Here are a few simple but important rules of proper Custdev.

  1. Start making CustDev right now! This is perhaps the basic and most important rule. Seriously! A huge number of managers are lazy or afraid to conduct interviews, convincing themselves that they already know “what customers want”. Don’t kid yourself! Start now!
  2. Determine the purpose of the interview in advance. Example: “to Understand why people do not pay for purchases with Bank cards” or “to Highlight the main advantages over competitors”.
  3. Ask at least 8 respondents.
  4. All respondents should be asked the same key questions. The interview itself will of course take place in different ways, but the main questions should not be different.
  5. Write down whatever you think is right — this information is the source of ideas for your future hypotheses! But the answers to the main questions are better recorded in a separate table.
  6. CustDev won’t give you the right answers and won’t solve your problems, but will help gather a few ideas for your hypotheses.
  7. The duration of the interview should be 15 – 20 minutes. Not great.
  8. Do not spend more than 3 minutes on 1 question.
  9. Ask open-ended questions (With whom? Where? When? How much?). Let the person you interview tell you about everything he / she sees fit.
  10. Ask questions to the above. This will help you fish out the sneaky and, at times. important information about the true goals and needs of the person.
  11. Try not to ask questions about the future. It is human nature to be deceived and make plans that will never be realized.
  12. Be polite to the interviewee:
    1. Not interrupt. This is not just a rule of etiquette — interrupting the Respondent you can knock him off an important thought or make him internally “go away” and do not get so valuable information for you.
    2. Never argue with a Respondent, even if you think they’re telling a lie.
    3. Refrain from any evaluation of the answer or the Respondent.
    4. Thank.
  13. Don’t try to explain things to the Respondent that you didn’t ask directly — you need to get their own idea, not retrain.

An example of a table with the survey

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