What is Customer Validation?
Customer validation is the phase of the Customer Development Model where you obtain hard evidence regarding the possible success of your business model. Customer validation proves whether your assumptions are correct before you spend too much money. This is essential for the process because it is what sets it apart from any other type of development model. According to Steve Blank, the reason that too many businesses fail is that they work based on their assumptions. Many businesses either do not know how to validate their knowledge or skip the process altogether. If you do not validate your knowledge, you only push failure off into the future.
You may also watch this video from Smart Sweep where Ann Jacobe talks about customer validation within her company.
The Customer Validation Process
The hypothesis is the summary of our assumptions. However, we need to prove our hypothesis before production.
We need channels in order to reach our customers.
3.Prepare to Sell
We can sell our products to our early customers before going all out. We need to figure out whether the product is good or it needs improvement.
We need to know our customer’s opinion on our product by this point. We take this information and learn from it to make our products and methods better.
Iteration is good and does not just take place while the product is being developed. You will need to make changes as your market grows and changes. You can even hold on to old models to see if they work somewhere down the line, even if they don’t work right now.
Customer validation is an essential step in the Customer Development model. However, it will be useless if you do not approach it with an open and inquisitive mind. The methods, money, and efforts used to gain valuable customer insight will be useless if you still believe that you know what is best for your customers. This is a valuable time to learn from the most important people in your business: your customers. Remember that you might have a great product but if you do not have any customers, you do not have a business.