One of the things I do for my clients is help them connect to their customers, validate a market need and refine their product to meet that need. The only way to do this is by communicating with those customers, whether it is through a survey, interviews, or personal visits. I emphasized the need to communicate with your customers last week in the post “Top five benefits to startups who talk to customers.”
Today I’d like to focus in on a very specific question you should be asking your customers, “How would you feel if you could no longer use [your product name]?” This is a question that you should ask every customer according to Sean Ellis, and I agree. Sean specializes in customer development and provides similar services to what I offer some of my clients. I have found his blog to have excellent advice.
He asks that question with the following options:
How would you feel if you could no longer use [product]?
- Very disappointed
- Somewhat disappointed
- Not disappointed (it isn’t really that useful)
- N/A – I no longer use [product]
His assertion is that if 50% of your customers answer this question “Very disappointed” that you are well on your way to having a “must have” product. This is a very interesting assertion as it is a fairly simple litmus test. That said, I think Sean is right on the mark when he advocates asking these type of questions of your customers and working toward a product your customers cannot live without.