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Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez

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Chapter 9. Ongoing Customer Development

The beautiful part is that it’s not hard to find sports fans and people who love to talk about sports! If I’m on an airplane and I look across the aisle, so often I see someone using ESPN. I’ll turn to them and just start talking: “What do you like about the site? What else do you wish you could do?”

Ryan Spoon, Senior Vice President of Product Development, ESPN

You need to stop thinking of customer support as a crew of responsive hole-patchers that deal with problems as they come up, but instead as investigators who have privileged access to the information that holds the key to the future of your business: customer insights.

Dan Martell, CEO of Clarity

Many companies struggle to incorporate ongoing customer development research into their product development process. Where does it fit, and how will we find the time?

At the beginning of a new project, it’s (relatively) easy to justify dedicated time and resources for learning about customers. But when product development is ongoing and iterative, customer development research must be as well. If we wait until we have a chunk of time to devote to customer research, it will never happen.

Luckily, ongoing customer development doesn’t need to involve forming hypotheses or finding time to fit in 20 hours of interviews. It doesn’t have to be planned and scheduled.

In this chapter, we’ll talk about how companies with existing products and customers can incorporate customer development into their day-to-day ...

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