Customer Validation - Talk To Customers

Posted on Friday, October 30, 2015 by Himanshu Sikaria

How often do you come up with an idea you believe everyone would love it? Then you start building the idea and given in your cent percent. Do you ever want to know what your customers want or are you too afraid to face the truth? Yes, customer validation is one of the most important tasks to be done on your journey to a successful venture and it should be done at the earliest. Once you define your problem statement and you know who your customers are and have a rough idea about the possible solution, then it is time to validate your assumptions. Why spent loads of time on a product or service which no one cares about. Can you afford to spend that amount of time on it? Ok, so now you must be convinced enough to do a validation test before you actually build your idea? But how to do a customer validation accurately is the question.

Talking directly to your customers can be a very good option to know their requirements. But your customers aren’t as passionate as you are for your idea, so they won’t care. So it is important you ask the right question to get the right information. Anyone will say you have a great idea if you annoy them for long. So you should focus on their past and take out facts about them not opinions. Opinions are worthless, people can’t predict their own behaviour. Asking open-ended questions can also be a good strategy. What you can also do is ask for a commitment to know how deep the customer suffers the problem. Commitment can be a small advance for the product or service, or their contacts details or anything innovative you can think of.

The way you engage your interviewee is vital, you will need to develop a trust in them and also keep a note of what they are saying. Going in a group of two is advisable, where one can keep the customer engaged and the other can keep a note of what that person is saying without getting noticed. These days doing a customer validation online is also not a bad option if your customers are present online. This way you could reach a wider range of people.

After you talk to your customers it is very important that you pivot according to them and make what they want. Modifying your idea at every turn keeping the core same is the key to increase your probability to succeed.

On completion of customer validation and gaining more clarity on your idea you could start building a MVP (minimum viable product) in as innovative and efficient way as possible. And then again you should test the market using your MVP or prototype.

Go the lean way, don’t waste time building a product no one wants.

Further read suggested: Lean Startup Methodology, Javelin Board, Minimum Viable Product