- What is your name/title/dept, etc.
- How long have you been using [product]?
- Describe how you are using [product] (e.g. enterprise-wide, single dept, pilot?).
- Are you personally a user of [product]?
- What’s your company’s relationship with [product vendor]?
- Does your company receive anything from [product vendor] in return for being a reference?
- What other products did you consider when making the decision to use [product]?
- Why did you select [product] over its competitors?
- What are the best features of [product]?
- What are the limitations of [product]?
- Describe any manual processes and workarounds you follow in order to use [product]?
- Is there anything that surprised you (positively or negatively) about [product]?
- How long did implementation take?
- What went well during your implementation?
- What went poorly during your implementation?
- What did you learn during the implementation that you would have liked to know before you started?
- If you were doing the implementation again, what would you do differently?
- How many of [product vendor’s] consultants were required to implement the product?
- Did the consultants customize [product] for you? If yes, describe that customization.
- Did the consultants work on-site or remotely?
- Who provided project management for the implementation?
- What training was provided and how would you rate it?
- What type of consultants worked on the implementation (developers, analysts, project managers)?
- What did the consultant not do (i.e. what did you have to do yourself)?
- Were your expectations for the implementation met?
- Was the project finished on time and on budget? If not, why not?
- How many users use [product]?
- How well does [product] integrate with your production environment?
- How many people do you need to manage and support [product]?
- What new processes have you created to support [product] in your production environment?
- How often do you request technical support from [product]?
- Describe the process of asking for technical support and receiving a resolution.
- When you have a support question or issue, how long does it generally take them to respond to you?
- Who do you receive resolution from (developers, tech support, professional services consultants, or someone else)?
- How do you find out when a bug fix or update is available from [product vendor]?
- What was the ROI time frame for [product]? How does this compare to what you expected?
- What should we know about [product] and [product vendor] before we make a decision?
- Would you choose [product] again?
- Can you provide the name of any other customers I can speak to about [product] (i.e. who are not on the vendor’s customer reference list)?
Assuming you use most of these questions (or some variant of them) you’ll need 45-60 minutes to complete the call, so plan accordingly.
When it comes to making a major product evaluation it’s worth not skimping on this step — the information you can gain can be invaluable.