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Where to start with everyday customer interviews

Where to start with everyday customer interviews?

This is for all the people that never did true customer research but would like to have the benefits. To everyone who wants to build an amazing product but doesn’t know where to start. And to all the people that don’t have the money to hire professionals for the job. This is everyday customer interviews 101.

Customer research is important. The customer buys the product but only if it creates progress he desires. We can build products to satisfy our own needs but then we are the only customer. But doing good customer research requires a lot of skill. Either we have the skill or we need to hire someone, who has it. That’s why customer research is skipped more often then it should be. When we have neither the skill nor the budget. Or we simply don’t want to talk to our customers. 

This is where everyday customer interviews come into play.

What is an everyday customer interview?

As the name suggests, it is a customer interview that we can do everyday. With random people that we talk to anyways. People that aren’t our customer. But they are someones customer. So the stakes are low. There is nothing to loose. But a lot to gain.

I was sitting at my barber shop the other day. While it is a small barbershop they have a lot of different people working there. Even after years of going there I meet new employees that have worked there for years but never when I was there. I asked him when he started? Why he chose to work for this barber shop? Where he worked before? Why he switched? And so on.

He told me, that he switched because a lot of his friends are working there. He likes the colleagues. He left the old barbershop because that was where he learned the trade. And they still treated him like a trainee. In the new one he can choose his vacation freely and even take two month of vacation. That’s why he didn’t mind earning less in the new barbershop then in the old one.

To me, this means nothing. But if you own a barbershop, this is valuable information. How can you get people to happily work for you, even if you pay them less then the competition.

Why should I do this?

We often think, that we will do the things when we feel ready for them. The reverse is true. We feel ready for the things we have done before. Everyday customer interviews gives us confidence in talking to our customers. And they let you learn the technique in a fault tolerant environment. In the interview with the barber, I was surprised multiple times. He told me, that he has always lived in the same city and didn’t want to live somewhere else. I would not have expected vacation to be that important to him. I also had to make the interview feel like a natural talk. Interviews should leave the interviewed person well entertained. 

And the good thing is that you can do them at any time. I even did one once with a paramedic on my way to the hospital with a broken arm. I now know why he became a paramedic. Although it was probably not my best interview. But it doesn’t matter.

If you interview customers in every situation you will be ready to interview your own. And then you can build on those findings. It is a great way to start.

And if you want to upgrade your skills and framework later one, you have one piece of the puzzle ready

Want to learn more about how to do customer research?

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