Guide potential customers through a proposed product and determine their willingness to adopt it.

👥 10 and more | ⏰ days | 💪🏼 medium effort


Concierge testing is an interview-based method for validating solutions with potential customers by asking them, in their native environment like a cafe or grocery store, whether or not they would be interested in paying for a hypothetical product or service.

By engaging with the participant in the right environment and through directed questioning or guided show-and-tell, the team is capable of truly gauging prospective success with someone in the right frame of mind to similarly use the product after launch. Concierge testing produces validation or invalidation of a solution, based on verbal or emotional responses from participants.

Who is involved?

Concierge testing requires a team to select the types of environments where they can find potential customers (coffee shops, bookstores, etc.; or, through analytics data to find current users who match your ideal participant), to identify how to pitch the hypothetical product to these individuals (either like a sales pitch, or more granularly like a guided tour through the experience), and to gather responses to determine the success or failure of the potential product direction.

How is it done?

  1. Come up with a pitch or guided experience that encapsulates how your proposed solution will address your customer’s needs (nothing is too “blue sky” or impractical; think big to really underscore how users emotionally respond to your pitch).
  2. Determine who your target customer is and how to approach them. Do you find these participants in local coffee shops, or in your existing user base? In the same vein, create a field guide for how you’ll present the hypothetical product experience to the customer, and to what level of detail the experience is conveyed to them.
  3. Go into the field to locate these customers, or ask those in your user base to come in-house, for one-on-one concierge testing between your team and the participant. Have one team member be the presenter/concierge, and at least one other be the note-taker.
  4. With enough responses collected, meet as a team to discuss verbal and emotional responses to the concierge testing, as well as determine if the offering was met with interest, apathy, or disdain.