Step 1: Identify the problem you want to learn about

This content is for Fizzle members only.

So now that we’ve talked about the importance of conducting these customer interviews and we also know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to get into the actual process for coming up with your questions and making these conversations happen.

First up, we need to pinpoint the problem we’re going to learn about.

Download the worksheet:

We’ve built a "Customer Conversation Template Builder" for you to use in your own unique conversations, so grab that and follow along as we walk through this process.

Click here: Download the Customer Conversation Template Builder

Pinpoint the problem

First of all, it pays to choose an audience and problem you care about or are invested in. In fact, many great products and services are given life by founders who encounter problems in their own lives and seek to create a solution. Here’s a great example of an idea sparked by a problem personally felt by a founder.

The CEO of sony loved to listen to music while he travelled. He had his team put together a tape player that would fit in his bag easier. The result was the walkman… which created an entirely new category of business.

At minimum you should feel like learning about your problem is interesting, which will make you naturally curious as you ask questions.

Now if you’re following the Fizzle roadmap, you should be in pretty good shape here as you’ve already done some heavy lifting to figure out what you’re solving for people. For a little help, we can revisit this trick:

“I’m building ____ for _____ because _______.”

We use this fill-in-the-blank template to help entrepreneurs get really clear on what they’re building, who it’s for and why it matters.

Here’s an example of identifying a problem clearly.

So for example, let’s say my idea is: a monthly subscription box for fly fisherman interested in tying their own flies because it’s fun and convenient to receive all the materials and instruction in one box.

"Fly fisherman interested in tying their own flies" are the people I need to talk to. The hypothesis I want to test here is this: “because it’s fun and convenient to receive all the materials and instruction in one box.”

From my personal experience and research I’ve noticed that “there isn’t one place to go for both materials and instruction.” In the customer interviews I need to find out for sure if the hassle of tracking down materials and learning how to tie the flies is a customer reality.

Did you see the assumption in that example? Because it’s hard for ME to find info and materials for tying flies I ASSUME it’s hard for other people too. That’s the problem I’m researching: is this a real problem felt by other fly fisherfolk?

Remember, In customer interviews we turn our assumption into a hypothesis — an idea to be tested in the real world in real conversations.

Action: identify the core problem your business sets out to solve

The action for you to do right now is to identify the core problem your business sets out to solve if you haven’t yet.

Before we start our customer conversations we’ve already identified who the target customer is and what we believe the problem is.

If you haven’t yet, identify the core problem your business will address. You’ll need it for the next lesson where we’ll craft the “anchor question,” the question you’ll use to frame the conversation and kick off the discovery process.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask a question in the forums.