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User interview questions to ask power users

"
I will soon meet the power users of our software and spend time with them. Hey PMs what questions should I ask them?

Our response

Author: Joe Tannorella
Rocket Role Team
Awesome opportunity. Meeting with your power users can be a great way to understand how your product fits into the real world IF you come prepared. I've had plenty of meetings which I subsequently wasted because I wasn't prepared enough.

Questions I always find useful to ask power users

– What workarounds have you created? Why?
– Can you walk me through how you use our product daily?
– If you could add or remove one feature, what would it be?
– What features do you think are bloated or unnecessary?

Other things to Remember

– Listen more than you speak. You're there to gather insights.
– Record the conversation, if they're okay with it. You don't want to miss any details.
– Follow up. Let them know how their feedback is being used. It's kinda like an unspoken contract; they've invested in you, now show them that their investment was worthwhile.
– When I refined my approach with these sorts of questions, the quality of the feedback was day and night. I got nuggets of wisdom that I could directly apply to the product roadmap.
– Your job is to get insights, not only make new relationships for the future. Make sure you can act upon your learnings!

What stage is your product at? Early-stage power users can have different viewpoints compared to those using a more mature product. Tailoring your questions to your product's lifecycle stage can net you more actionable insights.

Anyway, good luck!

We also asked some experts...

Advice from thousands of podcasts episodes, including:
Here's what the experts had to say:

🎯 Understand Their Pain Points
Jane Davis, in her interview with First Round Review, suggests asking users about the last time they thought there must be a better way to do something. This question can reveal the pain points users experience and how your product might address them.

Try this: Ask your power users, "Tell me about the last time you thought there's gotta be a better way to do this."

Source: First Round Review: Episode 33 - Jane Davis

🔍 Evaluate Mental Agility
In Lenny's podcast, Jeremy Henrickson emphasizes the importance of understanding how users react to changing assumptions. This can be indicative of how deeply they understand a problem and their mental agility.

Try this: During your meeting, change one assumption about the product and observe how your power users react.

Source: Moving Fast and Navigating Uncertainty: Jeremy Henrickson – Lenny's podcast

👥 Put on Your User's Hat
David Singleton, CTO of Stripe, advises product managers to put on their user's hat during meetings. Understanding what your users are seeking from the experience can help guide your questions and discussions.

Try this: Approach your meeting with the mindset of your power users, focusing on their needs and experiences.

Source: Building a Culture of Excellence: David Singleton, CTO of Stripe – Lenny's podcast

Closing Summary

In your meeting with power users, focus on understanding their pain points, evaluating their mental agility, and approaching the discussion from their perspective. This will help you gather valuable insights to improve your product.

All "ask an expert content" does not represent the views of any expert or individual. All provided links are not affiliated or operated by Rocket Role.

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