Six Questions to Ask After Every Customer Conversation

Ask these questions after every interview, support call, and conversation with a customer.

I've developed a list of questions I recommend people ask after every customer conversation (whether a normal touchpoint, support call, or formal interview). This list was originally inspired by the six core emotional needs described in the book Empathetic Marketing.

Photo by  Nik MacMillan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

Control. What is causing this person to feel she doesn’t have control of a situation in her life? How is she trying to gain control of that situation?  

Self-Expression. Is this person struggling to express her ideas or creativity? Self expression involves getting others to understand and respond to what they are trying to express.

Recognition. Is this person hoping to gain some kind of recognition? Examples include “be top the salesperson at my company”, “have the most goals on my team”. Recognition may be very local ("I want my family to appreciate my contributions") or global ("I want more Instagram followers in Estonia"). 

Care. How is this person trying to care for others in her family,  workplace, or community?

Belonging. How is this person trying to fit in with her family, social connections, workplace?

Competency. Is there any pride in acquiring or nurturing some particular skill? Examples include “become a better designer”, “know the latest coding tools and techniques”. What progress in her life does she feel this competency will help her make?

On every Jobs to be Done research project I work on, we discuss and document these questions immediately after each interview. This discipline allows us to draw similarities and contrasts between customer behavior so we can find and describe patterns of demand.  

The general benefit of asking these questions will help you reflect more productively on a conversation you might just have had and will help you learn more from future conversations. 

The specific benefit of asking these questions is that you and your team can be better at developing advertising that connects with core emotional needs and build products or features that help customers make making progress (or realize she is making progress or needs to make progress).