How To Conduct Thorough User Interviews


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I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work alongside products that have millions of users as a Product Manager at Kobe Digital Premium Services.

A position like mine at Kobe Digital demands a key principle: “Customer Obsession.” We create products that meet the needs of our customers and continually improve them.

Customers are one of the most satisfying parts of my job. I conduct one-on-one interviews with them. These interviews allow me to ask customers specific questions about how they use the products.

This information is for you whether you’re a product manager, a site owner, or someone looking to gain customer insight. 

1. Call us when it’s most convenient

When is the best time to reach users? This is the simple answer. You have a few options.

  • Talking with users early on about your product idea can help you get more inspiration. He showed me a solution he was using manually. I was inspired, and I automized it in a way that would make it useful for all of our users.
  • Your product has been developed. This feedback will help you avoid any unnecessary development.
  • Understand what’s most troubling to your users first and then develop your product quickly. 
  • After your product is available to users, this is an opportunity to review it and make corrections. You can also get feedback from users about its value.
  • You can speak to your users about unexpected interactions with your product.

2. Find and contact the right users

Ideal users can give you the best information about your product. They may be from multiple sources:

  • Customer base: If your customer base is already established, take a look at it to determine if any of the users have certain characteristics. What year did they first use your product? You could also ask them to buy a specific item that you are selling.
  • Check out social media accounts to see if there are negative comments. This will help you understand other perspectives and promote the company’s concern for its customers.
  • Customer service team: Ask your customer support team to suggest users who have used your product/service and were positively impacted.
  • Business intelligence data: This is the data that can be used to analyze user interactions with your products and services and determine if they are useful. You can also use this data to find unusual behavior and further investigate.
  • Global
  • Users of competitors: Although this is not an alternative to market analysis or competitor research, it can help you understand how people use similar products and services. This will allow you to improve.

3. Prepare before you talk

Being prepared can help you maximize your time. There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best out of every interaction.

  • Collect all information about the user.
  • You should make a list of the primary and secondary questions you want to ask. You will get the most value from the most important questions.
  • It is necessary to be able to record the user’s speech.
  • You should have screenshots of the product available to share. Make sure that they include the information the user requires.
  • Preparing to record: Be sure all technical components are available. You must also have permission from the user to record the conversation.

4. Schedule a conversation

Users should choose when they feel most comfortable speaking. This will make them more open to speaking with you.

Professional tip: It may be useful to add an internet-based scheduling program to an existing one. This will enable you to manage all of your meetings from one place.

05. Stick with your plan and set your goals

Both you and your interviewee need to have a meaningful conversation. This is how you make the most out of your time.

  • At the beginning of the conversation, introduce yourself to the user. Tell the user about yourself and the purpose of the conversation.
  • Ask questions that aren’t directly related to your main topic to keep the conversation casual and personal. Ask the user about their daily life, where they live, and what their favorite pastime is.
  • Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. Users who feel misled may have the worst experience for your company.
  • It is important not to expose sensitive information such as passwords or updates to company systems.
  • Ask the most important questions first. This will help you to fit them in the time frame you have.
  • Listen more than you talk: This is what it means to listen and to be respectful.
  • Asking yes or no questions is not a good idea. Asking open questions will help you gain more insight and allow you to better understand the feelings of the user.

6. Select your preferred contact method

I prefer to speak with users verbally rather than using messaging platforms such as email. While meeting face–to–face with users is better (and requires more planning and money), video and audio calls are free. 

7. Reward Program

Each user that you talk to has taken the time to get to know your company and given their time. This will allow you to surprise them and encourage you to speak with them again.

8. Continue the conversation

It is important to continue your conversation after the interview. Your ideal customers will be more likely to buy again and more.

Let me show you an example. After speaking with a customer about the product, I launched it. She was very happy to share her experience with me.

Customers will feel valued and appreciated when they are involved in the creation of your product. 

9. Talk about as often as you can 

This is something that I can’t stress enough about. Everybody who works on products or services needs to talk to customers at least twice a week. You will also be better equipped to make user-focused decisions. I have been able to see the different sides of my customers, sometimes even their personal needs.

10 Share this valuable information with your colleagues

My colleagues and I often share user conversations.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.