Customer Interviews

Your Guide to Conducting Kick-Ass Customer Interviews

Customer interviews are probably the smartest content you can add to your website or blog. These interviews allow customers to tell your company’s story to prospects—and help guide and encourage those prospects to purchase.

If you aren’t already conducting customer interviews, now’s the time to start. In terms of value, they rank higher than a testimonial and are great for boosting your SEO.

There is, however, a big difference between creating a boring interview to slap onto your site and an exciting customer story that gets readers engaged with your brand. The key to bridging that gap is in how you approach your interview.

Luckily for you, I have some tricks to guide you on your way.

1: Treat every customer interview like it’s an epic story

Each and every one of your customers has a story—a story about you, your company, and their experience with your product or service. This story has a beginning, middle, and an end. It could be thrilling, it could be upsetting, or it could be really impactful. Your job is to find the most important aspect of that story and bring it to life.

1: Do your homework

Before you even schedule the interview, do some research and/or gather background information on your customer.

No matter what type of research you do, it’s important to look for patterns. If, for example, you decide to look into your customer’s past purchase behavior, and notice they only buy during the holiday season, you may want to consider sneaking in an interview question about the holidays.

2: Have a list of questions

Before any interview, I brainstorm a list of questions I’d like to ask. I write down every single question that pops into my head, no matter how ridiculous or half-baked. You can always edit later—and you always should—but it’s best to go in prepared with lots to talk about.

3: But don’t be totally married to your questions either

An interviewer must balance the fine line between free-flow conversation and structured interview. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when a conversation goes off topic—it could lead to new set of questions that you should absolutely ask. These questions could bring out a whole different side to the story you hadn’t thought about.

4: Make those connections

As you’re going through the interview, you’re going to play a game that combines listening, taking notes, and uncovering the most important thing the customer is trying to say. This is your interview’s theme or hook—the single idea that will tie the whole story together.

In a recent interview I conducted, I found that the entire story centered on the idea of a surprising a loved one—everything the customer said tied back to that single idea. This theme gave the story a sweet, emotional edge that resonated with the target audience.

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For those of you who conduct customer interviews on a regular basis, feel free to share a link to your best interview and tell us why you think it’s awesome!

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