An outline guide for preparing customer interviews in connection with new business concept evaluation and identification.


Eugene B. Lieb

Customer Decision Support, Inc.

©Copyright Custom Decision Support, Inc. (1997)

November 1997


This workbook is a part of a larger venture planning development program. Its primary objective is to assist in the development of new business without large development staffs. The tools consist of a series of workbooks which provide check lists of key issues during the development of most business concepts. We believe that the process of venture development is an active one. Most activities should be dedicated to "hands on work" with the product, the process, and the potential customers. We hope that these tools will act to focus activities on "what must be done". The process of developing businesses is operationally active. It is insufficient to merely study the opportunity, the opportunity must be made to happen. The purpose of this workbook series is to enable the business developer, innovator, intrapreneur in making things happen. They are intended as tools to help plan action and communicate the logic behind that action. We intend that this workbook and all others in the series will be "evergreen". New versions of the workbooks are expected to be published periodically, reflecting constructive comments by users. This workbook reflects the efforts of many individuals who have provided ideas and comments. The philosophy expressed in this workbook reflects that of the authors and not of the organizations or corporations involved.


This is a Voice of the Customer Workbook. It is designed as a tool for helping research prepare for field interviews with customers. It is also a tool to help clarify business issues. The Workbook is designed to be used by an individual or a small team, who have other responsibilities. The end result is a discussion outline for use during the field interviews. It is not expected that you will have immediate answers to all the questions in this workbook. The goal is for you to identify key issues for field research. Developing adequate information is part of the definitional process. There are some minimum requirements for getting started, however.

At a minimum, you must:

      I. Understand the goal and aims for the research.

      II. Understand the limitations on the information that you can obtain.

      III. Strive to have a working relationships with your "host", usually the sales force.

      IV Endeavor to provide a good image of the firm and its products with the respondents.

Good luck. It is not supposed to be easy.