Posts Tagged ‘questions’
Once you’ve identified a great customer to interview for your program and they’ve agreed to participate, it’s time for the customer interview. This is a critical part of the process. Ideally this is the one time you have to gather all the information you need to create your deliverables, so you need to be as prepared as possible. See our separate article on preparing for the interview.
A popular myth is that you need a script to talk through with the customer. Instead, develop an outline of areas you want to cover with the customer with some specific questions. Think of it as a conversation guideline that is fluid and adaptable, depending on the direction the conversation takes. If you can be flexible with questions you might very well discover some great nuggets of information in the process.
Here are some areas you might want to cover in the interview. Of course, your specific questions will vary by customer.
- Can you discuss your industry and the competitive challenges inherent to your business that make technology critical to your success?
- Describe how you are using the product.
- Is it used company-wide or in specific departments?
- Confirm the hardware, software used in the environment.
- What was your problem/need prior to using our product?
- How does the product solve your problem/need?
- What were the most important factors in making this buying decision?
- What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of our product vs. the competition?
- What are the best things about the product?
- What other companies and products did you consider before choosing our product?
- When did you implement our products?
- How did the implementation go?
- How long did the implementation take?
- Did you utilize our service organization? If so, can you talk about that experience?
- Have you had to utilize our technical support organization? If so, how did that go?
- Have you calculated ROI for using our product? Cost savings compared to previous solution? Time savings? Reduced staff requirements? More effective use of staff resources? Other?
- What are the top three benefits to using our product? Less downtime? Prevents problems? More output?
- How does our product impact the overall success of your company?
- If someone took away our products, how would that impact your IT department? The company as a whole?
- Would you choose this product again?
- What are your future plans for the product?
In a nutshell, for the best customer interview: Be prepared, be flexible, be conversational and respect the customer’s time.
“The most compelling customer stories focus on the business case and identify the customer’s unique situation. It takes a skilled interviewer to draw out the right information and ROI. When that information is gathered, the story can provide real detail about the customer’s business needs, the solution and how it helped them achieve positive results.”– Allison Darin, Communications Specialist, Wyse Technology