How Basecamp “interrogate” their customers to build a world-class product using the jobs-to-be-done framework

Ryan Singer | Head of Strategy

  • | Customer Success | Product Strategy | Psychology | Retention | UX Design
  • October 2019
  • EP30

"Interrogate" your customers

Learn how Basecamp talk to customers to level up their product

Today on Churn.fm, we have Ryan Singer, Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp and the author of Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters.

In this episode, we talked about how Basecamp utilized the Jobs-to-be-done framework to gather customer feedback, framing it from a supply and demand angle, and how it helped Basecamp’s product team deciding on which problem to solve.

We also discussed how Ryan goes about finding the right customers to interviews, his interviewing methods, or in his own words, closer to “interrogation,” and why jobs-to-be-done interviews should never be about your product.

Ryan also explained why the cost of running a business is parallel to customer happiness, and shared his number one advice for anyone who wants to build a product today.

As usual, I’m excited to hear what you think of this episode, and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly on Andrew@churn.fm. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Mentioned Resources



Finding out what customers really want by using the Jobs-to-be-done framework 00:04:01
Seeing customer’s feedback as “supply and demand”, and honing on the precise problem to solve 00:05:00
Ryan’s mindset when it comes to prioritizing the “jobs” gathered from Jobs-to-be-done interviews 00:05:12
The targeting process Ryan used to recruit Jobs-to-be-done interviewee 00:10:00
How a product success team handles different feedback from various buyer personas 00:13:37
Ryan’s go-to method when “interrogating” customers for feedback 00:15:00
Using an analogy of “buying a car” to elaborate a buyer’s journey and analyzing the customer interview 00:16:19
How Ryan constantly monitors customer happiness to prevent churn. 00:18:04
Why the cost of running a business is parallel to customer happiness 00:20:07
Ryan’s #1 advice to someone who wants to build a product. 00:24:01


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Ryan Singer

Head of Strategy

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About the podcast

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In the real world tackling churn and increasing retention is one of the hardest problems a subscription business faces.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.