Ep. 31: POV - Build Your Customer Research Muscle by Making the Most of Customer Reviews


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This week, we’re changing things up a bit! In this “POV” episode, we join marketers James Ricks and Joseph Lewin to revisit "Ep. 21 Ryan Gibson - Customer Research Drives Revenue Growth''. We’ll explore even deeper insights in the realm of customer research.


  • It’s important to NEVER conflate assumptions about customers with systematic, empirically-based, customer research.
    • If you’re not hearing directly from the customer, you’re operating based on assumptions and guesswork. Can you say waste of time and money?!
    • Don’t know what a customer means? ASK THEM TO CLARIFY. This is such a simple strategy but is still shockingly underutilized. “Tell me more about that.”

  • Don’t just ask your customers WHAT they think, but WHY they think it!
  • Every customer delivers helpful insights in their own way.
    • Every customer interview is unique and should be treated as such, before, during and after engagement.

  • Use customer interviews to tailor and then incorporate specific, data-driven language in your copywriting.

  • A little thesaurus never hurt anybody! Beware of overutilized industry “buzzwords” in your marketing language:
    • “Comradery”, “storytelling”, “optimize”, “pipeline”
    • Customers see right through these and have a harder time connecting with you when they feel you are not being organic or genuine with them.

  • Make sure that by the end of every customer interview, you have actual ACTIONABLE items and that you can move on, NOT just vague highlights or data patterns.
    • How to achieve this? Prep for interviews by creating a list of specific objectives to adhere to.

  • Don’t underestimate the value of follow-up interviews! Multi-layered and multi-step interviews with customers tend to reveal insights that are more robust and much further-reaching in their impact.

  • When doing customer interviews, make sure to weave in questions that elicit emotional responses as well as fact-based responses.
    • Asking a customer to clarify how they feel about a particular aspect of their business or project can also round out insights.

  • AVOID use of “double-barreled” questions:
    • These are more common than you’d think! These are questions that, despite leaving room for only one answer, are asked in such a way that they touch on multiple issues.

Learn more about James & Joseph:

Connect with Mike & Gaby @ Proofpoint Marketing:

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