Customers who contribute to the insights process provide invaluable insights, but it’s the responsibility of researchers to craft a skilled survey. Often, researchers settle for general questions, such as “Why would you purchase this item?” The answers are frequently described as “interesting”, which is code for “I have no use for this information”.

By contrast, market research questions that are both nuanced and thought provocative can produce substantive, actionable answers.

To get you started, here are 8 examples of constructive questions.

1. Have you utilized a similar item before, and did you stop using it after a while? What was it about that product that made you give it up?

It’s useful to ascertain why consumers would reject this type of product. When customers detail the faults of your competitors’ efforts, you can make sure that your item doesn’t contain those flaws.

2. Who is someone you know in real life that would never use this product? Why? What would they use instead?

You’ve already successfully identified your most passionate customers. What about everyone else? Ask your loyal fan base to describe in detail a friend they know who wouldn’t buy into your idea. Knowing who doesn’t want to use your product can help segment your target demographics for future marketing efforts.

3. Does anything about this item make you feel at all uncomfortable — the price, the color, the difficulty of use or something else?

Oftentimes, a simple thing can compel people to choose one item over another. If multiple people identify the same drawback, you could try to improve or rework it. Otherwise, that shortcoming might have a negative impact on your sales.

4. What’s one feature you would add? It might be a childproofing mechanism, a handle for carrying, a light or something else entirely.

As with flaws, missing elements can make your product less desirable and it’s easy to neglect a design feature that consumers would really like to have.

5. Imagine the directions are missing. How would you demonstrate to someone else how this product is used?

Having your customers replace the written directions with an impromptu tutorial tends to produce interesting results. Often times, it can reveal assumptions people have about the product. You may even discover that customers aren’t using your product to its full potential. A step-by-step, how-to guide shows you firsthand how your product is marketed from customer-to-customer.

6. Describe in detail the perfect customer for this offering.

No doubt, you’re aiming this product at a particular group of consumers. If your testers agree with those demographics, your design is probably in good shape. If not, you might reconsider the object’s look, feel or utility.

7. How did you feel when you were using this product? Calm? Engaged? Bored? Amused? What did your facial expression look like as you experimented with it?

When people evaluate a product, they often discuss how it looks, how well it works and how much it costs. They sometimes forget to describe the emotional experience of using it. Those feelings can have a big impact on how long they keep it, how often they use it and whether they recommend it to others.

8. How will this product change your personal routine? On a weekly basis, how much time or money do you think it will save you?

Something might be cheap, attractive and fun to use, but if it’s not making people’s lives easier, it might not have staying power. In other words, a product must have a “compelling value proposition.” If your testers can name the positive, meaningful effects that your item will supply them, it very well may enjoy great success.

Utilizing Polls & Surveys

With the right market research questions, your insights process can give you crucial advantages. It can result in more effective promotional strategies and a sharply reduced chance of product failure. Plus, when you explain on social media channels and other platforms how your offerings were co-created, many consumers will be impressed and more willing to buy from you.
Nuanced and thought provoking questions that call for real reflection will show your participants that you truly respect their ideas, suggestions and experiences.

Above all, these questions will provide you with a sense of how close your items are to the product ideals that customers carry around in their heads. The nearer you get to those ideals, the greater your contribution to your firm’s insight engine.

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