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The Marketer's Guide To Customer Interviews

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The Marketer's Guide To Customer Interviews

  1. 1. THE MARKETER’S GUIDE TO CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS How to uncover revenue-boosting insights with a little conversation
  2. 2. Who wrote this thing? Written by Dustin Walker at Good Funnel — a conversion-focused agency that specializes in messaging, copywriting and customer research. This%slide%deck%is%based%on%a%guest%ar3cle%that%previously%appeared%on%the%Crazy%Egg%blog.%
  3. 3. you might be wondering... Why conduct live interviews when surveys are much, MUCH easier? FIRST& OFF,&
  4. 4. Interviewing is the best way to uncover deep, emotional insights about your customers. Click To Tweet This!
  5. 5. THIS INCLUDES THINGS LIKE: How customers really use your (or your client’s) product or service Prospects’ barriers to making a purchase The type of content prospects will find most valuable The deeper emotions motivating your customers
  6. 6. Insight you just can’t get from surveys, analytics data and heat maps alone HERE’S& PROOF…
  7. 7. Febreze got insight from a single interview that revealed it was marketing their product all-wrong. It launched new ads and sales doubled within two months.
  8. 8. When Moz hired Conversion Rate Experts to optimize their homepage, doing live interviews was key to getting a 52% lift in sales.
  9. 9. Groove used customer interviews to re-write their copy, which helped boost conversions on the website from 2.3% to 4.3%.
  10. 10. But some marketers avoid doing them because of this mindset..."" Yeah, interviews are powerful stuff.
  11. 11. “My customers would never do an interview with me. They’re just too darn busy.”
  12. 12. Oh, but they will.
  13. 13. Science shows that people love to talk about themselves — even as much as they love money. So go ahead and ask.
  14. 14. To set up the interview, send out an email that simply says you’re interested in interviewing them to find out about their experience with the product or service and how they felt about it.
  15. 15. You’ll be surprised by how many customers agree to chat. (But don’t go overboard. Often, just 5 or 6 interviews is all you need.)
  16. 16. NEXT UP: The Questions Don’t stick to a script. The last thing you want is to come across as a robotic telemarketer. Instead, play it cool and casual by doing what’s called an in- depth unstructured interview.
  17. 17. That means you should have a list of questions handy, but they should always be changing based on the responses you get from the customer.
  18. 18. REMEMBER… Your No.1 job as an interviewer is to listen and occasionally ask ‘probing’ questions to get more insight or to gently steer the conversation where you need it to go.
  19. 19. Here are some interview-worthy questions
  20. 20. Ask about motivations: What was going on that made you seek out our software?
  21. 21. Asking about problems & struggling moments: Tell me about when you were trying to write your business plan? What was that like?
  22. 22. Asking about the value they receive from your product: Exactly what does our software help you do?
  23. 23. But the most insightful responses — especially for copywriting and messaging — will often come from asking your customer how they feel.
  24. 24. What were you feeling while using the product? When you found our solution, how did that make you feel? What were you feeling when you decided to switch to us?
  25. 25. YES, these questions do sound a bit corny. However, they will help you get to the deeper emotional drivers behind why (and how) your customers buy.
  26. 26. Before you start asking questions, get familiar with these 2 big interview mistakes. (otherwise, you could influence the customer’s responses)
  27. 27. Asking leading questions: DON’T SAY: How angry were you when the app didn’t start up properly? DO SAY: What were you feeling when the app didn’t start up properly? MISTAKE #1
  28. 28. Asking ‘why’: Asking someone why they did something implies that there is a single right answer. Plus, dropping the ‘why’ bomb causes people to go into their rational mind. MISTAKE #2
  29. 29. “The rational mind needs to postulate an acceptable, rational good-sounding justification for their behavior, their thought or their perception.” Bob Rutter at Market Research Optimized
  30. 30. And that’s not what you want — you want raw insight into the emotions behind what your customers do. Not a rationalized answer.
  31. 31. Alright, so you’re ready for the call. Here are 3 ESSENTIAL TIPS for handling the interview
  32. 32. Build rapport and make them feel safe. TIP #1
  33. 33. Research shows that creating rapport with your interviewee is key to getting them to be comfortable enough with you to share their feelings. Here’s how to do it...
  34. 34. Make sure they know exactly what’s going to happen and why. Tell them how useful their insight will be and emphasize that everything they say is 100% anonymous.
  35. 35. Start with easy, fact-based questions. Doing this eases the customer into the interview. Afterwards, you can then watch for opportunities to build rapport. Here’s an example...
  36. 36. So you live in Jackson. You’re not too far from Yellowstone right? It’s about a two-hour drive. So not bad. Easy enough for a weekend trip Ah, that’s handy. I’ve always wanted to visit. You get out there much? AND SO ON….
  37. 37. Show genuine interest in what they have to say. Make them feel like they are an expert and you are privileged to speak with them — which is really the truth.
  38. 38. Be sure to use their name as much as possible — this helps to boost their ego and self-esteem, which will make them feel more confident opening up to you.
  39. 39. Match and Mirror how they speak. Research shows that when you mimic the mannerisms of the person you’re speaking to, there’s a greater chance of them liking you and feeling more comfortable around you.
  40. 40. But you have to do this in a very subtle way during an interview – match their energy level, the volume of their voice or the pace of their speech. Don’t be a total copycat.
  41. 41. Focus on ‘reflective listening’ , not questioning TIP #2
  42. 42. We’ve been socially conditioned to think of “listening” as a passive act with little or no effort required by the listener. That kind of mindset won’t help you in customer interviews.
  43. 43. A good reflective listener will occasionally paraphrase what the customer says during the interview, which shows they are making efforts to understand what the person is telling them. But be careful not to introduce your own ideas when doing this.
  44. 44. So if I understand you correctly, you had a hard time choosing what to buy because Product X and Product Y seemed to have the same exact features. Yeah, that’s right.
  45. 45. Probe to get deeper insights. TIP #3
  46. 46. Probing is key for getting at the deeper meaning behind what the person says. Often when you ask about someone’s emotions, they’ll provide a short, not- so-useful answer like: ‘I felt frustrated.’
  47. 47. Gentle probing helps you figure out what “frustrated” really means to that specific person in that specific context.
  48. 48. Try asking questions like: What makes you feel that way? You mentioned that you felt frustrated. Can you help me understand that better? Could you tell me more about your thinking on that? What were you feeling when that happened?
  49. 49. There are also more subtle ways to probe for deeper insights.
  50. 50. Ask for more specifics: If something the customer says stands out as unusually insightful, try to get a more specific description from them about the event. This helps ensure you’re really understanding the customer’s message.
  51. 51. I thought the app was really easy to use. What specifically made it easy to use? Just how the menus were always where I expected them to be. I hate wasting time trying to find what I want.
  52. 52. Embrace awkward silence: People are naturally inclined to fill long, awkward moments of silence with conversation. So they’ll start talking to relieve those awkward feelings.
  53. 53. A well-timed stretch of silence can result in the interviewee feeling compelled to yak on. And often, they’ll share some very emotional, off-the-cuff insight with you.
  54. 54. Use the ‘Echo Probe’ Simply repeat the last thing that the person said and encourage them to continue. They’ll likely keep providing more details about the topic. Here’s an example...
  55. 55. I fired up the program, but it just crashed on me. I kept messing with it until finally calling my buddy Jimmy over to help me out. Ok, so you called Jimmy over to help THAT’S IT! Cue the awkward silence
  56. 56. But what if your interview is bombing? You’re just not getting the kind of ultra-deep insights you want.
  57. 57. It’s likely because you haven’t established rapport with the customer yet.
  58. 58. So give the interview a re-boot.
  59. 59. Call it quits, say thanks for your time and start talking about something else. Then circle back around and say... “Hey, I just thought of something else I wanted to ask you” And then restate an old question in a different way.
  60. 60. The customer will be more at ease and (hopefully) more willing to chat about the way they feel.
  61. 61. Interviews aren’t a substitute for surveys, user testing or other more scalable forms of qualitative research. But the type of deep insights you get from talking to your customers often can’t be found anywhere else.
  62. 62. And that makes interviews something that no research tool can ever replace.
  63. 63. Then you’ll love what we have for you at the Good Funnel blog. In-depth content on customer research, copywriting & persuasion are just for starters. DID YOU FIND THIS DECK USEFUL? GET MORE IN-DEPTH MARKETING ADVICE