Do you have a product that just won’t sell enough, or maybe want to get the most out of a product which is already doing well? This article will provide you with some insight on the importance of changing tactic by giving your customer the microphone.
Why is my product not selling?
No one can really answer that for you, however maybe there is something you haven’t tried: asking for your customers’ opinion.
This does not require expensive focus sessions or recruiting some consultancy company to give you a 500-page report that you will never actually read. Just pick up the phone and engage in a quick and friendly chat with your customer base; after all, any improvements done to your products are things that those loyal to you will get to enjoy. But before you do that, read this article to discover some of the best questions to ask your clients to get the most useful information.
Questions to Ask
Question 1: Tell me a bit about you and your work
Okay, so maybe not technically a question, however it really depends on how you want to word it. Even though it is one of the most basic questions, it is the one which will open a window into who your customer really is and his/her value to your company. This will uncover job titles, expertise, day-to-day tasks and duties, workplace environment, and so on. Is your product or service offering with the values of your customers?
This question is important in understanding whether you are actually targeting the right audience, and whether you are using the right words and offering the right services/functionalities to it. You may never know, until you ask.
Question 2: What challenges drove you to buy and use our product?
After listening to how your typical client’s day looks like and what they do, it is time to see what challenges they encounter enough that drove them to find a solution in your product or service. Those challenges are the real reasons, and finding creative, efficient ways to solving them for your customers will not only compose your messaging and craft your marketing strategies – it should be printed as a poster and adapted as your mission statement. When a product or service revolves around consumer needs, it already has the mark of success
Question 3: What did you like most about the product, and what did you hate?
Not everyone loves criticism, however almost everyone agrees that we get nowhere without it. Asking this question will make the clients not only feel important to the company, but also offer a space where they can vent if there is something really frustrating going on with your product or service, or even provide you with compliments on a job well done. One important aspect of this question is: do not be afraid to go into detail. Asking for more details, and also asking what were the circumstances that made the user feel a certain way while using your product or service will not only provide you with extra helpful insight for product development teams, but will also give you actual scenarios of the real challenges that your users are facing – which can then be recreated in a testing environment. Showing this level of interest also reflects the level of investment that the company is ready to make in the customer.
Question 4: What nearly stopped you from buying and what made you choose us over our competitors?
It’s extremely powerful to understand what your customers had going through their mind while making their purchase decision. User personas might come close, but they don’t speak, and they are not your actual users. A buyer’s journey is famous for fall-out points: most of us are familiar with cart abandonment, checkout cancellations, and all those UX scenarios that keep us awake at night. Analytics, A/B Testing, marketing tactics – all of these rarely provide a straight answer, and many times the issues are things like using the wrong tone or wording in our messages, not having the pricing in line with the functions being offered, and so on. These are small discoveries that come from speaking with the clients, and understanding what made them have second thoughts is key to removing those fears and concerns that future potential buyers might not be able to put aside. This question also provides some insight into what your customers truly valued in your product or service, enough to make them choose you over others. Competitor research is all good, but many times we get caught up in what is valuable to us, rather than to our users, ending up shouting out the wrong messaging and not making the most of the potential that the product or service has to offer.
Question 5: Do you have any other comments?
You might have been a great conversationalist throughout this engagement, however some people tend to get nervous when asked what they think, and filter their answers – which does not give you the level of honesty that you are looking for. This question provides opportunity for a good closing tone, and for the customer on the other end to provide any opinion which he/she has been holding back. Once a sense of confidence and trust has been instilled, people give more opinions, more readily, and more honestly. And what do you know – the answer might just make your day!
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the mantra of many a company, however it is surprising how much this elementary tactic of picking up your phone and asking your customers what they think is overlooked. We have become reliant on analytics tools and a myriad others – which definitely have their own value to contribute – sometimes at the expense of forgetting to ask those who we actually created the product or service for. These questions will not only get you the information that you are looking for; they will also bring you closer to your customers – win win.