Once you have people willing to answer questions, you can cut down dramatically on the number of assumptions that your team has to make in future product development. You can quickly take simple assertions (I assume most of our customers are using this feature while they’re traveling) and send them to a handful of people via email for feedback: Quick question: Is there a specific occasion or situation occurring when you’re using [feature]? (If so, what is it?) We’d like to make sure we understand how people are using [feature] before we decide which changes to prioritize.


Thanks for your help! It’s worth taking a moment to wordsmith your question to prompt something beyond a yes-or-no answer. (For example, “Do you run out of groceries in the middle of the week?” should become “When do you typically run out of groceries?” If the customer’s answer is “I don’t,” he’ll tell you so.)


That’s a random question, asked of anyone you happen to be in contact with that week, just to keep learning. In that case, you want a very short and consistent answer so you can later search, for example, your trouble, ticketing system for responses. For this question, you’re choosing specific customers you trust and asking them (in individual emails) to elaborate on the question so that your team doesn’t waste time arguing over unproven opinions.