30 Days of Product Management Genius with Michael Sacca | Know Your Customers Better Than They Do with Customer Interview Best Practices

Aero Wong
Aero Wong
Dec 8, 2017 · 3 min read
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“What’s your long-term career goal?” the CEO asked.

“I don’t have a long-term goal, yet.” I was answering a question in the final interview for a Product position. “But I have one for the short-term: become a Product Manager.”

“Okay. We’ll see,” he replied, ending the interview. Three days later, I landed the job. I was going to facilitate a product powered by cutting-edge technology that I barely knew. Besides being in over my head with the technology, I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do as a Product Manager!

I didn’t know how to achieve my goal: I didn’t just want to survive as a Product Manager, I wanted to thrive! I was nervous, but my desire to learn helped me focus on my next steps. I hired a researcher to provide me with all the information and online tutorials I needed to learn about Product Management, and I acquired a list of thought leaders in this domain.

A week later, I was like a piranha swimming in the ocean of knowledge. Tapping into all the genius of those who came before me, soaking up all of their combined wisdom, I quickly learned as much as I could and applied this to my new job. Senior Management was amazed by my acumen and Product Management skills.

Michael Sacca is a Product Management genius who contributed to my PM success.

Know Your Customers Better Than They Do with Customer Interview Best Practices

If someone in my company comes to me with a feature request, I will always ask them three questions:

  • What problem are we solving?
  • Who are we solving it for?
  • Why do they need it solved?

Sometimes product managers fall in love with problems instead of solutions. Sometimes we have to stop building and start listening, as Sacca says in How We Rode 167 Customer Interviews to Validate a Launch.

I learned long ago that the best way to ensure my customers are satisfied with my product is to meet with my customers. I ask a lot of questions. Some of them are great. Some might be silly. But in the end, I understand their needs much better, and they know they have my investment in them.

Because that’s the only way to get genuine customer feedback.

Once I step in the door, I listen to their problems instead of trying to pitch a sales or tech solution to them. I let them complain, say and do whatever they want. But sometimes they challenge my assumptions and force me to consider features I wouldn’t normally need to build.

Are you a Product Manager? Are you hungry for more practical and actionable PM knowledge you can apply on your job?

Michael Sacca is a speaker in the Product Manager Summit: The first FREE Web Conference showcasing Product Management best practices from around the world.

His topic will be How to Know Your Customers Better Than They Do with Customer Interview Best Practices.

You don’t want to miss this. Claim your free ticket.

Product Quest

The Story of Product Baby Chasing Product Wisdom to Thrive…

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