtalking to customers bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED23 24. There is a dierence between knowing how to build something and knowing what to build.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED24 25. When to talk to customers nThroughout the process of any product ideation and build-out.nAt critical intervals.nWhen there are times of team disagreement or features dont feel right.nWhen you dont know what you need to know to go forward.nIf 6 or 8 weeks have gone by and you havent talked to customers there better be a really good reason why!bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED25 26. When to talk to customers Typical new product processTalk to customers: behaviors, routines, unmet needsIdeabethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDAssess/ DefineTalk to customers: expectations, usage, usabilityTalk to customers: usage, adoptionDesign wireframes, visual designBuild multiple xsprototype, multiple xs alpha/beta26 27. Idea stage nFocus: understand behaviors, routines, and unmet needs.nGo out and talk to and observe potential customers to see if their expectations align with the product you have in mind. This is the time to discover and understand the market opportunities and challenges. nLearn about customers existing routines, product use, and unmet needs. Dont ask or talk about your idea.Results may bear out (better now than after the product is built) that customers dont need or want the product as it is dened. This does not mean there isnt some part of the product that will resonate or there isnt another opportunity, so listen closely.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED27 28. Design stage nFocus: understand expectations, usage, and usability.nWhen you get to the design stage talk to customers at intermittent stages and multiple times throughout.nWhen the designs are in paper format, show them to a small group of targeted customers to get feedback.nThe intent is to nd the quickest way to establish a view of the users experience that can easily be tested.nDont assume every comment needs to be addressed; focus only on the comments which are repeated amongst client sets.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED28 29. Build stage nFocus: understand usage and adoption.nUse clickable prototypes, MVP, next release.nAt this stage the team should be looking at the general usage and adoption behavior in order to make necessary small adjustments.nFeedback can be actively collected through one-to-one calls/ WebEx or in-person meetings which allow for observation.nThis process should be repeated as often as it takes (often 2-3 cycles) to enhance the likelihood of success.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED29 30. nWhynWhennHowtalking to customers bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED30 31. It is not a product until your customers say it is a product.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED31 32. Customer empathy nHow easy it for you to change?nThat is essentially what you are asking customers to do when you launch a product, new, enhanced or redesigned.nYour job is to make their change easy, not hard.nTo do that you need to think like a customer not a product builder.nThe best way to do this is talk to customers; understand your product through their point of view.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED32 33. What goes wrong when talking to customers nYou, as a product builder are too emotionally attached. You simply cannot be attached to the outcome. Its hard. It takes practice. Establish a neutral stance remove emotional attachments and vested interests.nAs humans we have a desire to validate our own views.nYou talk more than you LISTEN. nYou want to sell the idea and its promise instead of listening to their needs.You talk to customers to learn about what the product SHOULD be not to validate what you WANT the product to be.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED33 34. The types of customer testing nInterviews (phone, man-on-the-street)nIn-person usability observationnLanding pagesnWizard of OznConciergenA/B testingbethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED34 35. Talking to customers nIt is not necessary to go out and talk to 100s of customers.nDepending on what is being tested somewhere between 6-12 customers will usually provide the knowledge you need.nThat group should be proled to match the targeted market most likely to use the product.nInteracting one-to-one is the best format. In-person if you can, though phone is just as good.nIt is important that feedback is gathered by a small group (1-2 people) for interpretation consistency. Look for and identify general themes versus specic details.bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED35 36. Example: Wanna buy a smartphone?bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED36 37. What it takes nPracticenDiligencenCuriositynEmpathynRiding the pausenListen for the opportunitybethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED37 38. Q&Abethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED38 39. Thank you!bethtemple4u llc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED39 40. Beth Temple bethtemple4u llc 917.446.2871 beth@bethtemple4u.com @bethtemple4u http://bethtemple4u.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/btemplebethtemple4u llc, 917.446.2871 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED40