Icon - In-depth conversation

In-depth interviews

We have found that the best way to discover why your customers are behaving a certain way or what motivates them, is through qualitative one-on-one, in-depth interviews (IDIs). Quantitative data like analytics or surveys will tell you what they are doing, but the only way to really understand why is through longer, more detailed conversations.

An in-depth customer interview is usually about an hour and involves one of our researchers talking with a customer, or potential customer, about past experiences in detail. We can map out the feedback they give us on a canvas in front of them, or we can chat like two friends on the phone. The goal is to uncover subtle nuances of experiences that would not be picked up in a feedback form, survey, or complaint.

In-depth interviews are best when

  • You have questions about why customers are behaving a certain way.
  • You need more data on what your customers’ needs are (We like to define these as Jobs to be Done).
  • You need to form a robust mental model of your customers, to help with ideation.

  • When it’s not feasible or needed to visit customers in their own environments like workplaces, schools, or homes. 

Got questions or want to book?

How it usually works

Statement of focus

We start with a kick-off session with you to determine what the objective of the research is. We call this the statement of focus. It’s usually in the form of a question, and it’s not something that we can ask customers directly.

For example: “How is mental health spoken about in different family groups?” or “What are the biggest challenges to patients using Telemedicine?”

Recruit respondents

Finding the right people to interview is vital so we use a team of the best recruiters in South Africa, Europe and the USA. We create a carefully designed screener based on your brief to ensure that respondents meet your target market criteria. We also recruit extra in case there are any last-minute cancellations.

If we are doing remote interviews, we make sure they have access to the internet and have a phone or laptop with a good mic and camera. With remote sessions, we rely heavily on video calls so, before the sessions, we will test their internet and buy them data if needed. We also check when they might have load-shedding and schedule accordingly.

We manage all POPIA requirements and capture consent.

Discussion guide

Based on what needs to be covered in the statement of focus, we will formulate the best way to gather the findings. Knowing what types of questions to ask and when to ask them comes from a familiarity with research theory and years of experience.

We will share this with you before the test to get your input.

Facilitate sessions

We usually interview 5 respondents a day in 45 minutes to 1-hour sessions. For most once-off customer research we recommend 10-15 participants over 2 to 3 days.

We stream the sessions live, but they are also recorded and available for watching later.

Present findings

We present the findings of customer research in a 60-80 page report laying out all the themes and insights discovered during the research. We often pair with clips of some sessions featuring the most impactful segments.

IDI in a market research facility

An in-person in-depth interview at a market research facility

Remote or in-person?

For the majority of our customer research, we recommend running them remotely. We have found remote sessions to be more cost-effective and allow for a more diverse audience from across the world. But sometimes, remote is not suitable, and for that reason, we offer both.

Read more about our remote vs in-person research journey


For most research, we use Zoom, but we can chat with customers on any digital platform that supports video and audio. We are comfortable with WhatsApp, Teams, Google Meet, UserZoom, and Lookback. 

We stream our sessions over a password-protected Vimeo channel so teams can watch live! During the sessions, we chat with the team in group chats to discuss what we are seeing, interesting insights, and questions for further investigations. These sessions will remain as recordings for others to watch later.

We share a communal online Miro board before the sessions, so if anyone wants to, they can add comments or take notes. Afterwards, we will analyse the sessions and create a detailed findings report.


Depending on where in the country you would like the sessions to take place, we will organise a suitable venue. We can organise formal market research facilities with one-way glass, or even just two meeting rooms with good internet. We will organise lunch and have informal discussions between sessions. It’s usually a very insightful day, and we welcome teams to stay the whole day if possible.

We can also visit customers in their spaces, to learn about their unique context. (We often visit nurses to learn about how they use technology in the clinic).

Read more about our view on remote UX research. 


IDI in a market research facility

The mapped out the story taken during an in-depth interview

Book a in-depth interviews today

and learn more about who your customers are and what they need