How to validate your customer problem and find your earlyvangelists
As a business it’s important to answer the following questions…
- How do you validate your customer problem(s)?
- Does the target customer see this as a tier 1 problem?
- What are the Jobs, Pains and Gains of your customers?
- How do you know your audience are willing to pay?
Assessing the customer problems
To assess your customer problems, try the following process, whilst keeping an eye on “outliers” as they could be a hint of future desires from the market
- Write down the hypothesis
- Complete Customer Research e.g. primary and secondary and Segment the customer types focussing on their Jobs, Pains and Gains.
- Create a User Persona for each to visualise and understand the customer problems more deeply.
- Sample at least 20–50 users to understand their Jobs, Pains and Gains.
- Validate willingness to pay e.g. available budget, urgency, need, decision maker, tier 1 problem, competitors, growth market, investors erc.
- Create draft Value Maps for each to fully understand their needs.
- Find your Earlyvangelists as they will help you refine your offering.
Your Earlyvangelists are those willing to trial and adopt your product from the beginning. They are important as they can help fast track improvements. A such, they need to have the following characteristics:
- They have a problem or need — a job to be done
- They are aware of the problem — they know what job to complete
- They are searching for a solution — and need it in due course
- They have created a solution — an interim (but imperfect) solution
- They are willing to pay — they can find a budget and ability to pay
Analyzing your data and possible outcomes
Customer research can often lead to more customer research. Once you’ve answered one pressing question, new questions can arise or old questions can remain unanswered. These can require further research or different approaches to be satisfactorily answered. Perhaps the product requires a tweak or the target market needs to be more focussed or diversifications is key to survival.
Objectives at the start of the process may include:
- Understanding why customers buy from competitors
- Learning what problems your customers face on a daily basis
- Testing the level of customer satisfaction when using your product, etc.
Whatever they are, you’re looking for predicted trends in your data that imply that a certain course of action is better than others. For example, if you focus on feature X, your (potential) customers will be more willing to buy your product.
You could also perform SWOT analysis to assess the “health” of your business and where improvements can be made. This stands for