A Simple Customer Interview

It goes without saying: Getting early product feedback is an imperative for any successful startup and if you’re not doing this then I can say with confidence that you’re headed in the wrong direction.

But early product feedback can take many different forms and sometimes it means that we’re sitting down with an early alpha tester and watching them walk through an early version and sometimes it means having a simple chat about what their current frustrations are and the pain points that they feel in the environments in which they work.

We’re doing both and as we engage with those that are motivated to sign-up to our Early Alpha Testers: Some we sit down with and some we connect via the phone (or Skype, Google Hangout) and ask them a series of questions which we’ve formatted in such a way that we can easily calibrate / compare the responses.

Our simple template.

And, if you’re curious, here are the questions that we’re (currently) asking folks that want to have a quick chat:

  1. Company Name
  2. Engineering Team Size
  3. Annual Budget
  4. Dev Environment
  5. Current Sources of Truth
  6. Current Pain Points
  7. Ideal Wants (Magic Wand)
  8. Pricing Feedback
  9. Other Comments

Getting through these questions isn’t difficult and you can easily accomplish these things in 30 minutes or less.

On occasion I’ll share a few screenshots if it makes sense to give a bit of context for what we’re building as most of the folks are naturally interested in seeing something (and we can’t guarantee that any of them have been following the blog and the screenshots that we share publicly).

When we triangulate these pieces of over-the-phone feedback and insights with our live demos we’re naturally creating a rich ecosystem of data for our internal conversations that ultimately influence and impact our product decisions.

Again, these interviews do not have to be complex nor do they have to be exceedingly clever, which is what I’ve found many people do. We just need simple and honest conversations with folks who have pain that needs serious relief.

Besides, isn’t that what a good product does well?