You could build the best product in your industry but if you don't have a conversation with the people that regularly use your product, you might go down the wrong path. This is why customer interviews are crucial for your product's success.
When you ask customers the right questions, you can get to the heart of what really matters to your business. To make this possible, all you need is to simply schedule a time to talk to your prospects and customers.
In this article, you'll learn why customer interviews are important, how to conduct them, and use them to grow your customer base.
Here's what we'll consider:
- Why do you need customer interviews for your SaaS business?
- When to conduct customer interviews
- How to conduct customer interviews
- Using customer interviews to grow your customer base
Why do you need customer interviews for your SaaS business?
You may wonder why you need customer interviews. Besides, you may already be using customer success teams and surveys service to get more insight into your customers' needs and problems.
In this section, you will learn why you need customer interviews for your business. Here are 5 reasons:
1. You learn about your customer's pain points
Customer interviews let you uncover hidden customer struggles and pain points. If a customer is having issues with using your product, you can figure out what the problem is and help the customer.
Even more, the more you learn more about your customer pain points, the more you speak your customer language. You understand their personality, emotions, and greatest needs.
This way, you'll be able to create marketing messages that'll reflect your customer language and provide real solutions to their problems.
2. You learn your customer's language
Your customer language is a powerful marketing tool that can change the trajectory of your marketing efforts. They are original thoughts that can encourage prospects to trust your brand more. Even more, customer interviews can help you to create benefit-oriented marketing messages.
This way, you won't just share content that doesn't help your customers achieve their goals, instead, you'll be able to deliver good content that grows your brand.
3. You improve your marketing efforts
When you interview your customers, you get accurate customer feedback that you can use to improve your marketing efforts.
This way you get better results and grow your customer base. For example, you can use your customer feedback in your website copy to convince prospects and website visitors to sign up for your products.
You can also use customer feedback to boost conversions in your marketing ads and blog posts.
4. You save tons of research time
When you interview one or two customers you save a lot of research time. For example, you get more insight into your competitors' products and customer base that you'll never get from your own research in less time.
A well-prepared customer interview will let you uncover where your customers spend the most time, what they think about your competitors, the most used product feature, why they use it, and when they are most likely to recommend your products.
Even more, when you learn how your customers describe your brand and product, you will be able to improve your value proposition and create better buyer personas.
5. You understand your industry better
If you don't understand your industry better it will be more challenging to meet up with the current industry standards.
You need to understand what your customers' problems are, what their workflow looks like, what other tools they use to complement your product, and common problems in your industry.
This is valuable information that can help you to improve your product and differentiate it from others in your industry.
When to conduct customer interviews
Now that you understand the importance of customer interviews, when is the best time to conduct one? Well, the truth is that you conduct customer interviews based on the results you want to achieve.
For example, if you're developing a new product you'd need to conduct a discovery customer interview. This type of interview is important for your business's success.
Why? It helps you to find the right positioning, and the right buyer personas and validate your ideas.
On the other hand, if you already have a product and you need more customer data, then you can conduct a customer development interview. This way, you gain more insights into how customers use your products including the most used product feature and the least important feature.
Most businesses tend to conduct this type of interview once per week or once per month. The number of times you conduct your customer interviews depends on your business needs and resources.
How to conduct customer interviews for your SaaS business
So far, you've learned some of the ways that customer interviews can help grow your business and the best time to conduct one.
In this section, we'll explain how you can conduct customer interviews for your SaaS business.
Step #1—Establish a goal for your interview
Before you begin the customer interview process, you need to set a goal for your customer interview.
Whether you need customer interviews for product development or to improve your marketing efforts, you must set a clear goal that will help you compile the right interview questions.
There are many reasons for conducting customer interviews but here are a few of them:
- Finding out the problems that customers are dealing with as they use your product
- Learning more about key customer traits to improve your buyer personas
- To find out how customers make purchase decisions during the buying journey
- To figure out why customers stopped using your product
Step #2—compile your questions
Once you have set a clear goal for conducting customer interviews, you need to compile the questions you'll ask your customers.
This stage is a huge determining factor in the customer interview process because you need to ask the right questions to get the best answers.
For this reason, ensure your questions are open-ended. Rather than asking a customer directly—do you like this feature? Or do you like what we've built? Apply a more indirect process for collecting customer feedback.
For example, you can ask—describe your process for achieving X (insert a specific task) with our product. Or you can ask—what's the major challenge you experience whenever you try to do X?
These kinds of questions encourage your customers to share their original thoughts. If they take longer to explain a particular experience, you can ask for additional information to gain clarity.
Note that using a customer research script will help you to gain quality research outcomes.
Step #3—choose the right customers
When it comes to choosing customers, you need to choose the right customers based on the results you hope to achieve.
If you want to figure out why customers are no longer using your product, choose the ones that churned recently or are on the verge of lapsing.
If your goal is to find out how customers are using a specific product feature, then you need to turn to the ones who use it the most.
Step #4—time for the interview
After you have set your goals, compiled questions, and chosen the right customer, it's time for the interview!
In this stage, you need to figure out the method of interviewing customers. Are you using videos or emails?
While some customers may not agree to both methods, it's advisable to use every opportunity that allows you to combine both methods.
To make the interview process less challenging, here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Don't impose your opinions on your customers
- Don't try to upsell or cross-sell anything during the interview process
- Don't try to overtake the interview —customer interviews are supposed to be a two-way conversation
- Always listen to your customers and ask why to understand how they think
- Don't try to rush the interview—instead, you can skip some questions if you feel you have limited time
At the end of your interview, ensure that you tag all your answers so that you reference them in the future. You can use a spreadsheet with a row that contains each question.
Using customer interviews to grow your customer base
Once you've finalized the customer interviews, you need to interpret the answers and draw some actionable conclusions from them.
A well-prepared customer interview encourages potential customers to consider your product. If a prospect has doubts about your business, customer feedback is key to pushing the prospect further down the sales funnel. So, don't hesitate to collect customer feedback and share them on your website, marketing materials, and blog posts.
Remember to set the right goals, compile the right interview questions and choose the right customers before you start the interviews.
With Engage, you can send emails, SMS, push notifications, and In-app messages that convert.