When launching any new product, whether it's a men's skin care or something else, few things are more important than getting quality in-person feedback from potential customers. It allows you to test your hypothesis about a market need and adjust your trajectory if needed. You can test key messages, capture contact information, and practice your elevator pitch. But even if you are a natural extrovert, a little preparation will increase the likelihood that your effort pays maximum dividend. Consider the following suggestions as you prepare.
How To Receive Quality Customer Feedback
Pick your venue carefully
Where will you be conducting the interviews? Make sure the site will have your target audience represented, is not too noisy, and allows you to approach them instead of them approaching you. The last thing you want is having to scream at people with repetitive questions because the music is too loud.
Make your intro count
Be prepared with a concise intro so that the audience understands context. What is the problem you are trying to solve with your new product? What are the benefits? If there are secondary characteristics that would be of interest to your target audience (e.g., product is cruelty free), then try to work those into your opening.
Capture e-mail addresses
Besides getting crucial feedback from customers about your product, the second most important goal of canvassing is capturing contact information. Make sure you have a relatively easy way to do this. Paper and clipboard work just as well as an iPad with a clunky keyboard. Just make sure you can read the e-mail address that is written.
Bring something to take notes
You will get feedback in various forms, some of which may not be evident in the moment. Make sure you take a minute after speaking with someone to jot down notes about the conversation. Later you will compare the notes to look for patterns.
Have questions ready
Having questions at the ready helps drill into specific issues related to your product. They also are good for lulls in the conversation, such as when the customers are providing contact information. Awkward silences in face to face conversations are, well, awkward.
Bring samples or a prototype
Whenever possible have samples of your product or a prototype for the audience. This moves the conversation from abstract to tangible and allows the potential customer to provide more specific feedback. For example, we had small vials of moisturizer with SPF to offer anyone we spoke with.
Provide leave behinds
Don’t depend on your audience to remember your web site or assume the email address you received will be accurate. You should always offer a leave behind with a website and critical information for the customer to remember. Business cards work just fine or, if you have the money to spend, a sample of your product with contact information.
Scan your audience and choose wisely
Take a moment to scan your audience for people that not only fit your target demographic but also seem approachable. While the former should be easy to ascertain, the latter is more of a gut feel. Does the person look grumpy? Are they listening to music with their headphones? Are they eating food? Pay attention to the cues and this will help your approach. If your first few encounters go well, it builds your confidence and makes you more likely to approach others.
Next week I will discuss MODRN MAN’s experience applying these principles during our trip to the Final Four in Phoenix, AZ.