Customer Forces Canvas — The One Framework to Rule Them All

Don't like talking to users? Use Customer Forces Canvas to supercharge your user research game. Get customer insights on auto-pilot.

Customer Forces Canvas
Customer Forces Canvas

Talk to users.

Everyone is saying it. But how can you do it?

Today at a glance, a framework to structure user interviews. The ultimate marketing model to supercharge your product.

Meet, The Customer Forces Canvas by Ash Maurya.

It consists of seven parts. Let's explore each one: both theory and example.

How does it work?

1. Trigger

One day, your users say, “Enough”. And then they start looking for solutions.

You need to understand this moment perfectly. What exactly desires users for a change?

This is a starting point to market to your target audience.

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Let's take an imaginary customer of the AI Habit tracker as an example.

Their Trigger is — Read “Atomic Habits”

2. Desired Outcome

Before choosing the solution, your users think about the result they want to achieve.

They are already dissatisfied with current conditions. But what do they want?

This is your Jobs-To-Be-Done.

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Let's continue with our example.

Our Desired Outcome is — Increased productivity

3. Existing Alternatives

Before choosing the best solution, your customers consider other alternatives.

Understand what products they are looking at and what they like/dislike about them.

You can use this information to supercharge your value proposition.

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Our example's existing alternatives:
- Notion trackers
- Apple Notes
- Accountability groups

4. Current Solution

Define what has attracted the customer to chosen solution.

If the customer has chosen your competitors, understand why this happened.

Trust users who pay money.

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Our example's Current Solution:
- Right in Messages (no need to install a new app)
- Non-judgemental UX
- Track habits on a daily, bi-daily, and weekly basis

5. Inertia

While choosing a new solution, your users had some objections.

These obstacles slowed down the selection process and pushed back your users.

Understand what stops your customers from choosing a new solution to their problem.

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Our example's Inertia:
- All apps look the same
- Some products are not mobile-friendly

6. Friction

While using a new solution, your customers face difficulties that can push them back.

Understand what is stopping your users when adapting to a new solution.

It will be a good backlog of ideas for your product.

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Our example's Friction:
- Adding new habits to track is boring
- Losing a day is frustrating

7. Next Summit

It’s not the end, even if the customer solves the problem with a new solution.

They assess the result and create a new goal.

Understand it, so you have more context about your target audience.

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Our example's Next Summit:
- Understanding what habits to build and to ignore

How to implement it?

Understand your Trigger

  1. What event triggers your users?
  2. What do they know about the problem already?
  3. What emotions do they feel at this moment?

Describe your Desired Outcome

  1. What rational value do they pursue?
  2. What emotional value do they pursue?
  3. What social value do they pursue?

Understand your Existing Alternatives

  1. What are your direct and indirect competitors?
  2. What do users like about other solutions?
  3. What do users dislike about other solutions?

Deconstruct Current Solution

  1. What is important for users in chosen solution?
  2. What influenced their decision?
  3. What do they dislike about the current solution?

Define Inertia

  1. What’s stopping users from looking for solutions?
  2. What old habits do users need to break?

Describe Friction

  1. What’s stopping users from using the current solution?
  2. What do they feel in these moments?

Understand Next Summit

  1. How do users assess the results?
  2. What’s the next priority for them?
  3. How can you leverage power users at this moment?

Make changes

  1. Systemize the results of your user interview
  2. Make a list of 10 key insights
  3. Update your Personas
  4. Update your Positioning
  5. Update your Marketing Funnel
  6. Run 2-3 marketing campaigns with a new offer

Conclusion

User interviews can be either a mystery or a growth fuel.

It's easy to get lost in data and waste precious hours. This way, talking to customers doesn't move the needle at all.

Hopefully, you have a new marketing framework to get customer insights on auto-pilot.

MakerBox Frameworks
MakerBox Frameworks

If you want more thought-provoking mental models, check out MakerBox Frameworks. It's a Notion library of 50 marketing frameworks for Startup Founders.

Level up your marketing. Stress-free.