Robyn M. Bolton shares why a business should always engage in customer research when innovating and explains why she doesn’t always follow her own advice.
If you’re innovating without involving your customers, you’re wasting time and money.
I believe this so deeply that I require all of my clients to spend time talking with and listening to their customers at least once during our work together. Investing in customer research, I explain, is the single smartest and best investment that any business can make. Just 5 or 10 customer conversations can dramatically alter the course of an initiative, positioning it for incredible success or killing it before too much time, energy, and money is wasted.
Understanding your customers, especially through Jobs to be Done, is the hill I will die on.
But I actively resist doing this for my business.
The idea of interviewing my customers, or investing to understand their Jobs to be Done, or altering aspects of my business based on their feedback triggers a cold sweat and a very real flight response.
So why is my business different? (It’s not)
Why am I such a customer research hypocrite?
Here are the thoughts that run through my head when I consider talking to my own customers:
I’m supposed to be the expert in this, what if they tell me something I haven’t thought of?
What if my customers say they don’t like or want what I’m doing and would like or want something I’m not?
What if I do try something new and it fails?
It is SO much easier, and it feels so much safer, to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s what I’ve always done and it’s what bigger and more “successful” firms do.
Key points in this article include:
- Why am I such a customer research hypocrite?
- How do we overcome these emotional barriers?
- How do we overcome the fear and take action?
Read the full article, Confessions of a Customer Research Hypocrite, on Milezero.com.