Product Gym FAQs | How Do Product Managers Interview Customers?

how do product managers interview customers

Product Gym FAQs is a series of the most frequently asked questions here at Product Gym from members to professional Product Managers. In this part of the series, we gather answers regarding how Product Managers interview customers.

Many people ask Product Managers a variety of questions pertaining to their role in the business and technological world. Due to the vast differences between one Product Manager to another, the answers may come in varying responses. One such question would be: “How do Product Managers interview customers?”

Here at Product Gym, we had a few of our instructors and coaches answer the question. 

How Product Managers Interview Customers: A

“I make sure to set a relaxed tone and reinforce that I am there to listen and help make our product or service better. I communicate that I am not there to pitch or sell the product but instead looking for their insights and advice. I use my scripted questions as a baseline but let the conversation flow and allow the customer to express their needs that could possibly turn into insights.”

What Common Questions Do You Ask?

“First, I state the problem to validate with the customer. Then, I validate the solution being considered.”

Some questions that can be asked are:

  • What are the needs that prompted you to use/purchase this product/service?
  • Can you walk me through how you decided to purchase?
  • How do you use the product?
  • What does the current product lack?

What Is the Process?

“I do pre-planning on identifying potential contacts who represent that customer segment. I sit down face-to-face (or video chat) with these potential customers to get the richest data experience. I look for pain points, patterns, sizing up the market opportunity, and identify potential competition along the way.”  

How Product Managers Interview Customers: B

“Generally, I like to make a social call and ask open-ended questions around activity surrounding the product or feature usage.”

What Do You Generally Look For?

  • Context – “What are you usually doing when you decide to do X?”
  • Emotion –  “How does this particular problem affect your mood or ability to get your work done?”
  • Ingenuity – “How do you usually solve this problem with the tools you have?”

“Question commonality tends to be more categorical—there are a set of assumptions that need to be validated based on whether you are looking to enter a new market, create a new product, or improve existing features.”

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