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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How To Capture Customer Jobs, Pains, & Gains That Aren’t Subjective

How To Capture Customer Jobs, Pains, & Gains That Aren’t Subjective

In this post, we explain how to eliminate the subjective or biased aspects of your value proposition design through customer interviews and experiments. These two activities will help you gather very solid and quantitative customer evidence as you design your value proposition.
To really remove bias or subjective thinking when capturing jobs, pains, and gains, you need to distinguish between what customers say and what customers do. To start, you’ll want to conduct what Steve Blank, father of the Lean Startup movement, calls “customer discovery”. This is where you will talk to customers about their jobs, pains, and gains. After those interviews, you will conduct customer experiments to further eliminate the subjective aspects.
So you're task is to go from customer discovery, where you learn your first insights, towards providing real solid evidence from experiments.
Capture what customers say
Let’s start with the customer discovery interviews.
You will need to get out of the building and talk to 50 or 100 hundred people to gather initial insights on your customers. These insights will be important to the customer experiments you design later on.
Always start the conversation with what your customers are interested in. That’s number one, and that’s very important. With this in mind, you won’t start out by biasing the conversation around what you are interested in.
Keep these tips in mind when conducting customer interviews to remove any bias:
  1. Avoid selling your value proposition. Don’t start off with trying to gauge interest in your solution or proposed value proposition--put that in the back of your head and really focus on the jobs, pains, and gains to understand what matters to customers.
  2. Avoid asking for opinions. In your customer interviews, make sure you don't ask about opinions. So rather than asking somebody, “would you do this?” or “would you do that”, you would instead ask, “when is the last time you bought a similar product?” or “when is the last time you had this particular job to be done?”. This way you will encourage answers where your interview subjects can explain when they may have done a specific type of action or job-to-be-done.
  3. Gather quantitative answers. If your subjects point out an important job but they can't come up with an instance where they've actually done it, then they're probably not being honest. Try to gather quantitative answers. For example, you could ask “what does earning more money mean to you? Is 10% more?” Do your subjects agree or give a more substantial number? This approach will allow you to get into instances and concrete quantities to understand how they measure success and how they measure failure.

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