Perhaps this goes without saying, but many business owners don’t consider their product or service in context. They take the long way around to it, but Anthony Tjan over to HBR.org cuts the chase in his blog entry titled The Three-Minute Rule. He comments about the traditional ways to gather data via surveys and focus groups, but he feels to better understand the customer, ask them what they did three minutes before they used your product or service and three minutes after. This type of understanding can help uncover feedback that people didn’t realize was important. My favorite part of the his entry is excerpted below. It’s my favorite because as a father of two young children I go to the store a lot and inevitably…
One final retail example is described beautifully by my friend Paco Underhill, a shopping-pattern guru. In his book, Why We Buy, he describes how shoppers who do not have a shopping basket or shopping cart go quickly to the checkout when their arms get full. Okay…so what? A casual observer says that is obvious. A savvier approach might be to interview people in a checkout line with an armful of goods to ask where they were three minutes earlier and if they would have considered buying anything else if it hadn’t been so difficult to carry so many items. Underhill concludes that more establishments should consider putting shopping baskets in the middle of the store to keep customers in shopping mode longer (since research showed that few would go back to the front of the store to get a cart once engaged with shopping).
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