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Customer listening vs discovery interviews
Monitoring vs progress
Yesterday I explored a way how continuous customer interviews can become stale.
In a conversation that followed with fellow product geek Martha Malloy, a useful distinction came out: are these interviews customer listening, or product discovery?
Both types of conversations are useful—and at a glance, look identical—but they have different purposes.
Customer listening (often called “VOC”) is a good thing, and should happen on an ongoing basis. Listening interview questions tend to be more stable.
Product discovery interviews are different. These ongoing conversations are intended to drive something—outcomes (results). What we need to learn to make progress will be constantly changing as we try things, learn, and close gaps. These interview questions should be much more dynamic.
Listening is a monitoring tool (think of it as “qualitative product instrumentation”). But discovery? That’s about moving forward, making progress.