Meeting with customers during the early stages of a new product definition provides an understanding of the underlying needs, opinions, and motivations behind their behaviour. It validates assumptions about the problems we are willing to solve and informs a value proposition. At the same time, we have the chance to develop ideas or hypotheses to be tested with a successive quantitative research.
Customer interviews help develop a deep understanding of the situation before deciding to take action. Having 40+ hours of interviews is not like sitting at a research agency de-brief reviewing a bunch of PowerPoint slides. I usually come back from the experience with real faces in my mind, people’s words surface to rescue me whenever I need insights to take a difficult decision.
However, as most of the valuable things in life, it’s not easy stuff. Interviews take a lot of practice, and at the end of the day we might feel exhausted. They don’t cost much money, but do require quite a lot of time to recruit the right people, to organise the agenda to accommodate them, and to run the actual sessions.
Here are ten tips I put together on how to run effective customer development interviews.