Customers are right about problems, not solutions

Unveiling the Crucial Distinction: Customer-Driven Problem Identification vs. Solution Generation in Entrepreneurship.

A.T. Gimbel
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August 8, 2023

Navigating the Problem-Solution Paradox: Leveraging Customer Insights for Innovation

I was speaking with an entrepreneur the other day and we got to talking about customer views. Specifically, why customers are right about problems but rarely correct on the solutions. I’ve previously touched on the fact that the customer is not always right, but wanted to reiterate some points again.

Customers know their problems

Customers are great at knowing their problems. If you ask people, they can quickly tell you what is not working. They can give you specific examples of what happened the last time and why that is such a pain point.

Customers don’t know the solution

However, if they had a good solution the problem would already be solved. Customers usually have varied views on how to solve a problem, and often lean heavily on building more product features to solve the problem. But the correct solution may have a human component, a process component, or other variables that must be tied into the solution for it to be effective.

Entrepreneurs can bridge the gap

As an entrepreneur, you can leverage customer discovery to really understand the details of the problem, how/when/why it occurs, why the current solutions fall short, and the importance of solving the problem. By building together with customers, you can more collaboratively solve a challenge that customers care about and will pay for.

Pay extra attention when customers talk about their problems, but really dive deeper when they start talking about solutions and don’t just take their proposed solutions as the answer. Work together to build something amazing that is 10x better to solve the problem.

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