Product discovery is a crucial phase in the development of any product. It involves understanding the pain points of our target customers, evaluating market opportunities, and validating assumptions to build the right product.
It may be tempting to start conducting surveys because it may seem an efficient way of interviewing customers. Still, it is a bad idea because surveys assume you know the right questions to ask; worst, if the survey is multiple choice, you also need to know the right possible answers, but during the discovery phase, you don't know what you don't know.
On the other hand, one-on-one interviews offer a more effective way to understand customers' needs, wants, and motivations. The help of open-ended and follow-up questions leads to more in-depth information, and you can better understand the context and emotions behind the customer's behavior.
In addition, during one-on-one interviews, you can observe the participant's body language to understand their reactions to specific questions. For example, facial expressions and gestures indicate excitement, frustration, confusion, or disappointment. You can use this information to help validate or invalidate assumptions.
The initial goal of product discovery is to learn. Customer interviews are a form of qualitative validation and are a great way to uncover the customer's needs or validate your hypothesis in a small sample. At this point, you can use what you have learned and craft surveys to verify your results quantitatively since your goal is no longer learning but to validate the statistical significance of your results.
In the end, product discovery aims to identify and validate the most promising ideas. By starting with one-on-one interviews, product teams can uncover customer needs that lead to developing a relevant, useful, and desirable product to target customers.