Saturday, September 02, 2006

Do Customers Say What They Want?

Seamus McCauley has a nice reflection on the use of "tell us what you want type customer reserach". Customers say one thing, and then do another. That's sometimes because they don't often know why they buy things or how they realy rank alternatives. How many times have you gone into a customer and after a conversation about their needs asked "so if a product could do x, you think that would be great and you would buy it",followed by the usual, "and how much would you expect to pay for that", and then gone back months later only to find, well, the customer realy does't want to pay anything extra for that feature or service? In terms of your product development or service development process why don't you ask yourself "is there anyway I can get an early version of the product to a customer and see if they will actually buy it"? The only way to see if there is customer value, is to ask for a value exchange.

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