How to ask the right questions during a user interview
July 30, 2018
July 30, 2018
One of the biggest tools a product manager has to build a better product is to complete user interviews to hear directly from the source about how the product is working for them, if they are seeing any issues or opportunities or changes in the industry that the product should be prepared for. When you complete a user interview, you need to always remember that your customer is going out of their way to help you and in order to show the respect they deserve, you need to be fully prepared for the interview with questions ready to go to make the most out of everyone’s time.
Here are 6 questions that you should plan to ask during a user interview in order to ensure you are getting the most from the customer feedback loop:
1. What are the biggest problems you are facing? What impact do these problems have?
Your product is there to solve a problem a customer is facing. You provide a value by either making the use case more efficient, cheaper or added features to the flow. You need to ensure you understand the problems your market segment faces, and ensure you are solving them.
2. What problems does our product solve for you?
Customers pay for value added and you need to be one hundred percent confident you understand the specific value point you are providing. To convert a trial into a paying customer or to get an lead to become a customer requires getting a user to a point where they see value in your product. The quicker the value point can be achieved the quicker you will see the conversion. The more you understand the problems you solve, the more you should on board users to accomplish that value point and focus your product development to streamline that setup.
3. What are the reasons that led you to buy our product?
The reality is you have competition with other tools and the more you can understand specifically the differentiator you have that is converting users to paying the more you can drive your product roadmap in that direction. All teams are limited by resources. Focus in on what is making customers move forward with your product and drive user interviews to acquire this knowledge first hand.
4. What do you like most about our product?
This open ended question let’s you hear about your strengths and ensure your marketing messages line up with what your users are actually getting out of your product.
5. What do you like least about our product?
A large part of product management is not patting yourself on the back for what you have accomplished or what you do well but focusing on your product weakness and learning how to make it better. By understanding the user perception of your weaknesses you can take a deeper dive into understand what you need to do to make it better. Often you do not hear from leads that do not convert on why they did not decide your product was the way to go. By hearing from your users about what they see as your weakness, you can assume these reasons are scaring off new leads as well.
6. If you could change one thing about our product, what would it be?
This classic question makes the cut because every product has an annoying aspect about it which users talk about or quietly roll their eyes about. It could be the user interface is clunky, a feature is not fully complete or the product needs an additional feature. While users can often give you lists of changes they would like, hearing the one thing they could change helps you really pin down the largest pain point for that user and ensure that gets escalated especially as you hear the same feedback across multiple interviews.
Always remember that once you have customers, you should stop guessing about what to build next. Create feedback loops with your end users to get their feedback on how the interactions they have with your product are going. Find out what is working and what needs more work and ensure your product roadmap is updated to reflect the feedback. Most importantly, be sure to close the feedback loop after a user interview to let them know about the changes they recommended and where the suggestions land as far as making it to your product roadmap or if not, why to ensure they help you again in the future.