Discovery interviews are divergent, qualitative customer interviews that let you avoid errors of omission (failing to uncover unarticulated customer needs). This research—based on a survey of 397 New Product Blueprinting users from 64 companies covering over 1800 interviews—examines improvements in learners’ interviewing skills, customer reaction to interviews, and insights gained. Spoiler alert: These Discovery interviews provided much deeper understanding… and the information gained was both highly valuable and previously unknown.
To see how your company can ensure it understands all your customers’ needs—spoken and unspoken—download Discovery Interview Research Report.
Most new product failures stem from poor customer insight, and yet most companies spend only 10% of their project resources here. They rush to develop the right answers before they understand the right questions… the ones customers care about. As a result, new product failures average 75%. Discovery interviews—divergent, qualitative customer interviews for B2B—are the first step to correcting this problem. Product managers, innovators and marketers will benefit from understanding how to execute excellent qualitative Discovery Interviews.
Discovery interviews are qualitative customer interviews that seek to uncover all the customers’ desired outcomes. They are “divergent” in nature, with the interviewer asking customers questions such as, “What other problems are you seeing?” For this reason, Discovery interviewers help new-product teams avoid errors of omission… overlooking customer needs that otherwise might remain unaddressed.
After a round of these qualitative Discovery customer interviews is complete, quantitative, convergent Preference Interviews help the supplier select which of these outcomes to pursue. This avoids errors of commission, letting suppliers work on what customers want… not what suppliers think they want. This report covers Discovery interviews; a second report covers Preference Interviews.
Here’s what is included in this report: The Discovery interview online survey collected responses in three areas: skills developed, customer engagement, and insights gained:
Skills Developed: Most respondents agreed that the training helped them improve their listening, probing and interviewing skills while avoiding common missteps. While about three-quarters saw some improvement in their ability to set up Discovery interviews, further progress seems possible in these qualitative customer interviews.
Customer Engagement: Most respondents reported customers felt more “listened to,” enjoyed seeing Discovery interview notes digitally projected, and shared more openly than otherwise. Many reported these B2B qualitative customer interviews led to better relationships with customers. This is important because an engaged B2B interviewee is more likely to become a B2B customer when your new product is launched.
Insights Gained: A significant majority of respondents learned valuable information and gained a deeper level of understanding. They felt that letting the customer “lead” the Discovery interview was very helpful. 86% said the information learned in these qualitative customer interviews was “unexpected” at some level. And this may be the most important finding: Errors of omission are being reduced as a great deal of otherwise unexpected and unknown information is uncovered.