What questions you should and shouldn’t be asking during customer interviews

What questions you should and shouldn’t be asking during customer interviews

Interviews are great for getting deep, meaningful feedback from your customers. However, how do you conduct it? The last thing you want is to come across as a researcher asking generic and robotic questions. An in-depth unstructured interview is the solution. 

This style of interviewing is much more like a conversation. It’s casual and relaxed. You still need to get prepared and have the list of questions at the ready, but it is much less strict in its nature and you can feel free to sway off course as you please. Fluidity of conversation is key. 

However, it doesn’t mean this type of interview is easy to conduct. It can most certainly get to the emotional and psychological root better than others, but you still need to be careful. 

It is incredibly important to decide on the objectives and goals of the interview even before you start drafting it.  

When asking or drafting questions, make sure you’re not influencing the customer’s responses in any way. 

The factor with the largest negative impact on qualitative research is bias. 

Two most common mistakes when conducting the interview: 

  1. Asking leading questions

It is always nice to hear what you want to hear, but you need to be open minded when it comes to interviews. Asking leading questions will simply nullify the whole study and leave you with false data. Number 1 job of an interviewer is to listen. Let the customers do the talking and only ask probing questions. 

DON’T ASK: How happy were you when you experienced our service? 

DO ASK: How were you feeling about using our service? 

  1. Asking ‘why’:

Asking someone why they did something implies that there is a single right answer. It also causes people to start contemplating about what they should answer. 

That is not what you want. You want raw and unfiltered answers, which will provide you with the insight into your customers’ feelings and emotions about your brand. 

Remember, if you want people to give you honest answers, ask them honest questions.