Interview Podcasts provide a crucial and oft-missing bridge in the Customer Journey: an immersive, lean-back way to learn about how other successful customers selected and implemented your product.
Did you know that today, more than 30 percent of Americans listen to podcasts? We listen while we commute or travel. We listen while we walk, jog, or workout. Some of us stand in lines or handle lightweight tasks at work while listening to podcasts.
Chances are good that 30 percent of your customers listen to podcasts. And if your customer segment skews younger, that figure could be much higher.
Tell me a story
We love stories, especially about someone like ourselves.
We go all in on stories about someone who rose to a challenge, grappled with all sorts of issues and adversaries, and prevailed as the hero.
Otherwise busy and easily interrupted customers seek out and love Interview Podcasts. They love the spaciousness to hear the emotional truth that lies beneath the apparent facts. They want to hear that “It rings true.” They want to feel, “Yep, that sounds about right”. They want to confirm, “I believe this person”.
Interview Podcasts enable your successful customers to inspire your new prospects.
Prospects use Interview Podcasts to power through the sometimes hard and always detailed work of building a comprehensive business case with a de-risked organizational change management plan.
What is an Interview Podcast?
Interview Podcasts are edited audio recordings of customer interviews. Editing entails the insertion of graphic cover pages (start and finish) with active hyperlinks to a call to action, the next podcast in the series, and subscription access to other podcasts.
Unlike many “happy talk” podcasts with lots of fluff and surface-level impressions, Interview Podcasts keep it real. The interview prompts Customers to share the lessons learned throughout the Customer Journey.
In a first-person narrative, Interview Podcasts disclose the root causes of a persistent and urgent business problem. Customers share why they chose your product over the competition. Interview Podcasts call attention to the actual problems that customers encountered, how they overcame those challenges and showcase how they solved an important business problem with your products.
Interview Podcasts keep it fresh and compelling. They help you earn trust as a credible partner.
With the aim of authenticity, Interview Podcasts involve an interviewer from your company and one successful customer or three specialists of the customer organization. This might include a business analyst, project manager, or a line of business executive who supervised the project. The participants should have direct knowledge of each of the key phases of the customer journey. They should have a working knowledge of how the problem was diagnosed and root causes identified.
For the interviewer, most Interview Podcasts will use a sales leader or a customer success manager.
Effective Interview Podcasts rely on a curious, conversational tone, and a set of thoughtful trigger questions that will elicit deeper, more nuanced emotional disclosures from the customers.
When do you use an Interview Podcast?
Interview Podcasts work best after the customer has identified a business problem worth solving and its likely root causes. The customer will have a good understanding of the problem to solve and will curate a set of explainer videos, presentations and infographics to educate his or her stakeholders
The prospect will have engaged with Guided Tour videos and relevant Case Studies. More than likely, the Customer has begun developing a business case, using a Buyer Guide and related resources. At this point, Interview Podcasts make their greatest contribution by keeping the prospect engaged and nurtured.
Interview Podcasts inspire and reassure the champion or change mobilizer—“Hey, they did it. So can I!”
Key components of an Interview Podcast
An Interview Podcast includes the following components:
- Trigger questions in a talking point-agenda document for the Interviewer to share with the Interviewee ahead of time and to pose in the interview.
- Edited audio recording of the customer as they disclose their journey from symptomatic problems to success with a return on investment.
Depending on the number of offerings, vertical industries or simply the availability of willing customers, you should try to create multiple podcasts. Listeners enjoy the diversity of perspectives and experiences.
Best Practices for Interview Podcasts
- Focus on the emotional dimension of the customer journey, prompting the interviewees to disclose their thoughts and feelings about key decisions and consequences.
- Make the customer the protagonist or hero of the narrative, emphasizing the personal high-stakes conflicts that they encountered and how they “framed and named” the real issues and solved them.
- Keep it entertaining, use a conversational tone, be curious and incorporate ambient background music to keep the listener’s brains engaged as they deal with small interruptions from their immediate physical environment.
- Draw out how their collaborative partnership with your team contributed to success. Have them talk about how your sales and customer success teams orchestrated the delivery of your solution
- Frame their participation as a career enhancement, validating how they added value to their organization and earned themselves additional levels of recognition as an effective problem-solver.
- Produce an edited full-text transcript for use as a reference in building other sales enablement tools.
To learn more about other engagement objects, please see "9 Engagement Objects that fuel B2B Sales Enablement".