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User interviews are the foundation for most ideas you propose as a growth team. They’re your source of truth for what the customer wants — but you have to do them properly.

Skim this doc before doing Phase 1 so you have a high-level sense of how this will go.

Phase 1: Prep work

Read Phase 2 of the Got Users growth approach. You’ll be doing the nuts-and-bolts of this.

Then, read the answer below:

Phase 2: Learn

At a high-level, we’re trying to figure out:

Tactically, you need to do a few things.

Ask about the past and ground your questions in specifics. “What was the last meeting you booked this week?” is better than “How do you usually book meetings?” and 10x better than “How will you book meetings?”

Almost never ask hypotheticals. Why? People are notoriously bad at predicting what they’ll do. By asking what they already did, you’ll learn their actual behavior.

Ask followup questions. It’s more important to tug on interesting threads than to ask “all” the questions on your list. See where the conversation goes.

E.g., “You mentioned [you like dogs] — let me dig into that a little more. [Have you owned a dog before? What type was it? etc.]

Ask “How did you hear about X?” A lot. This doesn’t just apply to your product. Ask about other similar products they use. Dig into why they tried it or why they trusted it.