- Are you building a product that people want to keep using?
- How do you find out what customers want from your product? What would appeal them to buy your No-Code product?
- What should you test to find ideal customers — marketing channels or messaging or if people would pay for your product?
As a No Code maker, if you have answers for the above questions, there’s a high chance that people will buy or subscribe to the product you’re building.
And Customer Discovery is a comprehensive process that leads you to those answers.
What is Customer Discovery? Why Should NoCode Makers Care about it?
Fast testing is one of the advantages of No Code building. That is why making MVPs with No Code rose to prominence in 2020.
When you’re testing your No Code product idea, you need to discover where your product can fit in customers’ lives and does it matter to them. And then confirm if you’re building the right set of features to address their needs.
An applicable way:
- Do you understand the industry you’re building for?
- Does anybody care at all about your idea?
- Are you building the right product?
- Will customers want to pay for your product?
Customer discovery is a method to involve your target customers in ideating your product. You save time, build the right things, and get exposure to solving real problems that customers care about.
The Customer Discovery Process
You have speed on your side with No Code. So you can test multiple variations of your features while building your product.
Then why focus on customer discovery so much? Repeated variations can be tested until a viable solution emerges, right? No. That method alone will not give the results to make your product better.
You need direction. Which kind of users will give you the right answers when you show them your product. What questions will you ask? How will you validate them. How many should you approach before making a conclusion?
Try applying the direct feedback of the customers to get it right. The way you approach this process makes or breaks your product idea.
3 things to keep in mind before beginning the customer discovery process:
- Do not get trapped in Confirmation Bias — where you only focus on information that supports your assumptions about your users. Search more objectively.
- While doing it, don’t pitch your product. Don’t tell them about your product at all. Just ask about their lives, what features they wish they had.
- Do not ask for a customer’s opinions. Ask for what they struggle with in their daily lives.
NoCode approach is fast, and with the right tools, you can pivot to meet your customers need even faster. Check out this guide on NoCode tools for Customer Discovery by Dan Parry, who's an expert at this.
Here’s a Customer Discovery Framework you can use:
You can use the validation board made by TheLeanStartupMachine. (used in the steps below)
1. List down your product hypothesis - It is part assumption and part problem based on what you observe your target customers going through. Make it specific, descriptive.
- Eg: DTC startups can’t keep losing clients due to mismanaged subscriptions
- Here, you’re defining your customer — DTC startups. And the problem: Subscription mismanagement.
Tip: Don’t put the Solution Hypothesis just yet. Derive it from customers when you’re experimenting and exploring the problem.
2. Experiment - To test your understanding of the customer’s problem. Your core assumptions about their problem will get challenged here. And a lot of them will get invalidated based on actual responses from the target customers. This is the learning phase.
Bring potential customers on a live call, and ask their experience of dealing with the problem you assumed they have. Ask specific questions that are focused on what would save them time, or extra efforts. Record how they describe their problems. And how would they see the solution.
This will let you figure out how you’ll build the prototype — the method of solving their problem.
3. Build MVP or a functioning solution - Since you’re using No Code for this, you make a mid to high-fidelity prototype of the solution.
Ensure to test the user experience. If you’ve already built a network of potential users during your Step 2, you can ask for their time for a live test. Make them use the prototype. And take notes on where they struggle, or don’t understand the function.
Measure to what extent does your solution match the problem. How much effort does it need for the customer to solve their problem when they use your product.
Does your solution really match the needs that the customer has? If yes, you’ll get the validation to continue building the product further, and add details to it.
4. Verify the Pivot - To know if you can sell your product, you need to know if you’re solving a high-value problem with your No Code product.
Ensure to find information that you can really rely on. The more you validate or invalidate your assumptions using right contextual questions, the more reliable the information is going to be.
A good marker of this is if customers ask you when are you going live. Or if they can have an early access to the prototype.
You’ll have to go through the above steps quite a few times to discover customers who’d buy your product. Which is why Steve Blank calls Customer Discovery a cyclic process, and you should consistently do it.
You constantly iterate on the validation process at regular intervals. This would lead you to have an updated view of the customer's needs and what they value.
If you're launching a micro-SaaS product, this framework is very handy.
Where to find potential customers to research on
According to Awad Makkawi, Founder and Startup Builder, below are some of the channels you can try:
- Startup meetup groups - Like the ones HelloMeets has
- Startup YouTube channels - You can reach out to the creator, and ask for promotion or introductions.
- Open discussion platforms - Reddit, Quora, Twitter
- Community Forums, Slack Groups, micro-communities - Check out some of the NoCode communities you can join.
- Personal reach out to relevant people on Twitter.
Some extra resources:
- Steve Blank's Startup tools - if you want more in-depth lessons on startup building and the MVP process
- UX research guide - Since you're essentially conducting user research, here's an elaborate method you can use.
- An online customer discovery canvas creator - You can build your own from scratch to suit your needs.