As an energy management software company, we’ve come a long way in building energy management software for our energy platform. In order to effectively build energy management software for our clients, we had to talk to them and solicit their feedback to create a product that best addressed their needs.
While talking to your customers sounds simple, it can actually be quite difficult, especially when you’re unsure of what they’re having trouble with. Without a set of objectives and some research beforehand, you can end up asking the wrong questions and wasting your time, as well as your customers’.
Active listening is a skill in itself, but you can simplify the process by having a set of questions and objectives prepared beforehand. Using scripted questions helps to standardize the interview process and makes it easier for you to organize the results.
User Interviews When Building Energy Management Software
The simple truth is that different energy software customers will have different needs based on their revenue model and customer issues. Drafting a script will help guide your conversation and keep the primary focus on your intended goals and product offerings. With a script, you can veer off-course if necessary but easily get back on track when the conversation has gone too far down the rabbit-hole.
It’s important to research your customers beforehand to prepare questions that best address their life experiences and touch on concerns shared by customers in that demographic. When you have a better understanding of the kind of user to whom you’re speaking, it becomes easier to ask questions and propose solutions that would best fit their needs.
Common Concerns When Building Energy Management Software
As an energy management software company, our customers share a common set of needs across the board. These include everything from acquiring greater visibility of their usage and cost data, to receiving help planning an energy budget for the upcoming year. Through our years of experience in talking with our customers, we’ve been able to develop fairly standard questions which immediately drive at the heart of their needs and concerns.
While your questions will be precise, the answer may not always be. Often, some concerns come down to internal issues, but by listening to your customers’ perspectives, you can begin to empathize with their experiences and proceed from there. The most critical practice is to ensure that you are listening and then documenting what you hear. If you’re later stumped by an equivocal response, you can always follow up with an email or phone call.
Why to Talk with Customers when Building Energy Management Software
Customers want to be heard. So, listen to them intently, ask the right questions, and follow-up when necessary to learn more about why and how they use energy management software, such as UtilityModule. Through your research and continued conversations, you’ll be able to develop questions that focus on the concerns that are common to all energy software customers while customizing to the unique concerns of each customer.