How Can Customer Interviews Improve Your Business?

Customer Interviews Are Full of Gold

This post is all about the big picture, the value that comes from having conversations with your customers. It’s about being aware of and extracting the value out of your follow up conversations and interviews with your customers.

Why should you care?

This whole post is about explaining why you should care. About what value you can get out of your customer conversations. But the shortest version I can manage of why you should care is that there is gold in the customer interviews. There is messaging gold, there is social proof gold, feedback gold, insight gold, and relationship gold. And yes, it takes effort but the payoff is so worth it on many levels for your business.

If you aren’t engaging in these conversations with your customers and getting feedback and really checking in with them and you aren’t recording that information, you are leaving gold on the table.

What Do I mean by Customer Interviews and Conversations?

I will be going into more detail on all of these areas in other videos. There’s a whole lot more to talk about. I wanted to touch on the main points of each quickly here. I have a graphic to show you what I’m talking about so that you can visualize what I’m talking about. But before we get into that, I wanted to define what I mean by interview or customer conversation.

So what I mean here is any conversation or interview that you have with a client or someone else has with your client on behalf of your business, where the purpose is to check in with them and get feedback or hear their thoughts on their experience with your product or service in the context of their story and lives.

How is your service or product fitting into their lives? What was that like for them? That is what I’m talking about when I talk about a customer conversation or a customer interview in this context. And it doesn’t have to be just at the end, but that is an entirely separate video.😉

The Spiral of Value

Here is the framework I wanted to share. I’m calling it the Spiral of Value. [Click to Enlarge]

 

spiral of value

I wanted a way to visually represent what I’m talking about when you look at all of the value that you can get from one customer conversation. This doesn’t only apply if you have 50 of them. You can get all of this information and value out of one customer interview or a customer conversation. Imagine what more you can get as you talk to more and more customers. As you can see we’re talking about messaging, social proof, feedback, about insights and I would argue most importantly we are talking about relationships.

Messaging: Make Writing Content Easier

Messaging gold. Now when I say gold, I hope you know what I mean. But just to be clear, I mean raw data, raw original content that you can use for your business that comes from the mouths of your customers. Their actual voice, not your imagined customer voice. You get to capture your client’s actual words. You don’t have to guess what they would say. You don’t have to imagine what they would say. You get to hear what they actually say about your business, about your business value. You don’t have to assume or make anything up and you can use it for all of your copy needs.

They’re going to talk about benefits, anxieties, and features. They’re going to talk about the situation they were in and why they hired you, and how it’s been going. They’re going to talk about results that then you get to talk about.

They give you in the context of this conversation, all of the words for the copy that you need to write. That is a huge pot of gold right there, which allows you to then speak to your ideal clients with the words of others like them. And your copywriters will totally thank you if you come to them and say, “So I have all of this customer data and interviews and transcripts.” And they’re like, “What? I don’t have to do any of that? And you already have their words!” So your copywriters will thank you. That’s a quick touch on what value you get out of the conversation for messaging.

Social Proof: Get Better Testimonials

The next step is social proof gold. This is quotes. This is testimonials. This is case studies. These are the things where it says, “I hired so and so and I was able to achieve this because of our work together.” Boom. So you get quotes, testimonials and it’s all there if you can just pay attention and then all you have to do is say, “So can I use this quote?” And they say “Yes!” And you’re like, “Okay!”

The most important thing that social proof allows you to do is to let your clients do the work of explaining your value to others. They’re the ones saying you’re awesome. They’re the ones saying the results that they got and then linking it back to you. You don’t have to do that. Which I know a lot of us can feel uncomfortable and we feel like we’re bragging. We should be able to brag, but we can totally let our customers do the bragging for us. So you get the quotes, you get all the words that you can use to let your clients explain your value.

Feedback: Do Business Better

Next up is feedback gold. And I know people hear feedback and go, ugh. This isn’t like a corporate performance review. This is totally different. So it’s not as scary as you think.

When you are talking to them you can get information that will allow you to make process improvements, communication improvements, and allow you to live out your goal in your business of constantly striving to make your business better at serving your clients. A lot of the times you’re going to get things that are little. It’s not always going to be this epic, monumental shift. But you’re going to get things that will allow you to make those small adjustments that you need as you go along to just have a better business.

Insights: Know Your Customers

Insight gold. This is valuable for both new business owners who are trying to validate an idea and established businesses. It allows you to listen for opportunities to serve your current clients in new ways. So when you are talking about, well, I’ve had this one program for so long but I want to pivot or I want to make a new program but I don’t know what they need. This is where you can learn that and then create things based on what they’ve said. It allows you to listen for opportunities to create what they already need instead of guessing.

Relationships: Build the Trust

Next up is my favorite, relationship gold. This is just straight up connection and trust building. Know, like, and trust? This is part of where the trust building happens because you care enough to ask them what they think and then do something with that.

Think of how it makes you feel when people follow up with you and reach out and say, “Did you enjoy that?” or “Thank you very much.” All of those things that we really appreciate in our daily lives. This is a touch point. This is you saying, “I care about you as a person. I care about you as a client and I want to make sure that your experience is as good as it can be.”

You give them the opportunity to process their experience and reflect on the progress they’ve made. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in an interview where that’s the first time they’ve really said out loud their results or described the successes they’ve had. It matters.

You’re not treating them like just another sale. You are building the relationship. You’re not saying “Thanks for the money. I’m never going to talk to you again.” You’re building the relationship which leads to better word of mouth and referrals and a solid network of people who want you to succeed.

More to Come

So that’s a quick overview of the five areas that I outlined on the diagram that are valuable from a customer interview perspective. I will be diving deeper into each of these on future videos. If this sounds like something you might need help with, message me and I would love to answer any questions you have. And if you think this is something other people would find valuable, please like and share.
Thank you!

Related Articles

When to Avoid Leading Questions and How To Do It

When to Avoid Leading Questions and How To Do It What Is a Leading Question? It's a question with an opinion. We break down leading questions in this week's rant.  Why they are bad for learning what people really think How they cause suspicion about your motives and...

Is Jargon Ruining Your Questions?

Is Jargon Ruining Your Questions? Summary We are talking about using plain language in your questions and cutting out the jargon. Why does that matter? This should be obvious, but it is not. It matters because if people can't understand what you're asking they are...

When to Use Open-Ended vs Multiple-Choice Questions

When to Use Open-Ended vs Multiple-Choice Questions Summary Why should you care? Anytime you want to gather data from your clients, community members, heck your kids… Question design matters. It helps you get the kind of answers that you can use, vs data that isn’t...

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This