By conducting customer interviews, you have the opportunity to take a peek under your product’s own hood. These interviews give you insights into improving your product while also helping to fuel your marketing engine.
When you ask the right questions, you will receive gold nuggets of intelligence that will lead to more success.
We dig into how you can implement customer interviews in your business below.
What are customer interviews?
Customer interviews are exactly what they sound like—interviews with the customer that are conducted by the business. These interviews are useful for a deeper understanding of how customers use your application and can also help uncover areas of friction.
Many customers will jump at the opportunity to give you feedback if they love your product and company. Others may need a little push or incentive, such as a gift card in return for their time.
Why You Should Conduct Customer Interviews
Customer interviews are an invaluable opportunity to learn how your customers think about and use your application.
While you may feel you have a perfect process for how things are done in your application, it’s important to learn if your customers know this perfect process or agree with this perfect process. Sometimes the process you ironed out when building the application or feature is not the process used by the customer.
This is important to learn so you can make tweaks to your onboarding of new customers.
It’s also important to know so you can make changes to your current setup in case customers are using the feature in a way that requires more energy that may eventually drive churn.
Your value proposition is only as useful as the value your customers receive. Customer interviews are a way for you to keep your finger on the pulse and check in with customers to ensure they are still receiving the value you promised when they signed up.
Customer interviews are also great for turning into case studies. If you aren’t familiar with the power of case studies when it comes to marketing and sales, here is a quick catch up.
Customers rely heavily on social proof and word of mouth marketing when making purchasing decisions. Case studies are a way for you to showcase your customer interviews and share how specific customers received the promised value proposition by using your company.
For example, if your value proposition is to increase lead generation, then you’d expect to have case studies from customers showing you have increased their lead generation by X%.
Case studies are an excellent asset for your marketing team to use in paid advertising and on your website. They are also useful for the sales team when they are working with a lead who has a similar background as an existing customer.
How Do I Conduct Interviews?
Interviews can be performed via phone calls, but it’s often more valuable to schedule a video call. This way you can see your customer face-to-face, which is important especially for SaaS businesses who focus on small- to medium-sized businesses and do not have outbound sales.
This is also an opportunity for your customers to see the people behind your business.
Plus, a video interview is useful as you can ask your customer to walk you through a portion of the application so you can actually see them using your product.
Sometimes it’s helpful to record an interview for historical records—and so you can really focus on the customer instead of typing their answers the entire time. You can also invite someone else from your team to sit in on the interview to take notes.
Best Customer Interview Questions
It’s important to put a lot of thought into the questions you ask and how you ask them. You don’t want to lead your customer. You want answers from the heart that are not influenced by you.
The goal of the interview is to get truth from the customer so you can make changes to the business that better serve them and will help you gain new customers like them.
Here are a couple of questions to consider including your customer interviews below.
- What were your first impressions of our company?
- What was frustrating with our product? Why?
- What was challenging with our product? Why?
- Why did you know our company was right for your business?
- What surprised you about our product?
- What is your favorite part of our product?
- What can you do now that you couldn’t do before because of using our product?
- What has been the biggest benefit of our product to your business?
- What would you tell a business looking to sign up for our product?
- Have you tried any of our competitors? If so, how do we stack up?
- What questions do you have?
- If you could improve anything about our product, what would it be?
Tips for Interviewing
As with any type of interview, you want the person being interviewed to do the lion’s share of the talking. Your one and only job is to extract as much information and knowledge from the customer. You are not there to show off your product experience or your space in the marketplace. Here are some tips.
Build a Rapport
Start the interview by building a rapport with your customer. Spend some time learning about their business and about them as an employee. Are they the decision maker for choosing your product?
Do not rattle off your questions like a robot. Treat this as a conversation and show interest in your customer’s answers.
Your job as the interviewer is to listen, listen, and then listen some more. Only move on to the next question when your customer has nothing else to say about the current topic and once you have exhausted your follow-up questions about that particular subject.
Probe and ask “why” a lot. Your goal is to get their answer and dig into the “why.” You can use the 5 whys where you ask “why” 5 times to get to the root. The 5 whys is useful for quickly getting to the root of a problem. Follow each answer to your question with “why”. This will help the customer dig deeper into the problem and allow for you to diagnose the actual issue. Sometimes you’ll get to the root of the problem in less than 5 whys and others you may need to ask a few more.
Tying It All Together
Customer interviews should guide your product development and growth. If done correctly, they can positively impact your business and your bottom line.
Use Funnelfly to coordinate and schedule your customer interviews. Simply create an email campaign for the customers you’d like to schedule an interview with, and add then add those contacts to the campaign. Funnelfly will automatically deliver the email pitches to your customers to book the call and then remove them from the campaign once they’ve booked.