An article about lean startup tips to create a better experience for your customers.

The key to building a successful startup is to keep your customers happy. In this blog we will focus on 12 key lean startup tips and tricks that will help you build a better customer experience and improve your startup efficiency.

Creating a successful startup is like building a house of cards: if one element is missing or done incorrectly, the whole structure collapses. That’s why it’s so important to spend as much time as possible on the customer experience, your product and the overall efficiency of your startup or small business.

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Think about your customers as willing co-creators

I believe that customers are not only partners in the success of a company but also creators of value.

Dell started to really change their sales strategy about 10 years ago when it started to allow customers to pre-configure computers online, and then actually started to listen to what its customers were saying.

The important part of this is that Dell’s customers became co-creators of value for Dell. They were not just customers that Dell wanted to sell computers to. The level of engagement went way beyond just being a customer – they actually had an active role in the creation of value for Dell.

This is where it becomes extremely important for every company to think about their customers as partners and creators of value.

It is not enough anymore just to be a seller and try to sell as much as you can. You need your customers’ help in order for your business model to succeed.

Reduce the complexity of your service or product.

You’ll be surprised by how much simplicity you can offer in your product or service. What you want to do is reduce the complexity of your offering and make it more attractive to your target audience.

Trying to be everything for everybody is a sure way to failure. As an entrepreneur, you will see the importance of focusing on one thing and doing it well.

As online entrepreneurs, we can’t get away with that! We need to learn how to market our products and services effectively.

There are two things that you can do right now to help simplify your business:

1) Identify what services or products are causing confusion among your customers.

2) Eliminate them completely if they are not contributing much value to your customer.

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Design and deliver experiments that tell you more about what works and what doesn’t

You don’t have to be a data scientist to be a successful product manager. In fact, the most important tool in your arsenal is the scientific method. The basics of the scientific method have been around for hundreds of years and are used every time you make a decision about anything. The scientific method is:

1. Define your hypothesis

2. Create an experiment to test that hypothesis

3. Collect and analyze data from the experiment

4. Decide whether to accept or reject your hypothesis based on the analysis

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you decide your hypothesis is either accepted or rejected

Invite customers to rate your product or service

When you offer your customers the chance to rate your product or service, it adds a social element to their experiences and builds trust with your brand.

If you are an eCommerce business, you can use this tool to gather reviews from happy customers and turn them into social proof that can benefit your business in several ways.

Here’s a list of advantages when you regularly collect ratings for your company:

Build consumer trust – A few words about your products and services from those who have already tested them leave a much more powerful impression than any advertising campaign ever could.

Improve customer satisfaction – New users are often hesitant to buy something they’ve never tried before. So, if someone is considering purchasing from you for the first time, they might be looking for some reassurance that they’ll be getting good value for money. When they see other people giving positive feedback on your products, they are likely to feel more confident that they’re making the right choice.

Increase conversion rates – Your most loyal customers know best what you’re all about. By letting them share their experience with new visitors of your website, you give them the opportunity to connect with potential clients and convince them to make a purchase. This will boost your sales and help you achieve higher conversion rates.

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People Favor Highly-Reviewed Products, Even When They Shouldn't – Association for Psychological Science – APS

Continually test new ideas. Employ the Build-Measure-Learn loop to improve your service or product beyond its early stages.

The Build-Measure-Learn loop is a simple process used to make sure you’re on the right track and that your product or service is continually improving. It’s a cycle of experimentation, learning and testing:

Build. You’ll start with an idea for a new product or service, which you’ll then put out into the world to see how people respond to it.

Is there interest in what you’re doing? Do they engage with it? What do they say? How do they behave?

Measure. Once you’ve seen how people engage with what you’re doing, you’ll have to assess how successful it is. Make sure you measure the right things. For example, measuring the number of downloads of your app might not be enough — did those users come back and use it again?

Learn. The final step is to figure out what you’ve learned from your experiment so that you can apply that knowledge to future projects and improve your services or products along the way. You might have discovered some problems with your original idea and decided to change tack. Or perhaps everything was fine, but now you know about an area for improvement that wasn’t clear before.”

The Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop - From MindTools.com

Join the lean startup revolution!

It doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be long-winded. And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Startups are the hottest business trend around, and the lean approach is the driving force behind it. Yet many entrepreneurs are still lost when it comes to learning how to do it right.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Startup’s Growth turns traditional business thinking on its ear by demonstrating how small investments of time and money can lead to massive gains in your startup’s growth rate—and therefore its value. In doing so, Traction offers entrepreneurs a proven toolkit for achieving success through relentless incremental improvement—the hallmark of successful lean startups. Whether you want to test your product idea, grow your business model, or prove your business plan, this book will show you how to generate true traction—and build a successful startup the right way.*

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You can be a lean startup by sacrificing resources for continuous improvement, feedback and fast experimentation.

Being a lean startup is an approach to entrepreneurship that minimizes waste. Lean startups are agile and run like a business, but they don’t have as much funding as traditional businesses.

They’re also experimental in nature and don’t take on unnecessary risks. They focus on developing products that customers want and can sell them for a profit.

Lean startup products aren’t always perfect, but they’re great at continuously improving through customer feedback and fast experimentation. This helps them avoid the risk of wasting time and capital on products that customers are unwilling to purchase.

Conclusion

In the end, keeping your customers coming back for more is pretty simple:

Talk to them.

With every interaction, ask yourself “Is this information my customer needs?” and “Is this action my customer would consider valuable?” If you can’t answer yes to both questions, modify the interaction or cut it entirely.

The leap startup approach is a solid foundation for building a business that has the potential to grow rather than one that will inevitably shrink. Don’t have all the answers right now? That’s okay. Keep asking questions and trying things out, and use what you learn along the way to avoid wasting time, money and energy on things that don’t matter.

This Scorecard has been designed to show entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses their blind spots and provide instant, actionable steps on how to improve

If you would like to understand more about developing and growing products whether they are digital or physical, as a startup or within an organization, you can obtain more information here.

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