B2B Organic Growth Series: Chapter #31

Conduct virtual customer interviews

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Sure, in-person interviews are the gold standard… but “virtual VOC” has surprising advantages. Blend in-person and web-conference interviews to optimize effectiveness and efficiency.
b2bgrowth.video/31 Video length [2:38]

Transcript of Chapter 31

So, do you need to get on a plane to conduct customer interviews? No, you can use a web-conference.

Which is better… in-person voice of customer or virtual? If you’re comparing a couple of 2 hour interviews, the answer is easy… in-person. You can build relationships… watch body language… take customer tours. But what if it took 10 hours of travel time?

Perhaps a better question is, “When does each make sense?” The advantages of in-person VOC are obvious, so let’s examine the advantages of virtual.

The most obvious is lower cost. If you had 10-to-20 in-person trips with 2-to-3 interviewers each, you could spend over $50,000. And consume 2-to-3 person-months, most of it unproductive travel time. With virtual VOC, you have no expenses or unproductive time.

Virtual VOC helps when you have dispersed customers, with their departments in different cities. You should interview these departments at the same time. This is helpful for qualitative interviews: Brainstorm dynamics let people build off each other’s ideas. But it’s critical for quantitative interviews, to get unified company decisions.  After all, each department won’t buy a different product from you.

Virtual VOC is great for training colleagues… giving them experience that is first-hand, non-disruptive, and free of travel costs. You have viewable probing tips to refer to, such as the “what & why” method I mentioned earlier. Your observer can make probing suggestions by writing questions on a whiteboard for the moderator to use.

You lower the impact of cancellations… which will occur for a variety of reasons. Instead of limping back through several airports, just reschedule.

Finally, you have greater project speed. It’s easier to schedule a 1-or-2 hour interview than a 1-or-2 day trip, and you can complete several interviews per day.

Download this white paper for more advantages, and tips for conducting better virtual VOC.

Conducting B2B interviews doesn’t have to be hard. But what about hiring someone to do your interviews? We’ll explore that in the next chapter.