🚪 How to talk to your users
Frontdoor Finds - Issue 8
As builders, we spend a lot of time consuming knowledge on the web. At Frontdoor, we've built a personal librarian for the internet to help. Each week we pick a topic, and ask Frontdoor to curate 3 tweets, 2 articles and 1 book. Here's what we've dug up....
1/ Erik Torenberg on User Feedback
This tweet from Eric Torenberg seems like a great way to set the tone of this newsletter. Founders should feel like they're almost talking to their users too much (almost).
2/ Michael Houck - YC Video
Mike Houck posted a great thread, where he curated a list of some of the best YC videos, one of those happened to be on this exact topic, its well worth a watch.
🤖 Frontdoor Summary: In the video, Eric Torenberg explores some of the key lessons he took from the mom test. He provides a list of 5 key questions you should ask in a customer interviews:
What is the hardest part about [doing this thing]?
When is the last time you encountered this problem?
Why was this hard?
What, if anything, have you done to solve this problem?
What don’t you love about the solution you already tried?
3/ Olly Wilson Podcast
Olly Wilson did a great podcast, about how his startup “Simple Hash” approaches customer feedback.
🤖 Frontdoor Summary: Olly says that in Simple Hash, he makes sure that everyone shares the responsibility for getting customer feedback - not just the founders. He says that it helps keep everyone in the company aligned with the problems the customers are actually facing on the day to day.
1/ Founder Musings: How to Talk to Users
🤖 Frontdoor Summary: This article by "Founder Musings" focuses on the importance of listening to users when evaluating startup ideas. It highlights the distinction between the founder's mission to create a solution and the user's ownership of the problem. The article also gives on how to talk to users, suggesting you should avoid "would" questions, and talking about your idea. Instead try to ask open-ended questions and ask about the past as answers will be more accurate
2/ Melissa Rosen: 10 Tips
🤖 Frontdoor Summary: This article provides 10 tips on how to talk to customers for small business owners who juggle multiple roles. This is more focused on customer success than market research so it gives a slightly different perspective to the other content covered. The three tips that stood out most were: using positive language, breaking down instructions into smaller chunks, and listening more than talking. The reasons for these are covered in detail in the article
The Mom Test is a great book by Rob Fitzpatrick. The name comes from the fact that if you ask your mum about your business, she wont give you useful information — she probably going to tell you what you want to here.
It aims to give you a framework for having the most effective, unbiased, conversations with customers, allowing you to build the best product. Here are some of my big takeaways from reading it.
1/ Avoid pitching: When talking to customers, it's important to avoid pitching your product. This will bias their feedback and prevent you from getting to the root of their needs and problems.
2/ Listen actively and objectively: Listen actively to what customers are saying, and avoid projecting your own biases or assumptions onto their responses. Try to remain objective and open-minded, and avoid arguing or defending your own ideas.
3/ Focus on their experiences and behaviour: Instead of asking customers what they think about your idea, ask about their own experiences and behaviour related to the problem you're trying to solve. People are surprisingly bad at predicting their own behaviour, so asking questions like “would you pay for this product” will not get useful results. People will give far more accurate answers when asked about previous behaviour
4/ Test assumptions and hypotheses: Use customer conversations to test your own assumptions and hypotheses about the problem you're trying to solve and the potential solutions you're considering. This can help you identify gaps in your understanding and refine your approach.
There is loads more great info in “The Mom Test” and I highly recommend reading it yourself before doing customer interviews.
1️⃣ Listen more than you speak with customers
2️⃣ Don't ask hypothetical questions, ask about past experiences
3️⃣ Don't pitch your product, this will bias your customers
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