These insights are from a recent internal interview to gain more insights on how our design team can better be serving our customers. It's related to an initiative I'm working to grow customer empathy.
Walk the line
Allow honestly without letting it grow into a total complaint session that isn’t productive. Being prepared with questions will help to keep the session moving. Additionally, a scheduled end to the time you plan on spending together.
Try to not agree or disagree
This one is tough! You want them to know you’re here to make things better for the customer, which makes their job and the business better (even if they understand that). But sometimes it’s hard not to verbally agree with something you’re also experiencing in order to build trust. This isn’t a huge of a deal with internal conversations but is a total no-no in customer interviews. That won't help you discover the real needs.
Be prepared for real honesty
As in, be prepared to be told you aren’t doing your job in the way the interviewer thinks you should be. And be thankful for that feedback with a smile!
Ask open ended questions
You never know what insights you might discover here! Also, it will foster trust and a feeling of being heard which will only help your cause.
Summarize early on
Even though you are going to discuss with a team for optimal perspective on analysis, I found it incredibly helpful to distill it down for myself and be clear for when that time comes (separately from the raw interview).
Quick decisions to act on
Decide what process adjustments are low hanging fruit, and which are out of scope. Pass on the ones that you feel are out of scope. Don’t just let them be ignored. You put the time into discovery!