5 tips for asking better questions

How well do you know your customers and their needs? The answer to this question is a fundamental one. Some would call this the secret of success! If you don’t know them well enough, it’s time to change that.

At the same time, it can sometimes be tricky to ask for feedback in the right way. It’s no wonder that some companies hesitate to ask their customers to help them. It’s not that they don’t know why feedback matters. They believe it’s better to do nothing than doing something wrong.

That’s why we build our Feedback Suite Plugin for WordPress.

Our intention was to provide an easy to customize interface to ask for feedback in an effortless but productive way.

If it is that easy, why wouldn’t you do it?

What Questions should you ask?

Not every question is equally good – it depends on a lot of different things, for example, the words, the difficulty, and the tone.

In general: ask about things your customer care for!

Nowadays we are all busy and overwhelmed by information! Our brain helps us to work properly by shutting out some information that seems unnecessary. So it is more important than ever to be precise and direct!

  • Make it as easy as possible!
  • The question should be related to your customer’s experiences or needs!Ask the right questions

Qualitative vs. quantitive questions

Qualitative research focuses on the person’s point of view, it’s about open questions, and probands narrate freely.

Quantitative methods try to collect as many standardized data as possible. The preferred answers to questions are given and must be checked.

Quantitative Data is great feedback! By observing you will recognize a lot and it’s easy to draw conclusions.

But the true value lies in qualitative data! Because this is the data, you can actually do something about it.

In science, people tend to use qualitative questions to develop hypotheses first. In the next step, they will use quantitative questions to check these predictions.

That’s good advice for you too:

  • Start with open questions to find problems and topics.
  • Next, generate standardized questions to receive a lot of feedback!

The only thing left to do is work on the areas that need improvement and try to realize what you learned.

How to formulate questions properly

If you want to get useful feedback, it is necessary to ask the right questions. That way you’ll receive more feedback, and you can act on it to improve your business.

Next, you will find some guidelines to help you prepare result-focused survey questions:

1. KISS – (Keep it Simple, stupid)

The question(s) should be brief, easy to understand and easy to answer.

Again, keep in mind – people are busy! Almost nobody reads your whole article or is patient enough to search for relevant information. Therefore, your questions must be easy to recognize and to read!

The easier it is to give feedback the more answers you’ll get!

That includes usability too: Nobody will provide you with the feedback you need if there are many steps between writing and submitting.

That’s why WP Feedback forms are designed the way they are: as easy as possible and with the user in mind.

Also, remember not to confuse people with too complicated questions!

2. One thought per question

Too many questions put at once are discouraging!

They will overwhelm your readers, and in the end, you won’t have any reliable data. Or even worse: You get answers that are not true!

So if the question is too broad or complicated break it down into multiple, more tangible questions!

3. Be specific

Sometimes it’s not so easy to be specific. The best way to do this is to split up complicated concepts.

Be specific!

It’s better to get just one question answered – but without misunderstandings.

In some cases, terms do not mean the same for different people. Our task is to prevent ambiguities as good as possible.

Sometimes it is necessary to define your very own parameters.

  • Don’t ask: “Are you athletic?”
  • It’s much better to ask “Do you work out more than three days a week?” instead.

4. Use personal speech

You want to talk directly to your customers and engage them with your brand! Therefore it’s essential to address them in a personal manner.

In general, the whole feedback part should blend into the rest of your site. So the writing style should be similar!

The graphic preparation meets the eye at first. Find a Design that fits into your system, but is not too showy.

Feedback Suite helps you to set up a beautiful rating box in a few seconds. Simply write the question you want to ask, also add the text to the part “after voting” and select your desired colors. That’s it!

5. No leading questions!

The worst thing to do is to falsify actual answers by leading questions. That happens when one can see the researcher’s opinion in the question.

We all want to be liked. That’s why we tend to adapt to such situations. But if readers are encouraged to respond in a certain way your results will be distorted.

That’s why it’s also pretty important to be independent and unprejudiced as a researcher. You can not take your assumptions and wishes into it.

To prevent leading questions: Let an independent person read the questions. The answers should not be easy to guess!

If the person knows what you want to hear, it is better to rewrite the question!