Convincing customers to be interviewed
  2. Discovery Interviews (Step 2)
  3. Convincing customers to be interviewed

4. Special Case 1: You've already been meeting with this customer

How do you request a Discovery interview with a customer with whom you've already been having good meetings?

Consider this special case when requesting a Discovery interview: You've already been having productive discussions recently in which the customer described their needs to you. Won’t it seem “odd” that you’re now asking for a Discovery interview? After all, weren’t you paying attention at these earlier meetings?

Here’s how to handle this: Gather those in your company that have been listening to this customer and conduct an internal Discovery interview. Start a new Discovery Noteboard and record all the customer outcomes you’ve been hearing on sticky notes. You are essentially "pre-loading" the Discovery interview you hope to have with them... with what you heard earlier.

When you request the Discovery interview, say you want to review with them what you’ve been hearing to make sure you’ve got it right. You can let them know you have some questions about what you heard earlier, and that this next meeting will also help you organize your thoughts more effectively.

Then during the Discovery interview, do the following:

  1. Show them your filled-in sticky notes and ask some clarification questions on some. Make sure you have some questions--even if you think you have the answers--because this is a great "warm-up" to the rest of the interview. (You can probably skip the Current State section, as this accomplishes the same “warm-up.”)
  2. Say, “Next, what else haven’t we talked about yet? For instance, any other problems?” And add more outcomes on sticky notes. At this point, you are conducting a typical Discovery interview, and can move from Problems to Ideal State and Triggered Ideas.
  3. Ask them for their Top Picks and develop Outcome Statements. You can explain that this interview was very helpful to you because the earlier meetings didn't help you focus on their favorite ideas, nor did it provide the clarity you just got with Outcome Statements.
  4. This is a good time to schedule a Preference interview. Tell them you'd like more help a) prioritizing their outcomes, and b) understanding how they measure satisfaction these outcomes.

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