How to Find Respondents for Customer Interviews | Dashly Experience

Reading time: 09.12.2020
How to Find Respondents for Customer Interviews | Dashly Experience

Talking to real people is a never-fading source
of data and insights for making smarter business decisions.

How well do you know your customers? Are you sure that a new product/feature is in demand? I mean, the reality can be quite different from what you suggest. To make the right business decision, you need quality data. Dashly team prefers to collect it via interviews. 

Trying to check a product hypothesis, I just finalized a 10-day customer interviews project. But from the early start, I faced the problem: How to find the required amount of the right people who would agree to talk to me? Eventually, I’ve got valuable insights from 6 professionals. 

How did I find them? Easy and fast. It’s a valuable experience I want to share with you. See the step-by-step guide on how to find the right people for customer interviews in the article.

Customer interview is a data collection method that involves interacting personally with research subjects (respondents), asking them a set of questions to collect relevant information from them.

We had an idea…

that EdTech (education technology market) can be a new market segment for Dashly. Since one of our product jobs is a lead qualification, we wanted to know:

  • How EdTech companies determine that a prospect fits their ideal customer profile.
  • What problems they face in the lead qualification process.
  • How we should modify the product to solve their pains better.

So we needed to do market research and interview relevant people. 

Step #1 Create the portrait of your respondent

From the very beginning, we were clear about whom to invite for an interview. These are people involved in lead generation and qualification or know all the details of this process.

  • Role: CMO, Head of Marketing, Marketing manager 
  • Sales division: yes, more than 3
  • Industry: EdTech
  • Company-specific: active lead qualification process

But where to find them? 

Step #2 Set the goals

Typically, we use the potential of our customers’ database or rely on networking. Dashly has many friends who connected us with the right people for researches. But not this time. 

EdTech is uncharted territory. This project demanded interviewing new specific faces, people we haven’t even talked to. Previous channels we used to look for respondents didn’t match either the task or the project deadline. To confirm or deny the EdTech hypothesis I needed to do six interviews in 2 weeks. 

That was an issue because usually finding six respondents takes twice as long. But the things moved faster when my teammate advised me to try mass search methods ー interview services. User Interviews in particular. 

Customer Interview Tool

User Interviews is a service where you can recruit participants for user research. Just describe your target audience, and the system will find them automatically. All that you left to do is to approve the participants and conduct the interview.

Step #3 Define the budget

Time is money. A customer interview takes about an hour of someone’s day, and we were happy to compensate for that time. As I was looking for middle and senior professionals, I was ready to see $200+/hour rates.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a $50 recommendation:

Customer Interview tool price
You can check how much your interview will cost in the service calculator.

But the key thing I liked about this new service is the quality of respondents that perfectly fitted my requirements. 

Step #4 Qualify your potential interview participants

To pick up the relevant interviewers service asked me to outline my project:

Customer Interview project description

Then I created an invitation email:

Customer Interview invitation email
The system automatically sent it to the participants I approved

After setting this, the User Interviews service offers you to build the Screener Survey. I wrote five respondent qualification questions to define: who fits my ideal respondent portrait and who doesn’t:

The last step was to set up the time when I was available.

Customer Interview calendar
User Interviews has an easy-to-use calendar to set the availability time

Throughout that same day, I saw my first applications:

Customer Intrview respondents

All that I had to do is to evaluate their profiles and answers to the qualification questions. 

A short note. I was impressed with User Interviews support. The way they helped me to improve my screener:

User Interviews support advice

It helped to increase the number of relevant leads in my Recruit Participants list.

Step #5 Conduct the interview

So the participants are approved, the interviews are scheduled. Is that all?

A few organizational details left.

  • Where to meet? I prefer Zoom because I can easily synchronize it with the User Interviews service.  But you are free to choose any other options.
    Closer to the interview time, each of the participants gets an email reminder with the event details.  
  • What questions to ask? Dashly has a rich experience in Hallway Tests, so we adapted customer development interview questions for the EdTech market research.
30 Job To be Done Questions To Ask During Customer Interview

We’ve send the template link to your email address

The results

I discovered a set of connections between the respondents’ answers. Dashly team will use as a base for:

  • new product features development,
  • EdTech value proposition.

Talking to six respondents gave me valuable insights into our product development. Fast, affordable, and easy. I will continue using the User Interviews service to find the right people to talk to.

Now it’s your turn

There is a simple guide on how to find respondents for an interview:

  1. Set the goals (check the hypothesis, collect insights for an article, test new pricing, etc.)
  2. Create the portrait of your ideal respondents (where they work, role in the company, experience, age, etc.)
  3. Define the budget for interviews
  4. Register in the User Interviews service. It’s free
  5. Write the qualification questions for interview participants
  6. Create the invitation email copy
  7. Set up your availability in the calendar to schedule meetings
  8. Choose the call platform (Zoom, Google Meets, Skype, etc.)
  9. Check if the potential respondent fits your project requirements
  10. Interview

Just like I said, easy and fast. 

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