Customer Discovery for Small Businesses: What You Need to Know

Business owner conducting customer discovery interview

Customer Discovery for Small Businesses

Customer discovery is a powerful tool for small business owners. Whether you are introducing a new product, revamping an existing product or trying to reach more customers – it’s important to understand their needs and perspective before spending your valuable time and money on new business endeavors.

What is Customer Discovery?

Customer discovery is the process of testing your business assumptions BEFORE you spend time and money to build out new products or services.

How Does Customer Discovery Work?

Customer discovery doesn’t have to be complicated. Most experts agree the most important part of any effective customer discovery effort is to interview current or potential customers to see if the assumptions you’re making are correct. Rather than assuming someone will pay a certain price for a certain product, you’re testing that hypothesis by asking customers directly.

How Do You Conduct a Good Customer Discovery Interview?

Good customer discovery efforts are all about getting to the truth. You want the individuals you’re speaking with to provide honest, straight-forward feedback. To help get the best results, consider the following guidelines:

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Focus on real, previous behaviors – not future plans or ambitions
  • Don’t pitch your product! Discovery is about learning and listening. Selling comes later.

Examples of Good Customer Discovery Questions

  • Can you tell me about a time when you struggled with (issue related to your business or product idea)
  • Why was that hard, frustrating, etc.?
  • How did you solve this problem at the time?
  • How did you find that solution?
  • What frustrates you about the current solution?
  • Are you actively looking for or trying other solutions?

Learn More

Our team of business experts is ready to help you grow your business. Work alongside them in a four-part series for small business owners and managers. This information will be helpful for new or existing businesses who are looking for new customer bases. Each week you will dig into details of your business to identify what you can do to take control of the success of your business.