Episode 130: How to Interview Customers, with Ryan Gibson

We spend a lot of time demonstrating who our company is built around. We leave an open chair for them in board meetings. We put notices on the footer of our website, We provide automated feedback mechanisms so we can gauge how they feel, and when we hold in-person events or trade shows where they appear, we make every effort to give them swag and confirm their upcoming purchase plans (hopefully, buying from us). I’m talking about customers, of course, and though we do all these things, there seems to be one thing we dance around; the one simple  activity that could give the most intelligence –  talking to them. 

I’m not saying we don’t talk to customers. But most of that talk is anecdotal. I don’t know about you, but as a marketer, I wouldn’t go to the C-suite and defend a marketing program and budget based on a customer’s anecdotal comment. 

But done in the right way, that’s systematic and that follows qualitative Research principles, talking to customers can take the pulse of our market. We can analyze their experiences, making those findings available,  doing it in a way that would not only stand up to any Executive’s scrutiny, they’d insist on basing more corporate decisions on this information. 

Over his 20 years in marketing. Ryan Gibson has worked with dozens of businesses overseeing programs from the bootstrapped variety, on up to million-dollar budget variety.  

Using skills he got early in his career he worked in TV & Radio and film, doing a stint as reporter for Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC, which got him so used to interviewing, he kept doing it and figures that he’s now conducted over 1800 of them

He now heads up Content Lift, a Marketing Strategy consultancy centred around Customer Research. 

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Ryan is prolific on LinkedIn 

Ryan’s How to Run Customer Interviews course

Related show: “Lean B2B” with Etienne Garbugli

Wynter online panel

Respondent software

As you interview, pretend you’re detective Columbo

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