Customer interviews - how to better understand the customer journey

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The difference between a well-thought-out and an excellently structured and customer-centered Customer Journey are often caused by small details. However, discovering and fixing them requires a structured approach.
And while you can count on the depth of data available to you in many areas, it is often personalconversationsthat will help you.
Well conducted customer interviews give you a detailed insight into the minds of your customers - how you can use this as a lever for a better understanding of the customer journey, we reveal to you in this overview.

PowerPoint Template: Effective Marketing Thanks to Customer Journey Map - Download

Capture customer satisfaction

A Customer Journey Map helps you put your customers' journey into a clear shape and understand it. However, marketing departments in particular are often too close to the sales funnel and too involved in the design to make independent decisions. Together with IT, the sales team, and the UI designers, this creates a wide variety of viewpoints on the customer journey, but all of them can only assume what actually moves customers.

Understanding customers on a personal, emotional and intellectual level requires a personal approach and classic customer interviews are far from being obsolete here. The only difference is that today you have access to technical tools that enable you to conduct interviews at scale and simplify data evaluation.

Online Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map gives you a good overview. Customer interviews can give you more in-depth information. (Image:

But to really go in depth, you need to really work in depth. Surveys and A-B tests can quickly resolve superficial design issues, focus group testing is a good tool in many scenarios, but a personal interview with as well personally answered questions, creates quite new insights into unforeseen fields.
Conducting good customer interviews is an art in itself. We'll tell you the basics in our step-by-step guide.

The best tips for customer interviews

Clear questions instead of platitudes

An interview is two-way communication. Not only do you ask for information, but your questions also provide valuable information to the interviewees.

How much and what information you share can significantly affect the outcome of the customer interview.

Example: Your company sells sneakers made from recycled marine plastic. If you ask your customers if they would like to buy shoes made from recycled material, most of them will probably answer "yes. Recycling plastic, however, is a more expensive process than producing new plastic, so correctly you would have to ask if customers would be willing to buy shoes made from recycled plastic if they cost more.

So questions in a customer interview should include benefits and costs in order to honest and appropriate feedback to be obtained.

Ask pull questions instead of push questions

Inadmissible in court, but common practice in many interviews: Questions in which you imply an answer.
Example: "Wouldn't you like to be able to conveniently send an email to our customer service?" This question sends customers clear signals about what answer you want and leaves alternatives out of the equation.

Instead, ask what communications customers want, and you'll get a broader range of answers.

Pull questions allow you to include answer choices already in the question.
Pull questions allow you to include answer choices already in the question.

Inferring the future from the past

People are creatures of habit. Asked what they would do or could imagine doing in the future, answers can often be very confused.
But - and you should know this from data-based analyses know

A look at past behavior provides a preview of future behavior.

So feel free to ask your customers if they have done an action before. This is often more meaningful than speculation.
Example: "Have you ever used one of the following payment providers?" instead of "Can you imagine using one of the following payment providers?". Many users can imagine using an alternative to credit card or PayPal. But if they have always been satisfied with a service in the past, they will probably continue to use it.

Focus on the key points

Respect your time, but also that of the interviewee. Therefore, in an interview, work primarily with the essentials of your customer journey. For example, work out the Customer Personasthen demographic data is just as important to you. Define your Touchpoints and leverage your sales funnel.

Data-based work gives you precise information about the strengths and weaknesses of your customer journey. In a customer interview, you learn the details from the customer's point of view and can eliminate weak points.

The law of large numbers

Customer interviews are also data, even if the personal responses are soft data sets. This also means that you need better Collect resultsif you are working with larger data sets.

Even with open questions, you will quickly recognize patterns this way.

From the interview to the improved Customer Journey Map

But how do you translate customer interviews into a better and more clearly defined customer journey for you?

First, you can use interviews and data to segment your customers more and show their perspective on your company, brand, and Wish Fulfillment. Critical moments and touchpoints you should note clearly and you should now have a better understanding for whether - from the customer's point of view - you can actually deliver on your brand promise.

A customer journey map does not have to be visually spectacular, but it should clearly communicate what the customer journey looks like in practice.
You can immediately incorporate insights into your marketing and, for example, emphasize those points that were particularly close to the respondents' hearts or strengthen your investment in those channels that proved to be particularly productive.

PowerPoint Template: Effective Marketing Thanks to Customer Journey Map - Download

The personal view of the customer journey

Customer interviews help your company at every stage of the customer journey, from the Lead generation through conversion to the transformation of customers into brand ambassadors.
From the first touchpoint to the unboxing experience to contacting customer support, it's your customers' valuable experiences that they can only share in a detailed conversation.

Would you like to learn more about the customer journey, mapping and customer behavior analysis? We would also be happy to advise you personally.


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