All the Resources You Need to Master Customer Interviews

We recently launched Nucleus in public beta. At Nucleus, we do fast iterations. And the best way to iterate is to ship fast and get early feedback.

We have implemented loads of awesome analytics tools in our product. But there is no substitute for getting deep insights by directly talking to our users. You’ve probably heard of Steve Blank comment

“There are no facts inside your building.” So, you need to get out and talk to customers.

This is a great advice but knowing where to start can be a little difficult. What questions do you ask? What questions to avoid? And what do you do with all the answers you receive?

As we’re going through this process, I’ve compiled a list of resources to help you get started. Effective customer interviews are vital for product development. I hope these resources help to nail your next customer interviews.

How to Find Customers to Interview

We know we need to “get out of the building”, but where do we go? If you have a working product, you start with existing users. If you’re in ideation phase, you need to first define the customer persona.

The process of finding customers to interview is a preview of what it’ll take to sell to your customers. You may need to stand out on the street, do cold emails, create meetups. There is no silver bullet, tactics like these can work depending on your idea and market. Even for good channels, a 10–20% response rate is normal, so don’t get discouraged. Here are some resources to help you find customers to interview.

  1. Getting Customer Interviews with Cold Emails

2. 95 Ways to Find Your First Customers for Customer Development and Sales

3. How to Find Customers to Interview

Interviewing Customers

The first rule of user research: never ask anyone what they want.
— Erika Hall, Just Enough Research

The key to doing effective customer interviews is to ask the right questions and avoid leading questions. For example, “Would you use this product” or “How much would you pay for it” are actually not that important.

Here are some good resources that will help you come up with the what questions to ask and what questions to avoid.

These are just some of my favorites but you can find more here.

Book Suggestions

If you’re still curious and want to learn more, I’ve few books to suggest.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany - A great read for current and aspiring entrepreneurs by Steve Blank.

The Startup Owner’s Manual - The other book written by Steve Blank. A good book to read after you’ve read the first one.

The Lean Startup - A good compliment to Four Steps to the Epiphany by Eric Rees, pioneer of the Lean Startup movement.

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development — A book by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits — well versed in customer development.

The Lean Entrepreneur — The other book by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits

You can find more customer development related book here.

That’s all!

Effective customer interviews are an important skill to develop as you build and iterate your product. I hope you’ll put these resources to use and master your next customer interview.

Happy learning!

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