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Customer Conversion

Are You Asking These Golden Questions?

If you read our last blog post, you now have a new understanding of how to ask questions. The second part of Sean’s recent webinar with Conversion Rate Experts covers the golden questions that can unlock insights that improve your conversion rates.

We know you’re ready to hear the Golden Questions, but before we get to them, note that Dr. Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts suggests you copy and paste the questions exactly as you see them. Questions, even when very slightly differently worded, perform differently.

You’ll also notice that we’ve listed the objectives first and the questions second. That’s because it’s not about the questions themselves but the answers—in particular what you do with the answers to better meet your user’s needs.

Remember, these questions are designed for customers who bought minutes ago—those who encountered barriers to conversion (but made their way past them), and can help you to figure out where the problem spots are.

The Golden Questions

Question 1

Objective: Uncover Where Customers Come From

Ask: “Where exactly did you first find out about us?”

Tips:

  • Don’t force the visitor to shoehorn their response into a prewritten dropdown or multiple choice (e.g., not “Google,” “Magazine,” or “Friend”). Doing this forces the visitor to give you only information you already know.
  • Unique and precise answers are much more useful.

Question 2

Objective: Identify Appeals

Ask: “What persuaded you to purchase from us?”

Or “Please list the top three things that persuaded you to use us rather than a competitor?”

Tips:

  • Find out what the buyer is buying rather than what you think you’re selling. Maybe you think it’s some product specification, when in fact they’re buying something more abstract like image.
  • Objective: Understand Position Relative to Your Competitors

Question 3

Objective: Understand Position Relative to Your Competitors

Ask: “Which other options did you consider before choosing our Product Name?”

Or “Which of our competitors, both online and offline, did you consider before choosing our Product Name?”

Tips:

  • The second variation may yield better results if you have a lot of offline competitors.
  • You may think you know who your competitors are, but answers to this question may surprise you. For example, as Blanks explains, your biggest competitor may in fact be disinterest—users choosing to buy nothing rather than commit to any one product or business.

Question 4

Objective: Understand Reservations

Ask: “What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?”

Or “What was your biggest fear or concern about using us?”

Question 5

A Question We Love (this question is so open ended that it covers a lot of different areas, inviting users to open up about whatever is important to them).

Ask: “What was your biggest challenge, frustration or problem in finding the right Product Type online?”

Tip:

  • Though this question will most likely result in some irrelevant feedback and impractical ideas, all you need is a single great one that you haven’t thought of to make it worth it.

And there you have it! These five questions have been tested and retested for efficacy, and they’ve proven to deliver actionable insights again and again.

Though Blanks recommends you use exact wording when asking these questions for the first time, he does suggest iterating future questions based on the answers you get. In question #3, for example, the second option is an iteration of the first based on the fact that many users didn’t name offline competitors when asked the first question.

Next up we’ll share with you how the Conversion Rate Experts use Qualaroo to improve CRO performance—and how you can too!

Discussion

5 Responses to “Are You Asking These Golden Questions?”

  1. I think many people use drop-downs for responses so they can tally things up faster. But I think open ended questions are great and gives a more personal account of a users experience.

    Posted by Ron Davis | November 28, 2013, 5:44 pm
  2. I don’t typically like “magic questions” but I agree, these questions are ones that NEED to be asked periodically on ever E Commerce site.

    Posted by Bryant Jaquez | December 30, 2013, 10:15 pm
  3. Great article. Yes, I absolutely agree with Ron’s comment. If you have drop downs with pre-filled answers then you can do quick and easy quantitative analysis of those results. That appeals to certain types of people who like that sort of data.

    However, when you ask the open questions then you learn things you didn’t think of asking, and you learn subtle things about them too. But the analysis of that is much harder, and it is also as much qualitative as quantitative.

    Sometimes there are real differences in company culture which make these things easier or harder to implement.

    Posted by DirectAsia.com Singapore | January 21, 2014, 5:22 am
  4. These types of blogs are extremely helpful for those of us that are new to Qualaroo and surveys in general. Thank you for sharing!

    Posted by Megan Bush | April 2, 2014, 9:47 pm

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