How to Conduct Customer Interviews Remotely - Product Management Hack

Product managers spend hours on customer interviews. Instead we've seen this incredible remote customer interview hack skyrocket efficiency

Customer Interview


Customer interview is a self-explanatory word. It is a process of interviewing your customer. Customer interviews are the most common methodology for getting the voice of the customer (VOC). The interview need not be more formal and even very long.  Interviews can be either executed by one to one conversion or performed with a small group of individuals from a similar business.  


The interview provides a chance of getting in-depth knowledge from the clients about the application. It is an opportunity for business to know how your clients interact with your product or brand each day. Let’s dive into deeper insights about the client interviews in this article.


Reason Why We Need to Do Client Interviews


Business understands the prospects best, and user difficulties and motivations will have better success. If the user is excited to utilize the application, they will automatically recommend the product or service to their family and friends. So that client interview plays a crucial role in the improvement of the development and business success. 


Interviewing the clients will be the basis for making smarter decisions on the business. From the client's valuable input, you can resolve distinct usability issues and get better ideas from the user base to improve and invest in new products. 


Even though it might take a lot of preparation work to begin the client interviews, you can use it repeatedly once you’ve formulated the strategy. A regular interview process is vital if you want to iterate on your product and services rapidly.


Do’s and Don'ts for Effective Customer Interviews


Following are the key points you have to keep in mind while performing client interview:

  • Concentrate on the subjects that allow you to validate the user problems—for example: who faced the difficulty and how the client overcame it. 
  • Develop a question that supports gathering relevant and quantitative data that can be used for later testing. Try to exclude queries that lead to speculative answers.
  • Prepare a set of questions to get a better understanding of the client's behaviors. You can uncover valuable information like how a client thinks about the issue you hadn't considered from these questions.
  • Have open-ended questions on the interview, which will create space to know and not to assume.  You can uncover the valuable inputs from the client through their feedback. 
  • Summarize the interview with the sentences like  Is my understanding is right etc. use the language to ensure that you are genuinely listening to the voice of the customer's voice. This will induce the clients for more discussion, and you can get more clarification from the client's point of view.  
  • End every conversation with a question like, "who else can you interview". This is a brilliant method to catch more direct users from people who work in the business. This kind of question will create opportunities for more discussion with the end-users.  For instance, if you are interviewing the VP of business development, you can get more valuable insight from the project managers. 


It’s most desirable to avoid the following kinds of questions during customer interviews.

  • Avoid initiating the discussion about the technology and solution at the initial stage of the conversation. 
  • If you are not interested in discussing the pricing, never ask whether your product is expensive. Avoid discussing the pricing and budget. Discuss the operations and efficiency of the application with the client.
  • Avoid discussion about the sign-ups and non-disclosure agreements with the interview.
  • Avoid closed-ended questions. Instead of predefined answers, encourage the prospects to explain their error or difficulty on the product in detail. 


Open-Ended Interview Questions for Customer 


Open-ended questions are common types of queries for interviews. Here are the open-ended you have to include in your client interviews. Ask a few of the following questions to make a variation in the features you decide to incorporate on your product roadmap.



"Why" is the most powerful question that you can often ask with your user. By asking "Why" as a follow-up, you will get enlightening answers and get the crux for the errors. With these queries, you can uncover a more vital value suggestion for the product.


What's your view about the application/website?

These are another great way to kick start your interview, and this will provide you the customer’s thoughts and experience with the apparition. It is a great way to validate the app's particular elements and even encourage you to discover new features. 


How can we enhance the product/service?

When you ask these queries, the customer will begin sharing the current version of the application's pitfalls and will focus less on what they like on the products. These valuable inputs help you in further product development before the next version updates. 

How do you today?

Ask the users how they have done the particular feature today? Rather than asking about the feature request, you can understand how the user is accomplishing the task today. 

Answers to these queries will show how the user utilizes the current application. This questioning will be valuable for the product plan when we talked with the project manager to see how they were building and imparting their product roadmap.


How would you recognize your business effectiveness Day/Month/Year?

From the valuable inquiries, you will get to know the user goals and find how your product will help achieve the client's goal and success. If it meets the client's goal means it shows how valuable a product is developed. 


What do you feel about the current solution?

It is one of the opportunities questions that explain to the user how the product is distinct from the competitor's solution. Do follow-ups inquiries like What is the best about your current product? It will help you to identify where the current solution is performing best. These queries will explore possibilities and motivate the client's choice, and it is not for judging the client's current solution.


What is the most frustrating part of your current solution?

It is an open-end and multipurpose question to initiate the conversation and identify the clients' difficulties and endeavor points. If your solution resolves the user's current problem, it will be a valuable enough solution for your target users.


How would your job or task change if you had this solution?

The inquiries can vary based on the situation and the product. But the queries with the client will provide you knowledge of how your product/solution is solving the client's problems and what kind of significant value a client would put on tackling that specific issue.


Can you provide me an example?

This extraordinary useful inquiry can give you a goldmine of supporting proof for your new product and feature highlights. In interviews, especially for early-stage market validation, conversations can be easy to stay high level. 

Requesting an example tells your interviewee that you are happy to jump into the details, which will give you more data than significant level conversation.


If the solution is accessible today, would you purchase/use it?

This inquiry may not bring about an exact answer (Sometimes, the answers will be false positives). Once you have completed asking the question, be quiet and listen to the client's response for nearly 60 sec, and it will give you knowledge into their choice and the worth they put on your product and your feature highlight. To ensure follow-up with the inquiries like Would you like to proceed with the buying process? 


Would you suggest/recommend our product to others?

It can be a warm-up question. From this, you can understand your product's satisfaction level through this set of inquiries and then proceed with the follow-up inquiries.


Essential Steps for Conducting an Effective Customer Interview

Here are the five crucial step for conduction interviewing customers interview 


Step 1: Articulate the primary goal and Classify the problem that you want to learn.

Identifying the user's roadblocks prevents the user from completing the end goal (Example: Making a purchase). You can locate the most significant problems, and it is more important to choose the prospecting problem you want to investigate in detail. Once you finger out the client problems, the business needs to solve them.


Step 2: Find people

Target the interview with the hustle & sell method, which will generate more immediate results than a general survey on your website, Facebook page, and more. Consider social media platforms to connect with the individuals who were more active in discussions. You can directly discuss with your targeted audience and inform them you need only ask them for a 5-10 min for discussion this will increase response rates. 


Step 3: Figure out what you are going to discuss in the interview.

Before interviewing the clients, prepare the interview script and get to know how much time you will spend for each client interview. Extended interviews will annoy and make your client unresponsive, so set a timeframe for the interview and stick to it. 


Determine the interview mode it can be either an in-person meeting, call, or a virtual interview (through Skype, Google meetings, etc.)


Decide the roles. You can invite your team members who can interact with the client to get more customer discovery or insights. Before starting, make sure who is responsible for conducting interviews and who is accountable for note-taking and reporting. It is better to work with a team.


Step 4: Framework the Interview


Make sure what to discuss in the early part, the key questions to be addressed. Make the two-way interview conversation. Wrap it up with the suggestion and improvements and finally summarise the findings from the interview. It is another excellent way to get honest and valuable feedback.


Once you imagine a scenario, try to utilize the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to concisely structure your answer that makes your achievements clear to an interviewer.


Step 5: Debrief with the team and ensure the to implement the captured thoughts


The information you have gathered from your clients has to improve your product or service that you provide. By the interview, you will understand and make your product the best viable. What product features matter and which don’t work for the prospects and discuss how to make improvements. 


Ensure the product will satisfy the clients, and it has to be worth for the money customer to invest. So that you can make your product successful and gain more customer loyalty. 




Final Thoughts 


You might want to give try on the above techniques. Try the above few questions with prospects on your next interviews. The best practices will result in impactful customer interviews. The above set of queries is also best suitable for new product development and works well for the ongoing feature developments. It is not just great questions to be asked during client interviews, but it is equally essential to closely listen to the user and ask a follow-up question to understand them better. 


Recently, the concept of doing customer development interviews getting more popularized. If you are more interested in potential customer feedback or interview, check out our tool BugReporting. You can have open-end questions to the prospects and get their opinion in the form of a screen recording or video recording. The user annotating or telling a story will help you better understand the prospect's obstacles on the application, and you can make an immediate fix for the error. This will improve retention, client relationship, and satisfaction.