Build Relationships with Your Customers
...Not Databases About Them

Customer Interview Workshop

An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Customer Integration

How to Connect with Customers as People

This 1-day interactive workshop introduces skills and processes that enable people in your business to relate with people in your customers' businesses to co-create value.

Develop Your Skills Through Coaching and Practice

Developing your interview skills requires practice and coaching in real interviews. Think of it this way. You could learn a lot about flying an airplane in a 1-day workshop. The experience could even include some "hands-on" time in a flight simulator. But that would not be sufficient to make you a skilled pilot. For that you would need some significant "dual time" with a qualified instructor, and a lot of solo training time with occasional reviews by the instructor. You would then be ready to try for your license to fly. An old adage in the flying world also applies here: Your pilot's license is your license to learn.

Workshop Mission

Learn, Unite, Win

This workshop was developed by DeltaNet's Founders as a component of DeltaNet's Customer Relationships Program to help clients build winning businesses. The founders have combined their skills and experience in social psychology and business management with their decades-long cross-cultural life styles to create DeltaNet's Programs and the features of this workshop. With practice and coaching, participants will help their businesses to remove many conventional barriers to winning in business by:

Most Conventional Methods Don't Work

Customers are Human Beings, Not Databases

The mission of most conventional customer research methods is to gather "customer data" and to reduce the data using repeatable statistical analyses. Customers are treated as databases. But customers are people, not databases. People have many, many reasons for answering your questions. Providing full and accurate responses is probably not at the top of their priority list.

Questionnaires Don't Work.

The developer of the questionnaire selects the topics and sets the importance scale to reflect the priorities of the business. It would only be an accident if that internally conceived scale of importance even remotely resembled the customers' priorities.

Direct Questions Don't Work

Most customers will answer direct questions, whether they actually know the answer or not. If they have had a bad experience with your company or its products, or if they simply woke up in a bad mood, they may even try to be deceptive. It's not easy to detect factors like that, especially if you like the answers.

Focus Groups Don't Work

Focus groups put people who most likely will never interact with each other again into a setting in which they play off of each others' ideas. There is no useful, established connection between their opinions and behaviors in the focus group and their opinions and behaviors when they return to their real worlds, when they see your future products, or when they are shopping to buy products like yours.

This Method Does Work

This workshop introduces a method designed to take advantage of the well-researched motivators of human behavior, rather than trying to screen them out. It is based on face-to-face, interactive meetings in the customers' facility, using small cross-functional interview teams.

Here is a summary of the basic features.

Selecting Interview Subjects

Representing Your Target Markets

This may seem obvious, but we see this decision far to often treated far too lightly, ignored altogether, or decided using unchallenged assumptions.

Appropriate to Your Mission

If your mission is to find new customers for current products, to create new products, or to create new businesses, interviewing current customers and prospects may not be appropriate.

Appropriate to the Current Stage of Your Project

The people you would choose for customer interviews could or should be different for each stage of your project. Here are some simple examples, based on typical concurrent engineering stages:

Interviewing in Teams

Learn to conduct interviews in cross-functional teams of three. The diversity of perspectives provides far more learning during this very short window of time in the lives of the customers. But equally important, the learnings will be much more effectively dispersed into the different stakeholder groups represented by the interview team members who are also members of those stakeholder groups.

To guard against confusing the customers with a three person interview team, each member assumes a different specific primary role:

Understand the Customers' Feelings, Actions, and Beliefs

Learn and practice techniques to understand the customers' beliefs. Develop an awareness of how those beliefs are likely to affect the customers' future behaviors, e.g when your new products are launched.

Put Ingroup/Outgroup Bias to Work for You

Don't try to screen this out. Put this powerful motivator to work for you. It will ensure the quality and fullness of the information you collect, and it will erect a barrier between this customer and your competitors.

The Five Stages of Effective Customer Visits

Learn to use these five stages of an effective customer interview. Like the military process; ready, aim, fire, every step must be completed proficiently and in the right order for a successful outcome.

Get More Information

To learn more about our Customer Interview Workshop, or to arrange an in-house workshop,
please go to Contact DeltaNet and use any of the methods listed there to reach us.