To identify the most pressing problem and crucial benefit your solution will provide in order to help your customer achieve their desired outcome.



After you’ve zoomed in on your customer, it’s time to zoom into the specific problem you’re hoping to address. This will help set you up for success with your empathy interviews or solution experiments.



1. Brainstorm Outcomes (10 minutes)

Refer to your Customer Zoom tool as you brainstorm what your customer is trying to accomplish. Is there a financial impact they wish to achieve? Are you going to increase their savings? Improve their productivity? Maximize their time so that they can spend more time with their spouse and kids? Make sure that your answers define significant and specific outcomes.

2. Select Top 3 Outcomes (5 minutes)

Review your list of outcomes and select the top three most desired by your customer. Again, imagine that you have a magic wand and can make these outcomes a reality for your customer. Select your top three outcomes and stick them on your Problem Zoom Tool.

3. Brainstorm Pains & Problems (10 minutes)

Brainstorm the pains and problems that your customer experiences when trying to achieve their goals. What are the barriers preventing them from reaching the outcomes previously discussed? What is getting in the way of them achieving their aspirations? Come up with as many barriers as you can and consider how they affect the customer’s desired outcomes. Brainstorm at least 10 pain and problems.

4. Select Top 3 Pains (5 minutes)

Review your list of pains and problems and select the top three most painful in the eyes of your customer. Remember, these should relate to the outcomes that your customer is trying to achieve. Select your top three pains and problems and stick them on your Problem Zoom Tool.

5. Document Promise (5 minutes)

Identify the promise you will make to your customer by solving their problem and the aspiration that you hope to help them achieve by doing so. Your promise is a utilitarian benefit they can hang their hat on — something you can tangibly point to and say, “I will solve this problem with this functionality.”

It’s the direct answer to how you plan to address the pains and problems preventing your customer from achieving their desired outcomes.

The aspirational component represents the impact that you hope to have on your customer’s life by solving the problem. You can’t promise this will come true, but you can say, “I intend that by solving problem X with product Y, we will help you achieve aspiration Z.”

6. Congrats!

Now that you have identified the promise you are going to make to your customer, it’s time to flush out and zoom into your solution using the Solution Zoom Tool.


Access The Problem Zoom and Toolkit Here:

Bookmark this page for easy access to the instructions and check out this article for additional information about using the Problem Zoom Tool.