I Don’t Know My Customers … Help! Part 3 | Recording

Recorded live, watch Kim Poremski for part 3 of her series I Don’t Know My Customers…Help! In the last webinar, I Don’t Know Which Customers to Talk to or When…Help!, Kim discussed how to identify customers to talk to and the factors that determine how much customer research is enough.  Now that you know what you need to learn, who you need to talk to, and the constraints that you have, how do you decide which techniques are most effective to achieve your customer understanding goals?  In the third of this multi-part webinar series, Kim will highlight various techniques for gaining customer understanding. 

Recording | Presentation

Check out the Rest of the Series

  • Recorded live on April 12, 2023, the first part of the series My Organization Doesn’t Understand Why We Need to Spend Time Building Customer Understanding…HELP! | Check Out the Recording Here
  • Recorded live on May 24, 2023, the second part of the series I Don’t Know Which Customers to Talk to or When…Help! | Check Out the Recording Here


* Transcribed using ai. Please excuse any spelling and grammar mistakes

Kimberly Poremski  00:00

So for those of you who may not know me, my name is Kim Poremski. I am a principal consultant with Applied Frameworks. I’m also a certified scrum trainer through the Scrum Alliance. And I have been an Agile and Scrum practitioner since 2008. Mind you, I’m a lot older than that. So I spent many many years of not being an agile or scrum practitioner. But that’s definitely been my focal point in the more recent decades. And I’m originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but I currently live in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve been there for the past 10 years, my husband, my two daughters, and my two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. And one thing that makes me so happy is that I’m only about 20 minutes from the beach. So it makes all of that living quite worthwhile. So so that’s just a little bit about me. Laura, did you want to say hi to everybody real quick. Oh, just I’m also you’re on mute.

Laura Caldie

I’m also 20 minutes from a beach but in this case, it’s lake Michigan. I live in Chicago. So we both it feels like an ocean to me. So it’s we both like that little bit of beach time, especially on a weekend. Yes, absolutely. 

Kim Poremski

We love our water life, for sure. Well, as I have mentioned in the previous webinars, there is so much that I want to share about this topic that I could be sharing about this topic and no possible way that I could ever cover it all in a single webinar. Hence why I created this multi part webinar series. And I’ve been hosting it for the past several months. I’m going to continue to do so. Try to delve a little bit more deeply into this topic. month over month. I conducted the first webinar back in April, and the second one in May took a little hiatus in June because I had a nicer family vacation that I took there. So we skipped June and here we are back in July with our third installment. If you are interested, you can go to the applied frameworks website. We have all of those recordings available. And you can also link in with me and or applied frameworks and you’ll be able to hear about when the next upcoming webinars are going to be. And so just to recap very briefly in our first webinar, I focused on why why is customer understanding so difficult, what gets in our way, and I highlighted 10 common barriers that we often face. And then I also highlighted another aspect of why, like why is achieving customer understanding so critical to the profitability and sustainability of our businesses. And I introduced this concept of the profit stream Canvas. So this canvas if you’re not familiar with it, it’s a single page representation of the contents of an entire book that our CEO Jason Tanner and our Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Luke Hohmann, have recently published actually, I have it over here I’m gonna hold it up. It’s a very large book, chock full of content. So I kind of explained a little bit about how all of that ties into why it’s so important to achieve customer understanding. Now in that first webinar, I focused on a few key areas of the canvass. We talked about where customer standing comes in understanding comes into play, and particularly with regard to segmenting our customers. So again, I really do hope that you’ll take the opportunity to go back and watch that recording if you weren’t able to attend that first webinar. And then my mouse is being weird. So hang on a second here. It’s not going what’s going on. My mouse is not moving. There we go. Okay. All right. It went that time. If it’s not dawning on me. All right. So then, again, I want to recap that second webinar a little bit. So first, I focused on why and then in the second webinar, I focused on who and when. So first, a little bit about the who I focused on, well, which customer segments should I engage or should we engage and we use this fictitious business and I illustrated this technique of a weighted criteria matrix to evaluate customer segments. And then I delved a little bit more into the when and I introduced the concept of the solution lifecycle to help us understand, well, when do I engage customers and for what purpose? So again, if you miss that second session, or that first session, I hope you’ll go back view the recording, and you have the added advantage of listening to it at a faster speed. Right as if I don’t already talk fast enough. I know I talk fast, but I can talk even faster if he put me on on double speed. So maybe that’ll have given an incentive to go back and watch his prior webinars. So what are we going to talk about today? Well, we already talked about why we’re talking about who we already talked about when and now I would like to focus on what right so what are some of the tools and techniques that we can leverage to achieve customer understanding and which of them should we apply at various stages of the solution lifecycle, so that’s what I’m going to focus on today, with the time we have remaining so now that we hopefully if you’ve attended that previous webinar, understand the solution lifecycle, and I highlighted the need to engage customers continuously. I want to spend time kind of delving into these techniques with you today. So this was the solution lifecycle. And even if you didn’t attend that past webinar, the point here was that in this lifecycle, you have customer segments, and they’re going to be at various phases of adoption or sometimes when you’re introducing something new, they’re going to be more at an innovator stage of adoption. Then you move into early adopters and so forth. And I’m not going to delve into a lot of detail on this diagram here. I’ll let you watch that in the prior webinar. But the point that I wanted to drive home is that we need to engage our customers throughout the product development lifecycle, because customer research is not a one and done activity. customer needs continue to change and evolve even after an initial product. Launch, a people change the economy changes technology changes. So we need to keep our pulse on that. And when we are talking about this whole solution, we want to assess various aspects of things. We want to be able to assess viability sustainability and profitability ideally earlier on in the lifecycle because if we’re not going to have a profitable or viable product, welcome everyone to knew that sooner or later. But then we also want to focus on problems that customers have their interests, preferences, and that’s going to be happening all along because even when we put a product into use, we’re always wanting to continuously improve on that and delight our customers. So regardless of where your product is positioned along this solution lifecycle curve, you want to be continuously improving upon that solution, and potentially identifying opportunities to introduce new solutions. And so based upon where you are, you’re you’re trying to learn one of a few things right? What problems do my customers have? Are they interested in the potential solutions that I have? They might be using my solution, but what are their preferences? What are their desires going forward? Would they even buy the solution? So there’s a lot of different angles of customer research that we want to explore that would address those different questions and things that we’re trying to learn. So this was my solution lifecycle there so let’s delve into techniques for exploring problems. Now, if you attended my first webinar, I talked about how we often focus too much on solutions without first understanding our customers problems. We simply ask customers what they want. We take orders from them, instead of actually exploring what their problems are. And in that webinar, I had also shared Henry Ford’s famous quote, which was if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. And so we do this all the time with our customers. We just ask them what they want. We expect them to tell us we expect them to adopt solutions we already have instead of thinking bigger, bolder and more innovatively. So what are some techniques that we could use to help focus on problems? Now there’s obviously many we could spend hours talking about these so I just wanted to highlight just a handful that are a few of my favorites.

Kimberly Poremski  09:15

So one of them is what I refer to or what is known as the speedboat or sailboat innovation game. So more than 15 years ago, applied frameworks founder and our Chief Innovation Officer Luke Holman wrote a book called Innovation games. I have that one here to use it all the time. It looks like this. I even have lots of tabs in it. It’s always at my fingertips. And so it’s it’s a collection of frameworks, and it’s gained a lot of widespread use in the Agile community and even beyond. And one of the more popular games and one of my favorites is called speedboat. Sometimes people use sailboat but the idea of a boat. So the idea here is that you bring a small group of people together, either in person or online, and you’re using the metaphor of a boat, and the participants are asked to identify what’s propelling them forward, right? These are the things that are represented as either propellers or wind pumps, and then what’s holding them back. And those are the anchors. And sometimes folks will even expand this metaphor to include all our other elements like I’m showing here, like tropical island and the sun or a treasure chest, or whatever it might be. But the point here is that although many of your customers have complaints and things that maybe shortcomings of the product, they don’t always voice those, right. That doesn’t mean that they’re genuinely against your product either. So maybe maybe those things are not big enough for them to really raise at any given time. Maybe people don’t feel comfortable expressing those frustrations verbally. But but if you give them this opportunity using this framework to write them down, whether you’re in person, you know, using sticky notes on a whiteboard or what have you, or you’re using an online collaboration tool, it will give them a different way to provide that feedback. And sometimes, you know, if they have like these little trivial things that they wouldn’t normally voice when they actually write them down. You may realize that when they’re cultivated collectively, it could lead towards like a larger complaint or a larger theme. And so by framing, a kind of a central question a little bit more broadly, instead of just saying to your customers, well, what do you what do you want us to add? What do you want us to fix? You’re kind of providing this like broader perspective is broader canvas for them. And that’s really how you’re able to delve in and really understand those problems and address things that from a different perspective. And, you know, I use this all the time, Laura, you know this quite often one of the first things that we do when we begin working with a new client, such as on an Agile transformation, consulting engagement, we conduct a series of these sessions with the people who are going to be either part of or impacted by the transformation and it’s amazing how powerful those insights are and the real key is the folks that participate in these sessions really feel heard. And so I think that’s very important. So one of my favorite techniques. So another one is listening to live or recorded customer support calls. If you are in any way responsible for the development of an end user product or service and you have never directly listened to customer support calls. I believe you’re missing out on a very valuable way to empathize with and understand your customers. So I once worked at a large financial institution, and it was expected that the members of the product team and the development team would sit on customer support calls pretty regularly. I mean, at least once per month, if not more. And it was so ingrained in our customer centered culture that all the leaders even up to the CEO himself routinely did this. And it really provided interesting perspective for me on two fronts. Because for one, the teams that I worked with, were responsible not only for the end user customer experience, but also for the systems that the customer service reps used to support calls. And so when we would sit down on these live calls, have the headsets on and be listening in. We it provided us insights into what the reps had to deal with when they were on the phone and they’re trying to listen but they’re also trying to pull up information. And then also understanding what why were the customers calling in the first place. What had they already done on their own to try to solve their problem and what ultimately led for them to have to call in the first place to the support associate so really valuable perspective to hear that firsthand, because I think it’s easy to make assumptions about oh, they just don’t understand it. Like that’s such a simple easy thing. But then when you actually hear them on the phone, talking through Well, here’s what I did. And here’s where I went. I thought it made sense to be under here but I couldn’t find it there. It’s like wow, it really changes your perspective. Another approach that I love to use is customer interface interviews. It’s very powerful, very powerful way to engage with our customers. We talked in the last webinar about ensuring that you are engaging and interviewing the right people. There’s also right ways and wrong ways. Maybe wrong as a little bit of a strong word, but let’s just say if not wrong, less effective ways to conduct interviews. So while it’s a really powerful approach, there’s definitely some intentionality and planning and so forth that needs to go into that. And this is actually something that I’m planning to cover more in depth in one of my future webinars in this series, really delve into customer interviews and then this one goes on gimble walks. Now, you might have also heard this referred to as ethnographic research, which is the study of people in their own environment. But But gimble Walk is a very popular term. It’s a Japanese term, it means the actual place and I was first introduced to this technique very early on in my career when I worked for a large insurance company, and we were developing a new claims management system. And so I actually went on a road trip with a claims adjuster out in the field, covered a huge territory visited numerous homes of customers. I mean, I still remember going to this tiny little rundown, almost like a little shack in the middle of seemingly nowhere and and then going to like another home that was in this really posh area. We were looking at their homes, we were looking at their vehicles, things had been smashed by trees it was it was very eye opening to just again build that empathy and really understand what the customer was going through who was dealing with this issue that they needed help for a claim, but also what was happening on the side of the claims adjuster as well. So another really powerful technique. So those are just a handful that I like, in terms of, you know, identifying problems and I was curious to know what other folks might have used or any techniques that they tend to gravitate towards when the folks that are on this call, or Laura if you have any in terms of like identifying customers problems, so I just wanted to stop there for a minute and see, see what what folks might be thinking here.

Laura Caldie  17:09

Well, well, while we give him a chance to ask a question or a suggestion, one of the things that I know you and I have talked about in the past is stringing a couple of these together. So for example, I find customer interviews to be a lot more impactful when they follow potentially an activity like the speedboat or sailboat where you you know, I think when you can provide a metaphor like that for a team of people to think about, well, what don’t they like or what do they struggle with or what problems do they uncover? Doing that as kind of a group activity which is what that that speedboat or sailboat activity is, provides a whole lot of really interesting conversations and questions that you may not have the chance to go into depth on with the individuals who are participating. So sort of like start with the sailboat or speedboat exercise to kind of uncover some interesting maybe unknown areas of struggle that customer segments may be having or key customers may be having. Then scheduled the interview time to be able to dig in a little bit deeper and you can have some pretty insightful questions. So you, you open up with a metaphor so people feel maybe more comfortable sharing what they may not have answered in an interview. And now that you have some interesting topics to follow up on, then do the interview and dig a little bit deeper. And that seems to really open up some really interesting insights.

Kimberly Poremski  18:29

That’s a really good point and something that we do quite frequently as well with with our engagement so glad you brought that up, for sure. All right. I don’t actually see anybody else adding things into the chat, which is fine. But maybe be thinking about that because I’m going to come back around for each of these areas and ask you to give some ideas about what you might be using. So maybe that can be food for thought for some of our other techniques. So let’s move on then. Let’s talk a little bit about interest. We now understand our customers problems we’ve maybe conceptualized or develop some sort of possible solutions. So how do we know if customers would be interested in these solutions? So a few techniques that you might want to consider that I tend to rely on and like our number one, you create a landing page. Apply frameworks did this. Laurie, you probably remember this from back in the day we did this for what has now evolved into what we call our profitable software Academy. But in the early days, we had a few courses that we had developed but it wasn’t really fully built out yet. We thought we were onto something but we were trying to kind of gauge some interest, then we had actually built a landing page. We put a call to action button on that page and learn more kind of reach out to us what have you. And that really helped us to understand and reach out to those interested parties and we’d conducted some interviews at that point, but also to be able to gather more interesting insights into the interest that that folks might have. So that’s certainly one possibility. And then, like let’s not, let’s not overlook social media, right, so I’ll admit, it’s probably a bad habit, but I am definitely enticed a lot by product ads that I see on Facebook. I get sucked right in. And let’s face it, social media is a very powerful marketing and selling tool. And if used appropriately, it can provide some very quantifiable results. To help you gauge the interest that folks have in a product or service that you’re offering. And then kind of going back to that innovation games book again. There’s another framework in there called by a feature and it involves setting budgets for various features. And then you gather a group of customers together, and you ask them to fund specific features with this limited budget that they have. So no one individual generally has enough money to fund you know, maybe even a single feature or all of the features. And so the idea here is that they have to work together a lot of times to pull their money to then be able to fully fund a feature. And so this is really powerful, especially when you are a product professional and you are working with a diverse group of stakeholders, and you’re trying to understand their needs over here and their needs over here. And and how do I how do I kind of address the needs of all the folks right and address all of their interests? You can do this in this way. Because now the stakeholders actually have to work together. And there’ll be things that they do agree on and don’t agree on and so forth. But, but it’ll, it’ll allow those the things that are of most interest to the broader group to come to light. And so in fact, a few years ago, one of our clients was hosting a very large client conference, and they wanted to conduct this what we call participatory budgeting activity on a large scale with their very diverse clients that were attending this client conference. So I traveled to India with some of my colleagues and we facilitated this as an in person event. And not only was it like fine, because you’re using fake money and you’re just having a lot of fun. So it’s fun for the participants and for me, but the results were really amazing because our client had come in with some hypotheses about which features they thought would be most important to their various clients, you know, across different, you know, segments, and a lot of those hypotheses ended up being negated because of the results of our sessions. So that was a really powerful and insightful as well. So those are a couple of things that you might want to consider using when you’re trying to gauge interest. And again, I just wanted to throw that question out to anyone on the call. Is there any technique that you generally use that you would like to share with the rest of this group?

Laura Caldie  23:23

Well, well, that percolates in people’s heads. You know, one of the reasons that I really like bi a feature is it helps the product manager the person who really has the biggest question of all which is why it answers the why right when you hear the conversations between the participants and when they’re trying to figure out what they want to fund and in what order and what’s most important, they have to ask each other and answer the why question to each other. And you get to be this awesome fly on the wall where you get to hear the why in a very authentic and kind of actionable way. So it’s you know, that’s I think, maybe the hardest question to answer and to then to be able to take back to your organization is, yes, this might be the number one choice, but everyone’s gonna ask you why. And if you’ve heard the conversations, then you know why it’s the number one choice and I think that’s what makes it really exciting.

Kimberly Poremski  24:16

Absolutely, and and that also kind of will come to light with another technique that I’m going to highlight a little bit later on. And which is the case with a lot of these innovation games. It’s not just about the end result, but it is also about the discussion and conversation and insights that you gain from from that dialogue. So it’s a good call out. All right, I’m not seeing much in the chat here, but that’s alright, we’re gonna keep moving on. Something might might pop out at you a little bit later. But at any point while I’m talking, if any thing comes to mind, or you want to just mention a particular technique that you’re fond over that you’ve used, or that you just want to you know, assess and understand more about, feel free to put that into the chat. So now I’d like to move on to talking about preferences. So you’re generally at this stage you you already understand your customers, you have them on board with your solutions, they may be actively using your product or service, but you want to continually improve your offerings. So let’s explore a couple ideas around preferences. So, as I alluded to just a minute ago, Laura, yet another innovation game that I like to use I know you use it all the time too, but it’s probably one of my favorites is 2020 vision. And with this particular framework, you begin with a small group, roughly no more than about eight people. And generally you’re trying to prioritize something. So usually this is going to be a list of features. Good rule of thumb is to keep it to about eight to 15 items. And then you have the participants evaluate the features, but only two at a time. So that’s that’s the key here because it’s called 2020 vision because when you go to the eye doctor, you’re only ever looking at is this one better or is this one better and it’s very easy. Imagine if your eye doctor said, Okay, here’s five things which one looks the best. You’re you’re gonna get all thrown off. I can barely, I can barely tell between the two sometimes and I have to ask them the doctor to do it again. So that’s, that’s really the key here is that you’re only ever evaluating two things at a time. But in doing that, you ultimately arrive at this stack rank list. And just like you were saying earlier, Laura, what I love about this framework is that yes, the list is important, but the conversation as to you know, where they’re placing things and I’m looking at this and this thing is more important than this other thing it’s that why it’s those insights that really helps to create alignment with everyone to ensure that, oh, we’re all on the same page that when we say this feature, this is what this means, but also getting insight into why that one thing is more important than another thing so again, these integration games are really powerful. And my goal is to delve into some of these a little bit more deeply in this webinar series as well in future sessions. All right. Now this one’s pretty straightforward. I build some sort of functional prototype. We, I mean, there’s lots of different ways that you could do this. I mean, it could be it could be like hand drawn wireframes. It could be some sort of online, online visual where you click on a button but there’s there’s no actual back end code. Doing anything, but it’s just kind of taking you through. It could be more physical structure, whatever it might be. The point here is that anytime we allow our customers to touch, to feel to interact, to engage with that product or service in that more tangible way, the better feedback that we can obtain. And then, lastly, in this grouping, split testing, sometimes referred to as a B testing, is it’s very valuable for gathering preferences as well and particularly when it comes to user experience design. And we we use this the Miro collaboration tool quite extensively at Applied frameworks. And from what I could gather, they were actually doing some split testing recently, at least that was my observation on some of their navigation menus because we were all using the same version. of the tool. But some of us were seeing different navigation options presented a little bit differently than others of us. And so the idea here is that you put both things out into the world. Some customers are seeing it one way some customers are seeing it another way and then you can start to track, you know, behaviors and trends and, you know, are more people able to use this functionality this way. It doesn’t seem like people like this one more, or what have you and you can get some really valuable insights that way as well when it comes to preferences. So that those are just a few examples for the preferences, side of customer research and understanding. Is there anything that that folks on the call would want to share about maybe what they do or Laura, I don’t know if you have have heard or seen any different things that you wanted to highlight?

Laura Caldie  29:20

Yeah. And what I like about what you’re bringing up on preferences, and there there are certainly other I don’t know, I can’t remember if you’re going to talk about printed product tree but I I think one of the other things that’s interesting is introducing the notion of time, right where preferences are revealed and then when you can layer in some conversations and discussion around timing, you may find that something that has for example, a high preference also has a timeframe in which your customer can consume the new piece of value or the new feature or the new thing that you want to release. So while something may have, you know, high preference, then they will admit as you dig into the why and have a conversation that even if you released it tomorrow, they couldn’t integrate it into their own process until the end of the year or the end of the quarter or, you know, after the the holiday shopping season. Right there might be timing in there as well. So it kind of speaks to the idea of using multiple frameworks to have a different angle to the same type of question and preference is a great one, right? Where you want to look at it from maybe two different lenses. It’s, you know, it’s about relative preferences relative to other things. And in relation to time. And that can be really helpful for product people when they’re thinking about their own roadmaps and how different market segments or different customer types may consume the value that they’ll be releasing over time.

Kimberly Poremski  30:48

Yep, absolutely. And, and while I don’t specifically highlight putting the product tree in this particular presentation, I think that’s really critical call out and and those are things that again, you can layer on these other techniques as well to understand such as printed product tree or even just in in customer interviews or what have you to say okay, you said you wanted this but you know why is this important? Oh, you want this because you want to be able to help do your tax return, which doesn’t happen until April 8, and then things like that, that kind of tie tie in, because we all want things but then that timing element is really important as well. I mean, I just had that happen like I was I before this webinar, I got a call back from the doctor’s office because I was trying to get an appointment scheduled and they were like, Well, how about tomorrow? It’s like, my preference is that I wanted to be seen like pretty immediately on my terms, but tomorrow was too immediate. And so you know, you just it all has to kind of fit together. So really good. Good call out there. All right, I’m not seeing anything on chat. So we’re gonna keep going on to our last category, which is around willingness to buy. Look, we have all been there, right? We’ve probably all like seen had certain problems. And then we’ve seen product you walk into the store and you see something on the shelf like wow, that’s such a cool product. That’s such a cool idea. Well, that would really help me with whatever need or problem or what have you that I have and oh look, I really even like the color of it. Right? So my preference is or like we all have that in this like, oh wait, how much is this in? Nevermind, and you just put it back. Right? So

Laura Caldie  32:36

you’re a mom, you’re a mom and you have daughters. I’m telling you this is how I practice this when they really really want something and then I say alright, I’ll split the cost with you. And it’s amazing how much they don’t want it anymore. To pay for half. So it’s Yeah, willingness to buy is different than desire for the thing, right? Yeah,

Kimberly Poremski  32:57

well as a mother of two teenage daughters, that fickleness is always there, like they really do. They genuinely do think that they want something and then you buy it for them and it just sits in the closet or sits on the shelf. And so yeah, I’ve even had situations where they’ve come to me and said, I really want to order this. I’ll even use my own money. So it kind of along that same line. And boy, if they ever say I’ll use my own money, you know, that, you know, there’s no there’s a strong desire and preference there because they even have their own willingness to buy. So that’s, that’s an excellent example of that. So willingness to buy sometimes that can be a little bit a little bit more difficult to assess. Now, if you’ve been paying attention thus far, you’re probably thinking wait a minute, I already saw this slide. Kim, I think you might have a dupe and yes, I already did show customer interviews. The reality is that many of these techniques that we’re talking about, it’s not that they can only be used for one scope of discovery versus another. So there’s a variety of purposes in the case with customer interviews, you can tailor your questions to focus on what you’re specifically trying to learn. And so in this particular case, we are trying to focus on purchasing behaviors motivations to buy. We want to learn a little bit more about what do our customers think about our competitors and their offerings and how they might relate to what we have and so forth. And so, so I just, I purposely wanted to duplicate this one. So that we call out the fact that none of these techniques you know, have to be done just in isolation. They can be used for multiple purposes. And Laura, as you were saying they can also be layered with one another, and so forth. So, again, I hope to delve into customer interviews at a later point in this series. Now, again, this one’s pretty straightforward, you know, pre launch campaign. You know, the key question here would be how far ahead of our head could you possibly run something to be able to gauge interest as early as possible so that you don’t make this massive investment, and then find out really far down the road that Oh, this isn’t what’s what’s interesting, and again, this is why we want to layer in so many of these other techniques and why we also want don’t want to just dive right into willingness to buy before we’ve truly understood the problems really understood interest and preference and so forth. But something like a Kickstarter campaign, you know, where you’re generating funds to help you develop your product that would be a form of a pre launch campaign. So again, try to assess that willingness. And then this last example that I wanted to call out, you know, this was kind of coming to light for me as we had applied frameworks are focusing more on supporting our clients through that lens of profitability and sustainability. And so there’s this idea of conjoint analysis, and this has piqued my interest more recently, and I’m gonna say right now, I do not claim to be an expert on this technique, but it’s one that I have been researching and trying to learn more about and do more experimentation with. And so using this technique, you basically create, or design a survey that creates a set of choices, using a combination of product attributes. And levels. And so just like to use kind of a really basic example like if you have, you know, you might have one choice, it’s a red pepper that is this size and it cost this much and then you have a green pepper that’s a different size and it costs this much and you have a yellow pepper that cause the side is the size and cost this much and so they’re they’re different, but then you’re trying to assess like, oh, a lot of people really kind of go in towards the yellow pepper here and how, what is it about these attributes here? That is really kind of drawing customers in. And so you’re analyzing those results, and you’re identifying the relative importance of each of those attributes and levels to determine which ones have the most significant impact on customer buying decisions. So I’m finding this to be very fascinating. And I wanted to highlight it here for the folks that are listening in. Certainly, if anybody has had a lot of experience with this one and wants to share that in the chat with us, I would love to hear more about that. But I definitely this is one that I definitely wanted to call out because I think it’s very powerful, especially when we’re talking about pricing and buying decisions. So again, I’m going to give that the folks one more opportunity if there’s anything that they wanted to share about techniques or ways that they assess willingness to buy.

Laura Caldie  38:08

Have lots of quiet folks on the call today. But that’s okay. All right.

Kimberly Poremski  38:20

So I kind of wanted to sort of bring all of this together from our first webinar up through now, because through the course of these three sessions that we have conducted, I’m hoping that it’s inspiring people to take at least some or all of these actions. In the first webinar, we talked about how can you avoid common barriers that we tend to fall into and don’t end up achieving customer understanding as well as we could? I talked about being very intentional about customer segmentation, because it’s really the customer segmentation and understanding that through customer research that can help our businesses to become more profitable and sustainable. And then, when I got into that second webinar, you know, I was really focused on how do you evaluate those customer segments to understand which ones best support your learning and what what kind of timing do you need to have what well, how accessible are your customers to you? What kind of monetary investment are you willing to make? And then that idea that we need to conduct this customer research continuously throughout the solution lifecycle, it’s not a one and done thing. And then really being intentional about you don’t just do customer interviews for everything, right? You don’t just do 2020 vision for everything so really being able to focus on alright, what is it that I’m really trying to learn and understand about my customers? And which techniques are going to best support me? No different than different tools in your toolbox? And which one do I pick up to hammer the nail into the wall, right? So so that’s what my hope is from this series thus far. Again, we’re going to continue on with it. So again, I kind of went through the fact that focused on that why you’re focused on the who focused on the when focused on the what, and and our next webinar is going to be on October, October. Listen to me. It’s only July. It’s gonna be August 22 at 1pm. Eastern, and we’re gonna just start to delve into more of the how, right how can we leverage some of these tools and techniques and start to get a little bit more intimate understanding and knowledge of some of them. So I’m open to feedback on if there’s anything specific you would want me to cover, but I hope that you’ll join again on August 22, and spread the word to your fellow colleagues and friends. You know, this whole entire series was based on the essential need to develop customer understanding to ensure the sustainability and profitability of your business and I held up that big book earlier on but if anybody is interested in learning more about profit streams, I’m happy to give you a little bit more insight into the book. It’s available on Amazon. We also in addition, have been creating more webinars around profit streams all of that is available for free and can be watched in double speed on our website. So you take advantage of all of this goodness that that we’re offering to you. And we also have courses around this so again, if any of this is peeking your interest, Laura and I would be happy to fill you in a little bit more about some of these offerings that we have. And other than that, I’d like to just kind of open it up for questions and to also give you a hearty thank you for joining Laura and me today. So with that I’m going to stop sharing my screen and just kind of open it up for any any questions or conversation that anybody might want to have.

Laura Caldie  42:22

So everyone, please stick them into chat or the QA if you do. One of the things I would just point out that I like as well about the book is there is a canvas that comes along with a book that also breaks down the different ways of thinking about the system that’s around sustainable profitability for software enabled solutions. So we’ll include a link to that in the follow up for the recording for this, but I think what’s really interesting about it is there’s a whole section of that Canvas that talks about the input of customer insights into that system that then needs to be managed by the product or product management team, essentially to make sure that they’re shepherding a solution over the whole solution lifecycle with that idea of sustainability and profitability built into it. So there’s different ways of thinking about the system. And I think the insights and the techniques that you’re bringing, to folks can hear about how do you think about learning about your customer and then taking action against what you learn? It’s both about the longer term roadmap for the product and it can be looked at from that lens of building sustainable profitability. So there’s a number of different frameworks that we can provide people that kind of help reason about what that looks like and the choices that they have in front of them to make. Absolutely so we’ll include that in the follow up email. It will have the link to this recording it will have the links to the previous two, although I did put them in that chat. So if people want to take a look at the previous recordings, they are there they are on our webinar page as well just on our on our website, and if anyone here has suggestions for future topics or areas that you’d like him to go into in a little bit more detailed, please email Kim or myself and we’ll figure out a way to make it happen.

Kimberly Poremski  44:13

Excellent. Well, Laura, thanks so much for joining me today as well appreciate the insights and the support and I hope everybody has a great rest of their day and it’s almost Friday. So hope you enjoy the rest of your week and the upcoming weekend as well.

Laura Caldie  44:26

Agreed. Weekends are good, good time to rejuvenate. Alright, thanks so much. And we’ll see you next webinar. Sounds great.

Kimberly Poremski  44:35

Take care everyone.

Laura Caldie  44:36

Bye bye.

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