One of the key contributions of the theory of emergence is its emphasis on the importance of interactions between the lower-level elements of a system. In organizations, these lower-level elements are typically the individuals who make up the group or team. The emergence theory suggests that the interactions between these individuals are the key to understanding the group’s behavior. The customer discovery interview aims to learn more about the customer’s needs and how they currently meet them. You should also ask about their biggest challenges and how they would feel about potential solutions. Discovery Interviews are based on four principles:
- focus on the positive
- ask questions that foster discovery
- build on the strengths of individuals and groups
- create a safe and positive environment for exploration
The results of these interviews are then used to develop a picture of the system in its current state and to generate a vision for the future.
Making Sense of Complex Material: When you collect interviews or conduct other sorts of field research, you are often presented with a lot of information — sometimes so much that you don’t know where to begin. In this case, it is helpful to start by looking for patterns and groupings of data. When you look for patterns in the data, you need to ensure that you don’t impose your biases on it. This is a common problem, especially when the people you collect data from have a different frame of reference than you do. If you impose your biases on the data, you will likely find what you expect. On the other hand, if you let the data speak for itself, you may be surprised at what you discover.
Immersion into Customer Interview Transcripts and Notes: After you have identified patterns in the data, you can then begin to look at the details — the words and phrases used in the interview. This is particularly important when the people you interviewed had their ways of describing the situation. To make this material your own, you need to spend time in the field with your customers and acquaintances, and you need to spend time with the interview transcript. You also need to have a way of taking notes that allows you to record your observations, your questions, and your reactions — all at the same time.
Developing Concepts by Tagging and Categorizing Material: After you have immersed yourself in the data and have a sense of the patterns and the words and phrases used, you can begin to look for connections between the ideas. To do this, you can organize the material on a wall or chart in several ways. Let’s say you have made a list of the customer needs described in the interviews and found several themes in this material. You may want to draw a box around each theme and list the needs under each theme. Then, you can draw lines between the boxes, indicating that one theme connects to another. You can also draw a line between each box and the listed needs.
One way to brainstorm needs is to think about different themes in your life. For example, you may have needs related to your health, relationships, work, or personal growth. You may want to draw a box around each theme and list the needs under each theme. Then, you can draw lines between the boxes, indicating that one theme connects to another. You can also draw a line between each box and the listed needs. This will help you see how your needs are interconnected and fit into your life’s different areas.
Attributing Meaning to Customer Interviews: As you establish connections between themes and needs, you may find that some connections don’t make sense. If this is the case, ask yourself what is blocking the connection. This can help you to identify if you are blocking the connection due to trying to impose something. Maybe you are trying to force a connection that isn’t there, or perhaps there is something else blocking the connection. Identifying the source of the blockage can help you find a way to establish the connection.
Conceiving Customer Outcomes: When you conceive customer outcomes, you are looking for the critical juncture points in the customer discovery process. These are the points in the process where the customer is likely to make a decision. When you sense these decision points, you can imagine customer outcomes that will lead the customer to the desired result. After you conceive customer outcomes, you imagine customers taking a journey that will lead them to the desired result. To do this, you have to be able to imagine the journey.
This means being able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about what they want or need to make the decision you want them to make. This can be difficult, but creating an effective customer journey is essential.
Explaining Customer Outcomes: Customer outcomes are the key to a successful customer discovery process. By understanding and aligning your interviews with customer outcomes, you can ensure that your research is effective and informative.
To ensure that your customer discovery process is successful, it is key to focus on customer outcomes. By understanding your customer’s desired outcomes and aligning your interviews around those, you can ensure that your research will be effective in helping you achieve your business goals. This is because customer outcomes matter most to your customers, and by understanding them, you can better cater to their needs. Additionally, by keeping customer outcomes at the forefront of your research, you can avoid any potential problems that could arise from misunderstanding your customers’ needs.
Unraveling the Puzzle of Contradictory Statements: This is particularly important when you are trying to communicate your solution to customers who may have a different frame of reference from your team. To effectively communicate your solution, you need to understand the customer’s frame of reference and find a way to bridge the gap between your team’s and the customer’s understanding. Only then can you begin to communicate your solution to customers effectively. Without this understanding, it is easy for customers to become frustrated or even angered by what they see as a lack of clarity on your part.
One way to do this is to use analogy and metaphor to explain your solution in a way the customer can relate to. For example, if you’re trying to sell a new type of car, you might say that it’s “like a sports car, but with more space for families.” Using an analogy or metaphor can make your solution more relatable and understandable for the customer, which can help increase sales.
Charting Customer Trajectories and Trends: As you continue to track and analyze customer data, you will be able to identify certain trajectories and trends. This information can be extremely helpful in creating targeted marketing and sales strategies. Additionally, understanding your customer base on a deeper level will allow you to serve their needs better. By assessing your data properly, you will be able to make more informed decisions that will help your business grow.
Tell The Customer Story and Make your Case: The customer story is one of the most important tools in your sales arsenal. It allows you to make a personal connection with your prospect and articulate the value of your product or service in a relatable and persuasive way. When done well, the customer story can be a powerful tool for making the sale. To craft an effective customer story, you must focus on three key elements: the customer, the problem, and the solution. The customer is the protagonist of your story. Prospects need to be able to see themselves in the customer’s shoes to connect with the story. The problem is the conflict that your customer faces. This is what your product or service is solving for. To communicate with the customer and create a lasting relationship, it is important for the customer to feel they can trust you and your product.
Reference Material: Doing Research in the Business World First Edition by David E Gray, SAGE Publications Ltd; First edition (February 23, 2017)
Amazon Affiliate Link to 2nd edition: https://amzn.to/3e78c1r