When I joined BEMO, six months ago now (!), I was curious about our customers. Working in Marketing, I spent very little time actually interacting with them, yet our blog, our vision, everything we do is meant to revolve around them. You see the disconnect, right? Certainly my comrades at BEMO could tell me about our customers and advise me, but talking about swimming and catapulting off the high dive are two different things. So, I dove right in.
Customer Interviews: Phase I
Marketing is 1 part science to 1 part art with a few dashes of gut feelings and good luck each. At BEMO, we have a pretty good gut feeling about who our customers are and what they want but the scientist in me needed more: data.
In came Alex Osterwalder and his book Value Proposition Design (check it out, it's fabulous). Sticky notes, stand at the ready! Alex is a huge fan of mapping out the customer experience and finding ways to make it better, faster and more enjoyable and what better way than to do that visually? Being a remote team, our stickies came in the form of PowerPoint stickies. Together, we mapped out what we think are our different customer's biggest pain points and how we can help to solve them.
Here's an example from when Mr. Osterwalder used this process on his own book:
In our individual teams (Sales and Marketing, Operations and Implementation) and together as a company, we discussed our different experiences. Because we are still a relatively small company, most of our customers have interacted with everyone on our team. However, some team members interact more on the technical side or more on the planning side. Everyone has a unique interaction and all of that understanding was brought together to inform our answer to the eternal question: are we giving our customers what they want?
We discussed areas we thought were strong and those where we thought we could improve upon and then...we talked to you, our customers. As much as we might think we know what you need, the only ones who can verify those thoughts are our actual customers. So, a month ago, we set out to gather truth, gain new perspectives and discover where we were doing well and where we needed improvement.
This week marks the last week of interviews (for this first round, that is). What have we learned?