Defining your target customers is something that always confuse a lot of people. Usually the ideas they have really sounds great in their mind.

You can find many blog on the internet which are repeating the same information again and again: “Know Your Customer. If you don’t know who are your customers then how are you going to sell” and some other similar stories. If you are making something not so unique like a whole new way people are buying food. But still you know how people buy food or what type of people buy food so you can find what type of audience you need to target from it. You have an idea and it is totally new to the world, means the world has never seen anything like it in the past, for example Pokemon Go etc.

Here is a little trick that can work everytime on every idea. Well almost! At least it’ll give you some data from which you can start your search,

target_customer_interview

The idea is to imagine your product is a Job Vacancy and your customers are the people who want to take that job. Now you want the best person for that job. Be a recruiting manager and start interviewing an imaginary person here for the interview for the job.

Let’s take an example of our app Decider. Which is an app that is a conflict resolver about anything. If you are stuck in a discussion or can’t take a decision it gives you a random option from the number of options you enter.

You: Hello Jason! My Name is me and I’ll be conducting your interview Today. So, let start by you telling me about yourself.
Jason: I’m a regular guy with a regular job. I’ve studied computer science from Harvard University and I’m passionate about entrepreneurship.

You: Tell me Jason, what are the points in your life where you think you waste time?
Jason: I don’t waste time, I just use my free time for health activities or learning something new.

You: I think I asked the question in a wrong way. Let me try again. How often do you plan thing like eating, going on a trip etc with your friends?
Jason: I like to travel and I love trying new food. So almost every week I hangout with friends and I go on holidays twice a week.

You: Let’s focus on going out to eat every week. How do you decide where do you want to eat?
Jason: Usually a friend suggest a place which he has tried or want to try and we all go to that place. Or places where we have eaten and liked the food we go there again.

You: What if your friend has suggested a place which is new or the same place where you have been many times and your mood or any of your friend’s mood is not set to that type of food. What do you do then?
Jason**: In that case a we decide where everyone is willing to go. We change the place simple.

You: How much time does it take for your group to come to a decision?
Jason: Sometimes it’s in less than a minute your can say but sometimes it takes 20 minutes.

You: That was my question earlier, that do you waste time. Do you think this 20 minutes to take a simple decision counts in wastage of time?
Jason: Well yeah, but that is not something that happens everyday or week. It a rare case.

Conclusion:

This example is full of data. After this interview I can rate this person as a medium level user. Because he doesn’t had much conflicts. it’s a very rare case when he’ll use the app. But at least I’ve someone who is a regular guy, he hangs out with his friends on weekend and sometimes they got into a conflict which is deciding a place where to eat.

This is just one small case. I can continue this interview and get to know this use more. Like where I’ve ended this interview I could asked the next question that similar to this wastage of time tell me more case scenarios and the discussion will go on and on. There is a point in the conversation where I’ve marked ** which means I could’ve ended the interview here if the answer of the person was different. Like at that point if he said “This never happens among my friends” then he is not the right person for my job. Because I’m looking for a person who has conflicts in his life and usually waste time on things that are small.

I can conduct as many interviews as I can. Like I can conduct an interview with a female imaginary person and the answers would be different. I can conduct interview with another person but with other case scenarios like “You and your three friends ordered a pizza. All of you love pizza and there is just one slice left. How would you decide who will get that slice?

This is a small trick which get your started towards the first step of discovering your customer. When you have the general idea about your customer find that person in real and ask the same questions to them.