Your time is too valuable to spend it on things people don’t want.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, talking to people can save you months or years of frustrating, fruitless effort.
This book will teach you how to deploy empathy in a specific, targeted, structured way to pull opportunities out of customers that you and your competitors maybe didn’t even realize were there. People will tell you things—useful, actionable things—that you never would have found before.
Even if you have never interviewed customers before.
Even if your company doesn’t exist yet.
Even if your company has been around for decades.
The skills you will learn can be used with potential customers, former customers, current customers, clients, stakeholders, people you advise, and even in your personal life.
You will walk away from this book with a toolbox of repeatable processes that will allow you to find opportunities and moments of unexpected insight time and time again.
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An action-oriented guide to understanding customers
People often ask me how we’ve been able to build a successful small software business without external funding, and the secret is that listening to customers is embedded into everything we do. It is the cornerstone, foundation, and pillars of how we make decisions.
Hearing that, people often want to learn how to interview customers themselves. I would find myself typing out long emails that were a mix of chapters of books, podcasts, blog posts, with my own perspectives spliced in. I didn’t feel like I had one solid place to send them.
(As you’ll learn in this book, repeated manual work is a symptom of pain that can be solved by a product.)
I needed a resource that presumed no previous experience with customer research and was also biased toward action.
This book attempts to make customer research accessible to companies of all sizes and people of all functional backgrounds, even the smallest of companies.
Take the guessing out of what to work on
Perhaps you find yourself, either now or at other times, needing to do one of the following:
- Launch a product
- Figure out why people aren’t buying
- Figure out why people are buying, so you can find more of them
- See if people will pay for the thing you’ve made
- Determine out which features to add next
- Figure out why people buy again.
If any of those apply to you, this book is for you.