Tips for Selecting Customers to Interview
You Want Diversity of Perspectives
Whenever possible, you want people with different perspectives, experiences and goals. This gives you the widest range of stories for others to connect with if you are using your research for writing copy and for insights and feedback you get to hear from people who are using your product/service (or not using) in different ways for different reasons. You aren’t just hearing from the loudest fans in the front row who love everything. So whenever possible it is important to look for a diverse group to interview.
1. What does that look like?
It looks like interviewing several of your biggest clients/users who are your ideal clients you wish you could clone. These are the people who you believe are in the ideal situation to hire your business and get the most value out of it. AND maybe they are just a pleasure to work with and have good manners that you expect from a client/customer.
It then looks like talking to people who maybe left a program early, or went quiet. It also can look like people who were super interested in your business (perhaps they open every email and have purchased smaller offers in the past) but never actually hire you. Or maybe they used to be engaged but suddenly are not. Finding out what WASN’T working for these people is extremely helpful.
2. Other People to Look For
People at different levels of involvement in your groups. Introverts/Lurkers have opinions.
People who you know have different life experiences/perspectives. Example: If your target customers/members are moms with kids. Talking to moms with different family structures/dynamics can help identify truly common threads, help identify areas where you could provide more support, and if you are using these for testimonials, provide diverse examples from different types of situations to appeal to more new customers.
Do not be afraid to talk to people who said no.
People who have experienced different parts of your services.
3. Make a Ranked List
Start with your ideal customers (who have actually paid your business money) at the top of the list and then start adding in the other types of customers. The more interviews you do the more diversity you can achieve in the data you gather.
4. PLEASE NOTE: Research Fatigue
Pay attention to whether or not you are asking the same group of people for feedback in a relatively short time frame, or asking them the same questions. It’s one thing to follow up on a questionnaire or survey with a more in-depth interview (GOOD). It’s another to send them the same questions over and over again for no reason. Point = Keep track of who you are talking to. (This is where awesome database tools like Airtable.com come in handy.)
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