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Cracking Surveys: The 5 Questions You Need to Ask to Get Inside Your User’s Head

Cracking Surveys: The 5 Questions You Need to Ask to Get Inside Your User’s Head

When a user makes it all the way through the sales funnel—past the social media campaigns to the landing page through to the free trial—only to abandon their purchase at checkout, all you can think about is “Why?”

These users had an issue with your product or pricing or something else entirely. It could be any of a million different reasons.

The only way to get inside your users’ heads is through surveys.

Understanding Your Users’ Buying Criteria

Surveys are all about determining what’s going through the mind of your user. You’re trying to find out how they feel when they move through your site or use your product.

When crafting your questions, it’s helpful to think about each one illuminating part of the user’s background. You want to know what other sites they’ve looked at, what reservations they have about your product, and more.

The survey masters over at Conversion Rate Experts recommend you ask yourself some of the following questions as you develop your own surveys:

  1. “What on the site appeals to the user?”
  2. “Where has the prospective user been before? What have they seen before?”
  3. “How do they perceive your positioning relative to your competitors?”
  4. “What do they find boring or off-putting on the site?”

It’s all about getting into the head of your users and figuring out what would convince them to buy. With this in mind, you’re ready to start surveying your users.

The 5 Survey Questions Every Company Needs to Ask

A good survey is incisive—it gets to the point quickly and delivers useful answers right away. We’ve converted all the above buyer criteria questions into survey questions that will return usable data to help you hone in on your product.

1. What persuaded you to purchase from us?


When you work closely with your product, day in and day out, you can’t see it as your customers do.

Imagine you manufacture clothes for Prada. You are thinking about fabrics, yarn, production quality, and dyes as you work in the factory. You might think that your customers are thinking about the same things but they’re not. When they buy Prada they’re buying it for the luxury it promises, not because of the materials that went into making it.

Let your customers tell you what motivated them. It’s the most direct way for you to understand your end-user’s buying criteria.

2. Where did you first find out about us?


When you ask customers where they first found out about you, and give them an open-ended text box to fill out, you can find out all the rich details of the referrals working in your favor.

It could be that your users found out about your product via the typical pathways like advertisements you put out or a Google search. But it’s also possible they heard about your product through a mention in a magazine article or from a friend at a conference. Word of mouth is tricky to pin down, but your users can clue you in.

You’ll also receive quality leads on where to market your product—it might be worth taking out a half page ad in the magazine you were mentioned in or in a conference program.

3. What other options did you consider before our product?


It’s important to understand what your competitors are. They might be something or someone you weren’t even considering.

Moz CEO Rand Fishkin believed he knew what other SEO companies Moz was competing with, but surveys found some interesting results: instead of competing against a specific company, Moz was competing against his own customers. There were people on the site who weren’t buying software like the one Moz sold. The challenge was convincing them to make the purchase, not winning customers off of competing companies.

Sometimes users will buy products from both you and your competitors regardless of how much better yours is. In that case, your real competitors might be issues in your sales funnel.

4. What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?


You could also ask your users “What was your biggest fear or concern with using us?” Here you’re trying to illuminate any reservations your users had before signing up for your product.

It could be something small, like a matter of price as we said above. But it could also be a major flaw you didn’t even realize. If, say, your user onboarding was shoddy, users might have lost faith in your product or even in your company. Knowing users’ concerns is about 90% of the challenge of improving user experience, fixing it is only 10%.

5. What was your biggest challenge, frustration or problem finding the right product online?


Asking your users about challenges they faced finding the right product (or your product!) is pretty vague. But giving them a space to vent can lead to critical insights. These will lead you to where you need to improve your product.

You’re not asking for expansive analytical reports or even sophisticated data, you’re just asking for ideas. Even if you get hundreds of terrible responses from your users, if you get even one good idea out of this survey this survey will have been worth it.

With the Right Surveys, Your Conversions Will Skyrocket

Knowing and understanding your users’ concerns is the only way of ensuring your product is finding a market. Through the right surveys you gain specific insights into their buyer psychology and how they think and feel when they move through your site and product.

Any changes you make to your product should be educated through user surveys. Their insights will help you develop effective and long-lasting improvements. You won’t be shooting in the dark anymore, you’ll have critical and crucial data to plot your way forward.

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About the author

The Qualaroo Editorial Team is a passionate group of UX and feedback management experts dedicated to delivering top-notch content. We stay ahead of the curve on trends, tackle technical hurdles, and provide practical tips to boost your business. With our commitment to quality and integrity, you can be confident you're getting the most reliable resources to enhance your user experience improvement and lead generation initiatives.