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Good customer interviews make for awesome customer stories



To create authentic customer stories, we must interview actual customers. To get good answers during those interviews, we need to ask good questions. Sounds pretty self-explanatory so far. But what makes a question good and an interview awesome for the customer? In this article, Miguel shares his experience working with our interviewing experts, what he’s learned so far and how we can all apply it in our customer interviews.

The interview is where we make the connection with the customer and really get to know them. It can make or break a story. So, how do we make sure we are properly prepared to make it an awesome experience for the customer? Here are three tips that can make the biggest impact:

1. Research and prepare

Good interviewers do their own research. Every project usually comes with a brief. So does customer evidence. However, interviewers check, validate and update the information. During this process, they may even discover something everyone else overlooked, like a new regulation that impacts the customer’s business or a competitor that is entering the market.

Interviewers usually summarize their research and add notes to the interview questionnaire to enrich the conversations. When they ask questions, they rely on research done ahead of time to contextualize the question for the customer and convey why it matters to the audience. It also signals to the customer that the interviewer is well prepared and releases them from the burden of explaining terminology or context. Instead the customer can focus on the conversation as if they’re chatting with a colleague or peer.

2. Listen and adapt

We all have a unique personality. Good interviewers enable those personalities to shine by listening well and adapting quickly.

It may take many forms: active listening, body language, empathy, and even a little bit of chit chat to get the conversation going. Great interviewers spend the first few minutes of any conversation ‘reading the room’ and adapt their interview strategy to the speakers in front of them.

The most important rule when interviewing people is to stay curious. Good interviewers approach each conversation as a unique opportunity to learn something new and get to know someone better.

3. Connect and speak from the heart

We’ve heard interviews where the interviewer is so focused on getting through the list of questions, they forget to notice the time or appreciate the excitement of the speaker. Or interviews where the speaker is feeling under pressure and plays it safe with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.

What we’ve learnt from these interviews is that the whole is more than its pieces. Great interviewers find a way to balance the questionnaire with the big picture of the story: they enable the speaker to take short tangents about exciting topics before gently getting the conversation back on track. The interviewer guides the conversation like an orchestra conductor, keeping track of individual instruments—the questions—while allowing for some authentic improvisation to enter the melody.


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Some of these tips may come naturally, since we practice them without thinking every day. Others require mastery and discipline. Yet in combination, these tips make for good customer interviews. And that, in turn, leads to awesome customer stories.


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