Customer Discovery: Key Customer Interview Questions

If you're thinking about launching a new product or service, a critical first step is going through a customer discovery process. The process typically consists of deciding what problem you are solving for your customer, and then testing that out with potential customers. Creating a persona for the intended customer will allow you to begin generating a list of questions which can be used during customer interviews. Here are some sample interview questions to consider:

  • Demographics (be sure to gather data from customers that match your profile). Start looking for behavioral patterns based on demographic data.
  • Problems/challenges. Discover what challenges your potential customer is facing. What makes their job harder? What frustrates them? Who else shares these same problems? How are they trying to work around or solve these problems now?
  • Problem solving. Learn what would solve the problem for your potential customer. What solution are you looking for? If you could create a product/service to solve that problem, what would it look like?
  • Product testing. In some cases you may show your potential customer the new product or service. Now you can test for pricing, potential use and concerns. Does this solve your problem? What's missing? What is the buying process?

Additional methods to obtain customer data could include:

  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • In-depth Interviews
  • Usability testing (especially helpful for websites and apps)

Debra Power

Power Marketing Research, 804 Phoenix Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108