Topic 2. Understand Your Customers

You have to first figure out what the problem is, and not the solution. This means knowing and understanding the problem from your market’s point-of-view, what the problem going away looks like for them, and then building a solution to meet that view. This section will help you learn what questions to ask so you understand how to build the right product for those customers.


What's Included in this Guide:

1. Build What Customers Want
2. Run Empathy Interviews
3. Empathy in Action
4. Prepare for Your Empathy Interviews
5. Ask Effective Questions
6. Find the Job to Be Done
7. Understand Your Customer With Experiments
8. Create Customer Demand
9. Customer Interview Q&A

Let's get started
Part 1.

Build What Customers Want

As an early stage startup you run the risk of building the wrong solution for your customer. This video will help you focus your energy so you can truly know the customer’s experience, engage that market effectively, and apply insights so you can solve the real problem.

Part 2.

Run Empathy Interviews

One way to get a sense of the problem your customer faces is, quite simply, to ask them. This video will take you through some quick but powerful tips on how to prepare and conduct interviews with your market for the sake of building empathy for your customer and for how they see the problem.

Part 3.

Empathy in Action

Your solution may work perfectly and it can still fail. Why? It may be because you have missed or overlooked the social context of your customers. This video discusses the influence of empathy on how you design your solution that meets all of your customer’s realities.

Part 4.

Prepare for Your Empathy Interviews

Where are you struggling? Product development? Go-to-market strategy? Where do you have a need for more evidence and more data? This video will walk you through the Empathy Interview Planner that will help you to turn this need into an interview so you can build evidence and arrive at the true nature of the situation.

Part 5.

Ask Effective Questions

Asking the right questions in your interviews helps you build empathy with your customers. This video will help you think though how to structure and lead the interviews, build rapport, and ask open questions that get the interviewee to tell you a story about their world that provides you with the functional, social, and emotional dimensions of progress your customers want to make.

Part 6.

Find the Job to Be Done

You need to take the feedback you received from the empathy interviews and distill the functional, social, and emotional dimensions of progress from your customer’s point-of-view. In this video, you will learn how to see patterns in the responses and how to synthesize that information into jobs to be done.

Part 7.

Understand Your Customer With Experiments

You need evidence of what works, but so far all you have is a hunch. In this video, you will see how to go from Lean Business Model Canvas to identifying the obstacles, opportunities, unknowns, and risks associated with your business and then run interviews and experiments with your customers to build evidence.

Part 8.

Create Customer Demand

How might you get your customers to come to you? This video looks at how you can use pull strategies in your messaging through the use of customer/problem understanding, language, imagery, and a product that resonates with your audience. You will see how you can use the feedback from the empathy interviews to connect your message with your customer’s point-of-view.

Part 9.

Customer Interview Q&A

No doubt you have some questions about customer interviews. Fortunately, we have answers. In this video, we will cover some of the most frequently asked questions from Techstars companies and how you can address them before you begin your interview process.

Extra Learning.

Understanding Your Customer

It’s time to get out of the building and in front of your customers! In this series, you’ll learn how to firmly understand the problem your customer wants solved. You will learn how to conduct interviews that build empathy and understanding, how to synthesize your takeaways to set a course of action, and how to use interviews to define problems so you can build prototypes and gather evidence.