Three important points about listening to your customers

Great list by Braden Kowitz on why you should listen to your customers:

Several important points:

1) People love to say they talk to customers but rarely do. And some people talk to a couple customers, feel good about it, and assume their job is done. But the fact is that you have to go after feedback with a club. How do you know if you’re talking to your customers enough? Easy: You’re not surprised by what they say anymore.

2) Hiring a designer will not make you a design-first company. I’ve known lots of business owners who want to “get some design in here” by hiring a designer. This almost never works because that owner isn’t thinking about design in the right way. Being a design-first company means to actually change the process of product design to one that starts with users actual goals or a known problem and working outward. If you are hitting a wall and hoping a designer can get you out of it, it’s probably not going to work without a fundamental change to your product development process.

3) Customer research will actually speed you up. This is the most counter-intuitive one but is also true and probably the most important point Braden makes. Doing customer research seems like it will slow you down because it doesn’t feel forward-moving. You’re not actually building anything yet. But if you think about it as learning what to build then you can see how valuable it is.

Published: September 10th, 2014