Note from Shlomo: This Post is part of a series of posts about Startup weekend NEXT Beijing program, aiming to enhance our customer discovery for our startups. We are currently 10 teams on different segments trying to figure out out customers pain points so eventually we will deliver them the right product or as you call it in fancy jargon product market fit. Good luck to us all!
If you haven’t read the first week, I invite you to start here: What NEXT Program Made me Think About? Open Your Eyes!
We had to change to a different customer segment last week. We were working with college students and now we decided we will change it and talk to students parents and teachers. Maybe this is where our customers are?
Anyway,Last week was a tough one for us. We had only one interview. still, we learned one important thing : When you change your target segment it then takes time to re-initiate your efforts to find new people to target to.
If I sum it up there is actually a list of things that you need to re-initiate,
1. Find new people to talk to.
2. work on a new interview script
3. adapt to be out of your comfort zone and put yourself in context again.
So, what was it for us:
1. Find new people to talk to
We are now targeting Parents and teachers, and try to see what problems they have in making their kids study and how we can help them. In the last couple of days we had 2 more interviews (while writing these lines) and hopefully 3-4 more on the next few days.
As example, I spoke to a mother today who taught me a lot about her daughter schedule. After finishing I also asked to talk to her daughter, which I’ll do soon. Anyway, from that case I learned something new; You can ask your segments to introduce you to new segments!
Sometimes you are not dealing with only one segment and these can connect you from one to another. So, when choosing your customer segments try to think who of them are connected so you can be introduced more easily.
2. We had to write a whole new script for our interview
This one needs to be a separate script for each segment! Today I had my first interview I made with a teacher, an interview I thought I was ready for but then I realized when we started that the same terminology didn’t fit.
It was actually difficult conducting the interview as I had trouble reaching the information I needed. So, think about it before you are meeting a new person from a new segment.
3. You are out of your comfort zone
We used to talk to students on coffee shops, we are in totally different environment now. We are talking to people on the phone oversees and on peoples homes and probably soon on public events as well. It’s a different approach for each of them.
On a public event as example you need to be quick. People have no time and you need to get your information fast. 5 minutes I think is the max (we will try it in the coming week) for one interview.
On the other hand while people are in their house are more relaxed, but these are the intervies you waste most of your time, as it’s hard to leave sometimes.
a very good advice I got this week, is to start looking for people of where you were born. This is where you know most of the people and know how to get to them. USE IT! So, although I’m in China I’m all over whatsApp, talking to my friends, who happens to be PARENTS!
Now over to you
What’s your take with your customers development? Share which new segments you’ve tried and what was the difference between the two (or three)
Image credit: Bill Selak