Best Ways to Interview your Customers

Interviewing your customers can provide some of the best qualitative data available and will help you to understand which parts of your offer are most valuable to your customers. They will also highlight areas of improvement that could be useful for overcoming competition.

First, you need to find the right people to interview.

Customers – Use both customers that have had a good experience with your business and those who haven’t.

This will allow you to get an understanding of what users find difficult about your product or service and what they are happy about.

  • Will be the most useful individuals as they will want to involve themselves in improving a product they use.
  • Ensure that they understand that their input is highly valued and will have an impact on future decisions.
  • You may not need an incentive as the customer will value the discussion as a way for them to tell you about their challenges and their world.

Prospects – Individuals that have not yet purchased from you or know very little about your offering will allow for a different opinion towards personas.

These potential customers will provide an insight into how your offering is first perceived and where your marketing and messaging can be improved.

  • Can be from a list of current prospects that are moving through your customer journey.
  • The information you have on them will help you to understand their demographics and find other prospects who fit your target customer.

Referrals – Known contacts who might fit into your target personas can be used to gain a deeper understanding of potential customers

  • LinkedIn can provide a great starting place with mutual connections allowing you to be introduced to individuals that might fit your target persona.

Once you know which of these types of interviewees should be used, a better response rate can be achieved through a number of methods:

  • Using incentives – Can be great in rewarding individuals for taking their time to talk to you and can be as simple as a gift card from Amazon.
  • Focus on learning – They will be discussing themselves and their lives rather than being sold your product or service.
  • Ease of use – All preparations should be made around the interview to make it as convenient as possible with suggested but flexible dates and reminders.

Around 5 interviewees should be used to get a in-depth understanding of your buyer’s persona.

You’ll need to compile a list of questions to uncover more about your customers that can help you to better understand their personas. These questions will form various key areas that can be analysed later.

They should come from the below sections and several examples have been given to help:

Personal Background

  • What is your job title?
  • What responsibilities do you have?
  • What forms a typical workday for you?
  • What skills are required to do your job?
  • How is success measured in your role?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job?
  • Who do you report to?

Industry and Business

  • What is the size of your company?
  • What industry is your company operating in?

Goals

  • What organisational goals do you have?
  • Why are these goals important?
  • How are you achieving these goals?

Challenges

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • What success have you had in overcoming these challenges?

Decision Making

  • Who is responsible for buying products or services like ours?

Objections

  • What are the biggest complaints that you have about our product or service?
  • What changes must be implemented to overcome these complaints?

Information Sources

  • What news sites or newspapers do you read?
  • What blogs do you read?
  • Do you belong to any social, professional or networking groups?
  • Do you attend industry events, conferences or trade shows?
  • What type of information do you engage with most?
  • How did you find out about our company?
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