Collecting and Sharing Interviews Online
Do you know how to talk with your customers?
Without a plan, an interview can take hours of a very interesting conversation, but not always very productive. Even with a plan, customers normally drive us very quick towards unexpected directions. The Cust Dev Interviews is an online tool to help us keep focused, avoid leading the conversation and be very objective while interviewing our customers. Follow this framework if you’d like to do Customer Development easier and cheaper. It is an efficient way to interview your customers and build the best solution that they are ready to pay for.
“At the end of the interviews, I felt like I don’t have an open door to continue the conversation. It’s like “thanks. good luck!” and then I don’t know what to do to fix that. And I also often forgot to ask for more referrals at the end.” – from an entrepreneur before applying CustDevInterviews
“I would be able to identify ideal customers and work with my development team to create an ideal product to meet my customers needs.” – from a CustDevInterviews user
“Your clients can let you know what they need and how they wanted so you can develop a better solution for them. (…) Know what my customers think about the solutions I provide. (…) A very user-friendly form to my customers about the solutions I’m providing.” – from a CustDevInterviews user
“I would like to define the questions to ask to an interviewee, and to get to the mvp features just previous to start developing.” – from a CustDevInterviews user
“A must have solution will help me to create a customer development process that will give good and clear answers from clients so my team can iterate on the product to create a must have product.” – from a CustDevInterviews user
Why online forms for interviews?
Almost all entrepreneurs interview customers asking questions about their solutions or about their brilliant ideas and just expect people to confirm their opinions. I wasn’t different… People normally just confirm our strong opinions because they are polite and don’t want us to feel unconfortable in front of them. Most customers that are saying they like our solutions are not going to use them.
As soon I started asking customers about their problems, their goals and their main activities, the interview’s results start making much more sense. But to the other side, interviews started getting too interesting and taking more than one hour long. Customers love talking about their problems and entrepreneurs love to hear from them.
Even when we have a well defined plan for the interviews, customers always drive us in surprising directions, and plans normally get lost in the first minutes of interesting conversations. Looking back to all the notes and video recorded interviews that I have on my computer I realized I learned a lot, but extract actionable data out of them became very difficult.
Observe in this video the amount of notes we are normally able to write down while having to pay attention to the interviewees when they talk about very important things like their main pain points.
Observe the amount of information the attendee wrote on the online form while explaining to us the same pain points he had described before.
The CustDevInterviews questionnaires are an extremely productive plan for customers interviews that doesn’t get lost on the way. They are supposed to be filled out by the customers with the entrepreneur on their shoulders following up with upcoming questions. The forms are not just random online surveys because the in-person insights that you are going to have are even more important then the data you are going to collect. Also the eye-to-eye interview is a great opportunity to start building trust with a potencial early adopter. Customers don’t mind typing their answers in the computer, and nobody can manually take all the amazing notes that customers can type for us directly.
The questions are open ended and don’t lead the customers into the entrepreneur’s ideas. Customers nail down honest and relevant answers in minutes and actionable data are automatically generated.
Also, the web cloud format for the questionnaires allows founders to easily share their progress with mentors and with other co-founders. Collecting your interviews online will be much easier to discuss with your team and receive advice from your mentors.