Customer Interview Script Generator

You're ready to interview customers, but you want some help figuring out...

What Should you Ask?

This interview script generator will get you started, including...
  • A well-tested 5-question interview script, customized for your interviews.
  • Hints about what to listen for during your interviews.
  • 6 bonus questions you can ask to fill in any blanks.

Here’s an example:

 

Custom Interview Script: Page 1Custom Interview Script: Page 2Custom Interview Script: Page 3

 

Use this template…

  • As a starting point. Add & edit questions as necessary.
  • As a place to store the notes from your interviews.
  • To share with your teammates so you’re all asking the same questions.

Let’s Create your Script

Fill out each of the fields below then click Generate Script.

Interview Script Generator

How to Use this Script

For more information on conducting interviews, check out my blog post, which also includes the video lesson below.

 

Blog Post: How to use the 5 Question Interview Script.

16 comments

    • Justin Wilcox

      Good question Mike.

      The idea is to loop the script multiple times with each customer, ideally illiciting 3 of the problems they’re currently trying to solve. Each “column” in the script equals an interaction so you’d start with the first column and then once you’ve finished it, you’d start again in the 2nd column. Once you finish the 2nd column, you move on to the 3rd.

      Not every question is meant to be repeated, so not every question has multiple columns.

      Let me know if that helps or not. If not, I’ll try to clarify further.

      Thanks again for the question,
      Justin

  1. Caique Severo

    Hi, Justin. Thank you very much for this tool. It is very well done and very helpful. I am trying to use it to understand my customer but I have a couple of doubts on how to manage the following situation:

    I am starting with very broad questions like “What’s the biggest challenge you are facing as a coach?”. People answer with issues that are not related at all with my solution.

    Should I keep asking the next questions on the script (“When was the last time you tried to solve that problem?”) to explore it deeper or should I move to iteration #2 so that I can narrow on the problem context I am trying to understand?

    I understand that if the problem I have hypothesized is not top of mind maybe I don’t have a problem important enough for customers to care. But sometimes people need more context to put things in perspective.

    For instance for the first question above, I usually get “I need more clients”. That’s obviously more important than the context I am trying to explore. Detailing that feels like a waste of time.

    Regards

    • Justin Wilcox

      Great question Caique – thanks for asking it. I know you’re not the only person that runs into this problem.

      The answer to your question can be found in the answer to another question:

      – “What’s more important to you: solving the problem the coaches you’re talking to are trying to solve, or solving the problem you want to solve?”

      In other words, are you more committed to serving coaches, or solving the problem you think coaches have? Either answer is fine, but the answer is important.

      If it’s more important that you solve the problem you want to solve, then you can actually skip to iteration #3 (the one where you ask them about the specific problem context you envision they are likely to encounter the problem you want to solve).

      If when you jump to iteration #3 and you find they still aren’t taking action to solve the problem you want to help them with, then you need to change who you’re talking to so that the first challenge the mention is the one you want to solve. If after multiple attempts you determine those people simply don’t exist, you are officially ahead of your time – and you best bet will be to pivot to another segment entirely, or solve the most interesting problem you heard during your interviews.

      If on the other hand serving coaches and solving their real problems is more interesting to you than solving a specific problem, then, do the entire interview script.

      The nice thing about the latter option is that you know there are Early Adopters for the problem, and clearly you know how to find them – the only question is are you passionate about solving their problems?

      Fwiw, I highly recommend you do the “Declaring Victory” Exercise from FOCUS – you can do a digital version for free here: http://TheFocusFramework.com. It will help you understand why you’re *really* starting a company, and in doing so will help answer the question above.

      If you decide to pick up a copy of FOCUS, I recommend you jump right into exercise #4 of the first workbook – it’s called where are your Early Adopters. It’s going to help you figure out where/how to find coaches that are most likely going to cite the problem you want to solve as their biggest challenge (assuming those people actually exist).

      Either way, wishing you all the best and keep us posted on your progress!

      All the best,
      Justin

  2. Isabel Osawaru

    Hi Justin… First of all I would like to commend you on this awesome video and also the fact that you take time to reply the comments. However, I am having a real big challenge preparing the questions. What I am trying to do is to develop partnerships between my organisation and another company and most of the time , the companies just ignore the proposals I drop in their office. So this time I really want to give them an offer they can’t say no to and I think the best way is knowing what they want. I would really love if you respond. Thanks
    Isabel

    • Justin Wilcox

      Thanks for the question Isabel. Something tells me the companies don’t respond because these proposals aren’t solving a problem a person within the company is actively trying to solve.

      First thing I would recommend is shift your thinking away from partnerships between your “organization and another company” because ultimately, B2B partnerships are made between your org and a “person” at another company. Start thinking about the role of the person who is currently looking to solve the problem you want to help them solve. Find the person who is trying to solve a problem, and you’ll find the person who will talk with you/read your proposal.

      If you haven’t already checked it out, the FOCUS Framework will be your friend here. In particular, the Customer Storming & Role-izing and the Adoption Behavior Curve will shine some light on your next steps.

      Best of luck!
      Justin

  3. Alexandre Tunnermann

    Hi Justin,

    The hypothesised problem is “providing alternative design furniture at a resonable price”. First it was and it still is a bit hard to fit the segment into a role – I don´t think they´ll call themselves furniture buyers.

    Is it ok/does it give an useful anwer the question “What is the hardest part about buying furniture?” (I found it easier using the “BUYING or DOING” instead of “BEING”.

    • Justin Wilcox

      Hi Alexandre, makes sense that would be a little awkward.

      I’m okay with you trying a “doing” as opposed to “being” language, but be aware as soon as you make that switch, you’re pointing your interviewee toward a set of problems that they may not be actively trying to solve. If you go this route, be sure to ask when the last time they tried to _solve_ any problem they mention. If it wasn’t w/n the last 6 months, be wary, they probably aren’t an early adopter for that problem (and thus you’ll want to avoid solving it for them).

      Justin

  4. eye2bee

    Very nice and easy to use guide! Are there any plans to do customerdevlabs in German? Did you ever get requests for this?

    • Justin Wilcox

      Thanks for the question. Every once in a while I get a request for translating my content, but it’s probably only once every couple months – not enough to make it worth the effort at this point.

      Justin

      • Thiago Villa

        Ha! Is it really? Thanks for answering man. I thought I’d lose a whole dimension on not interviewing face to face (like body language, subtle facial expressions, emotions bla bla bla). But then again, I either cross the country (in Brazil) or Skype through. Any tips or mistakes to avoid when Skype-interviewing?

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