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The 5 Questions You Need to Be Asking Your Customers (Part 2)

By Kristyn Corrigan

As a follow up to her recent webinar, AMS Principal Kristyn Corrigan will be doing a three part series explaining the five questions you need to be asking your customers during voice of the customer interviews.

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In part one of this blog series, I reviewed the importance of asking “why” and eliciting stories about the last time a customer used your product or service. This post will cover the last three of my top five questions for effective voice of the customer interviews. I’ll touch upon understanding extremes, exploring behavior changes and determining how customers determine value.

Question 3:  Tell me about the best/worst time

Asking about extremes, such as a customer’s “best” or “worst” experience with a product, allows the consumer to remember the experiences that truly shaped their impression of your brand. In these extreme moments, we often uncover needs that wouldn’t have otherwise been top of mind for respondent but are still important. For example, if you’re a restaurant, learning about the best dining experience a customer had will provide you with rich detail to understand what truly made the experience stand out, and why. Similarly, learning about their worst experience will provide you with that same level of detail and emotion.

Question 4:  Have you always…?

“Have you always” questions are particularly useful to understand customers’ motivations for switching brands.  I like to use this line of questioning if someone brings up the brands/products they currently use. There’s value in learning about times where there was a change in a customer’s behavior.  What prompted this switch? What was the moment of truth? What put the customer over the edge? Why?

Question 5: How do you determine a “good value”?

Clients often ask me to incorporate willingness-to-pay questions into my qualitative voice of the customer interviews, and my answer is consistently that I wouldn’t recommend it. Willingness to pay is a very difficult question to ask directly - of course respondents will low-ball what they would actually pay, or insist that they want something for free. Pricing research is best done through quantitative research and choice-based methods, such as conjoint analysis. A better way to incorporate pricing in qualitative research is to ask how customers determine whether a product is a good value or not. This question shifts respondents from the dollars-and-cents mindset and focuses them on the drivers of value behind a product or service.

Don't miss the conclusion of Kristyn's three-part series, where she’ll cover the 5 questions you should almost never ask your customers during voice of the customer interviews. Subscribe to our blog today.

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