In Chapter 4 we analyzed the characteristics that make good survey questions. Now we’re going to look at those principles in practice with these real life killer survey questions, many of which are geared toward on-site surveys in particular. This chapter is a great reference point for those times when you have an objective in mind, but you’re not sure about the best way to achieve it.
These questions were not written for this guide. Rather, they’ve been used successfully by us, our clients, and colleagues across a wide array of business types and survey objectives—which is the true test of their worth.
Maybe people are looking for something you hadn’t anticipated, and that need isn’t being met. The only way you’ll know is to ask.
Though similar to Question #1, this question gets to the root of any usability issues your site might have, including browser compatibility, broken links, expired coupon codes, and so on.
Perhaps not the most useful for immediate improvements, but feedback from this question will provide invaluable direction as your product or service grows.
This question will help you both uncover where your customers are coming from and know where to place your advertising resources.
The element of “friend” in this killer question makes the respondent think more in-depth about his or her answer. How you would describe a business to a computer is much different than how you’d describe it to a close friend.
Or: Which of our competitors, both online and offline, did you consider before choosing our (Product Name)?
While you may think you know who your biggest competitors are, the answers to this question might surprise you. You may find, for example, that your biggest competitor isn’t another retailer but disinterest—users are more likely to buy nothing than commit. If your competitors are mostly offline, the second variation may yield better results.
This question gets the user in the mindset of returning to your site, while also emphasizing how much you take their opinions into consideration. Win, win.
Once again, the respondent feels like his or her voice is integral to how you run your business. This is an important feeling to inspire in your user base. If you get a lot of people commenting on a specific feature, then great! You know what you need to change. Or, alternatively, respondents may give you an idea you wouldn’t have planned for or considered. Also good! (Source)
Or: Please list the top three things that persuaded you to use us rather than a competitor?
Use this question to find out what users are buying rather than what you think you’re selling. This knowledge can help you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and play up or increase those aspects of your site that you know lead to customer satisfaction. (Source)
Or: What was your biggest fear or concern about using us?
Ask this question to your successful purchasers to determine the biggest hurdle they had to overcome in buying from you. Odds are you’ll find many more people who dropped off at that hurdle, giving you a great starting point for fixing conversion issues. (Source)
This question is likely to result in some impractical ideas and irrelevant feedback, but all you need is a single great answer that you haven’t thought of to make it worth asking. (Source)
And lastly, lest you think killer questions are all one-and-done, here’s a killer series of questions from Avinash Kaushik, author of the books Web Analytics and Web Analytics 2.0.
You have your respondents on a scale here, making it much easier for you to be able to collect necessary data.
Or you can use a sequence of questions, that branch intelligently based on the user’s responses.
This data will help you focus on what your respondents want most. This is important information to possess. You may have been pushing in one way, but really potential customers want something quite different.
If they answer yes to Question 12.2, ask this:
If they answer no to Question 12.2, ask this:
This branch of questions is awesome because it helps you identify what you’re doing right so that you can do more of it, but it also offers a way to figure out what’s wrong or confusing about your site so that you can fix it. You’ll notice it combines a few of the killer questions we already discussed, presenting them one at a time so as not to confuse or overwhelm users.
While some are open-ended and others are closed-ended, they’re all direct, unbiased, clear, and personal.
While each of the above questions might not be applicable to your site’s mission or needs, if you follow those original guidelines, you’re sure to write killer questions of your own. If you want more information on the best questions to ask to improve the performance of your website, check out this webinar with Conversion Rate Experts’, Dr. Karl Blanks and Qualaroo CEO, Sean Ellis.