How user interviews help you improve your customer journey
User interviews are the most powerful (and cheapest) way to improve your customer journey. You can learn directly from users about their experience with your brand or product to improve sales, marketing and their overall satisfaction. Having a customer journey map helps you understand how users interact with your brand. Once you’ve mapped it, you can start improving to drive better conversion and engagement.
Here are 11 tips on how you can use interviews to improve your customer journey.
Understand exactly the end goal of you users
Don’t look at a customer journey only as a sequence of actions. Think also of what is the goal your users have in mind when they start. In your user interviews aim at understanding the end goal beyond users’ actions. What users do (their Job-To-Be-Done ‘JTBD’) is always the surface of a problem they’re trying to solve or a gain they’re trying to accomplish. Go beyond the JTBD and get to the main problem users are trying to solve.
Once you get to the problem, understand why it’s a problem
Now that you’ve got to the problem of your users, don’t stop there. Don’t assume you know why that is a problem. In your users interviews you should learn why that problem matters to them. How their day/life is affected by it and how things will change if you remove that problem.
Pull, don’t push
We often do things without thinking about them. Even when the result matters to us. Help users reflect on the reason why they act. You should stimulate their thinking process, but not push your own ideas into them. Sometimes it’s good to ask for confirmation. You can use questions like “Okay, so if I hear you correctly, you mean x, y, z…?”. But don’t force respondents to answer with a yes or no to your own ideas.
Ask about a past experience
When we think of ourselves in the future we often have the tendency to imagine ourselves behaving differently (often better) than how we’ll actually behave. We all know that’s the case with diets, sports, etc. For your user interviews it’s more reliable to ask about a concrete experience in the past. “Can you tell me about the last time you did x, y, z…?”. Questions like this force users to reflect on how they really acted and make the data you collect more reliable.
You don’t have to convince anyone during your user interviews
If you’re testing a feature of your product or a solution you’re providing, try not to pitch your idea. You don’t want to persuade users that you’re offering something useful to them. Your task is to collect their genuine feedback so that you can learn from it.
Decide upfront how many users you need to interview
What’s the goal of your experiments? To test your user journey you want to collect the feedback of people who have had a significant experience with your product. So, for example, if you want to learn from users who bought your product from your web shop, you need to interview people who completed the purchase funnel. You don’t need many. For this kind of qualitative interview 8 people are a good sample.
Here you can read how many users you need for each experiment.
Build trust and avoid interrogations
To get genuine feedback users need to feel like they can open up. Be friendly and open during your user interviews. Let users talk by giving them space and showing interest. Avoid yes or no questions. Sometimes it’s also good to ask open-ended questions and let yourself be interrupted by the respondents. You want them to lead the conversation.
Learn about your users’ perspective
An important learning to improve your customer journey is to understand how your users feel at each step they take. Do they feel they know enough to confidently move on? Are they uncertain about what to do or what to expect? A feeling of uncertainty will reduce the conversion of each touch point and result in lower sales. As a business owner you obviously have the full picture in mind, but don’t forget that for users this may be the first time they land on your platform or website.
Get the context
The context is essential to understand how users interact with your brand. Good questions to ask during your user interviews are: “When do you use your product/service?” “Is it a specific moment of the day?” This may tell you a lot about how to simplify things for your users when you design your solution.
Measure the transformation
Have a way to measure how users start and finish their journey from a psychological perspective. A customer journey is a way for users to achieve a goal: how do they feel when they accomplish it? How did they feel before starting? Measuring this helps you to craft your brand promise and communicate your solution the right way.
Measure if you’re living up to the expectations
Your brand promise is what makes users come the first time. Your user experience is what makes them come back. In your user interviews measure the level of satisfaction of users after each interaction with the product or solution you provide. Satisfied customers will want to re-engage with your product.
These 11 tips will help you improve the way you conduct your user interviews. They will also help you focus the questions so that you can improve your customer journey. And lastly, don’t forget that talking to users is not something you do once and for all. To keep improving your offer it’s critical to learn from users at regular intervals.
Do you want to know more about how to conduct user interviews and what questions to ask? Read this post on how to get user interviews right from the start.