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Why should I apply customer development? 

Companies that have succeeded in their market time and time again have mastered the art of customer development. These are the companies that produce products and services based on the needs of the customer.

There have been businesses that have created products that seem valuable when first launched, but after time the product becomes worthless. Why does this happen? The company produced a product that wasn’t centered on the needs of the customer.

Customer Development is a simple formula that allows you to identify your customer’s problems. Providing you with key elements for creating the ultimate product for your market.

What is Customer Development?

Customer development focuses on interacting with customers to understand their needs. A successful company provides solutions to customer problems.

The first phase of customer development is called exploration. This is where a company takes their ideas of their future products to their customers. They conduct interviews to test their hypothesis, which will later turn into hard data.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is all about creating “The Offer.” It’s important to take the hard data from the interviews and create a solution to the customer’s problems. The offer needs to clearly show how your product can resolve their problem.

It’s your responsibility to create a product and service that bridges the gap for your customer. By having these elements within the offer you will create a strong foundation where customers can clearly identify the value. This value can easily be identified due to the emotional ties with the customer.

Phase 3

The goal in this part of the game is to focus on providing the customer with exactly what they desire. Take your offer and present it to a small body of customers. Asking for permission to follow up is extremely important.

Look at your data that you’ve collected in your interviews and create a list of potential customers you’d like to present to. Early adapters give feedback and suggestions. There feedback will provide opportunities to see possible flaws or improvements that can be made. It’s important to create excitement with your early adapters. This excitement will be displayed in the type of conversations that are taking place.

Creating this excitement will be key in identifying your product’s success. This success will depend upon if the product can resolve the customer’s problems and needs. If there isn’t much excitement being expressed by your early adaptors, consider their response as a warning sign. Changes obviously need to be made to your product or service.

Conclusion

All businesses want to succeed and obtain their goals- it’s a given. The difference between the business that are successful and those that are not, are the businesses that understand the value of customer development.

These businesses understand that no customer will purchase a product or service if it does not resolve a need or problem in their life. Succeed in your business by developing a customer response to your products and services.