Cindy Alvarez

All Customers Are Not Created Equal (Large Enterprise Customers, Existing Customers)

With existing customers -- whether they're individual consumers or multimillion-dollar organizations -- you have the burden of existing expectations and ongoing relationships. Whatever happens in your customer development interview, you're going to have to answer their phone calls or emails tomorrow.

That doesn't have to be painful -- in fact, customer development will often strengthen those relationships. But there are some things to keep in mind if you want to maximize how productive your conversations are.

Large enterprise customers

Existing customers

It can sometimes feel awkward to ask existing customers for a formal interview. Luckily, you don't have to. I recommend piggybacking on your existing customer touchpoints. Account managers can observe and ask "why" questions during their scheduled calls. Customer support staff can continue a conversation beyond the initial request. Social media managers who are already monitoring tweets and comments can spot good customers to interview or subjects to follow up on.

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