Customer Development Model

Customer development interviews

Steve Blank has famously said that no business plan survives the first contact with the customer. In other words, the only way to make sure you’re doing a right thing is to have your customers sitting at the same table with you and the team. Possessing its own research unit allows YouTeam to conduct the customer discovery and customer validation stages of Customer Development quickly and on a budget.

At a high level, Customer Development definition implies questioning your core business assumptions. In other words, Customer Development suggests that rather than assuming that preconceived beliefs about a given business are true… a scientific method should be applied, in order to validate the ideas.

The primary advantage of implementing this framework is that a large amount of money isn’t spent discovering what works, and instead, the money is saved for executing and scaling what you have already shown to work. An organisation applies a learning process, rather than merely executing what was assumed to be the right business model.  If implemented properly, Customer Development helps a business become highly focused, capital and resource efficient, and while not guaranteeing success, makes it more likely to find Product-Market Fit and market traction.

There are several customer development strategies which are applied in order to increase the value of retained customers. Basically, companies are trying either to cross-sell or up-sell their products. Cross-selling is aimed at selling additional products to the clients from your existing base. Up-selling means selling higher priced products to the existing customers.  

Creating effective customer development interviews are one of the most important and significant goals for every customer development manager. “There are no facts inside your building” as Steve Blank stated, that is why it is vital to get prepared with effective customer development questions and conduct interviews which will provide you with valuable insights on how to improve your product. Although it may seem time-consuming, make sure you’ve done your best to get as much information from your customers as possible.

In essence, you should never underestimate the importance of customer development side of your business, as there’s nothing more important than matching your clients’ interests and constant monitoring of their changes.