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Researchers, product managers, designer, and others interview customers in order to understand their customers' needs and the contexts in which they're using or might use their product or service. One of the most common pieces of advice across these articles is that getting good at interviewing customers requires practice!
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Introduction to Customer InterviewsCustomer interviews are an essential tool for businesses to gain insights into their customers' needs and preferences. They help companies understand their customers' pain points, motivations, and expectations, which can inform product development, marketing strategies, and Customer Service.
- Atlassian's Customer Interview ProcessThis article gets hands-on about how to structure a 60-minute interview with housekeeping, warm-up questions, meaty questions, observer questions, turning the tables, and wrap-up.
- What They Really Think About You: How to Structure and Conduct Customer InterviewsTien goes over a perspective on interview structure and conduct that is geared more toward learning about prospective buyer journeys, as opposed to active customers of a product (like the Atlassian article).
How to Find Participants to InterviewFinding the right participants for customer interviews can be challenging. Companies can use a variety of methods to recruit participants, including social media, email lists, forums, and customer loyalty programs. It's important to ensure that the participants represent the target customer demographic and have relevant experiences to share.
- 43 ways to find participants for researchThis article is a one-step shop for learning how to recruit interviewees (prospects or customers). The author solicited ideas and learnings from 23 product and research experts.
How to Conduct Yourself
- Get better data from user studies: 16 interviewing tipsMichael digs into how to behave during interviews (be open-minded, smile, be fascinated, avoid generalizations, listen intently) and how to deeply explore topics.
What to AskThe questions asked during customer interviews should be designed to elicit specific information about the customer's experiences, needs, and preferences. Open-ended questions, such as "Can you describe a time when you were frustrated with our product?" are more effective than closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.
- Ask About the Past Rather Than the FutureTeresa explains why Asking Questions about the future (e.g. "would you use or buy this product") usually don't work, because what we say differs from what we do. Instead, asking about what actually happened in the past can reveal problems that we can solve in the future.
- 50 Interview Questions For B2B SaaS Customer ResearchJohn has come up with a terrific set of clever questions. We recommend using this list as a refresher next time you're doing doing a B2B research interview to see if any of the questions are appropriate for your use case.
Post-Interview Analysis & CommunicationAfter conducting customer interviews, it's essential to analyze the data and communicate the findings to stakeholders. This can involve categorizing responses, identifying patterns and trends, and creating Personas or customer journey maps. Companies should also communicate the findings to the participants and thank them for their time and insights.