Seeking Customer Insights through Interviews: 10 Tips to Better Understand Your Customers by Talking With Them

Customer InsightsThe customer is always right. At least he used to be. These days, “customer service” can be synonymous with “rude,” “non-existent,” and “please hold for 45 minutes.” If you want your business to stand out from the pack, then it’s time you embraced customer insights.

Your greatest marketing analysis option is standing right in front of you — literally. Your customers are the people buying your products or services, so tap into their thoughts for critical information. So what exactly do you ask your shoppers to unlock the customer insights they’re hiding? We’ve compiled a list of 10 questions to ask, so you can better understand your clients.

  1. How did you first hear about us? Find out where the customer first learned of your company. From an ad, an online search, a friend, etc.
  2. Did you find what you are looking for? You may uncover some great customer insights from this one, specifically on various products you need to start ordering more of.
  3. Is there anything you wanted that we don’t have? Finding the latest trends can sometimes come straight from consumers. Unearth any new products or product lines that you currently aren’t carrying, and start investigating.
  4. Was our store organized and laid out in an easy-to-maneuver fashion? Discover shopping patterns based on the way people walk through your store. Additionally, you may get some further customer insights by hearing what they consider disorganized.
  5. What’s the one thing you really dislike about our store? Any answers that crop up numerous times are a red flag to be fixed ASAP.
  6. What stores do you shop at that are similar to ours? Finding out who your true competition is can definitely help you focus on overall business plans.
  7. Were our salespeople helpful and friendly? See if they notice the attitudes and behaviors of your sales reps. They’re the true face of your company so any customer insights in that area would be extremely beneficial to analyze.
  8. If you needed help, were you able to find someone quickly? Customers need to feel like they’re being taken care of and that they’re your most important client. The longer you keep them waiting, the more frustrated they’ll get.
  9. Have you ever had to return anything to our store? What did you think of the process? Customers will always remember their last visit, and if it was a negative one due to a customer service problem, you’ll want to rectify that immediately.
  10. Do you have any friends you’d recommend our store to? Find out how far your appeal reaches by gauging how many people will refer your business.

If you’re interested in conducting customer interviews or having your customer interviews transcribed, contact us to see how we can help.

2 Comments to Seeking Customer Insights through Interviews: 10 Tips to Better Understand Your Customers by Talking With Them

  1. Mary Kaplan's Gravatar Mary Kaplan
    December 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Customer is King still holds true today, even if some companies don’t seem to remember it. Zappo’s is a good example of a company that treats its customers extremely well, and their results show how powerful this can be. Your ten questions to ask customers are very good and will provide lots of insight into how to improve things or how to market things that you are doing well. Thanks for a good post!

  2. Irene Sanderson's Gravatar Irene Sanderson
    June 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    “Customer is always right. At least he used to be.” The second part of this really hits home for all of us in the service industry. How do we get back to “the customer is always right”? Knowing your customers and knowing how to give them great service shouldn’t be a 40 hour customer training course at a high profile company. Getting back to our instincts as basic human beings tells us that we want to be treated fairly and we should want to treat people fairly.

    Quoting the old book, “do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” It doesn’t matter whether your a business owner, manager, or employee every single one of us is a consumer, and every single one of us reacts the same way when we are treated poorly.

    I love your 10 questions. I’m amazed whenever I find companies that do not know their customers, and even more amazed at how many of them there are out there.

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