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Five steps to ask better questions

He who knows not, does not buy

Customer feedback is necessary for improvement. If you want to know, how to build better products and services, you need to ask the people using them. The thing is, asking questions is difficult. At least, if you want honest answers.

If I would, for example, ask you, how you liked this newsletter, most people would just answer: “Good”

This is the most unhelpful answer I could get. First of all, the answer is so generic, that I have to assume, it’s not the real answer. It’s the answer we give, if we don’t want to think about the question or don’t want to offend the other person. It’s what we say to children that want to show us something while we are in the middle of something else.

But let’s assume, you actually like the newsletter. What does good mean?

For something to be good, you have to benefit from it in some way

You need to have some progress. But I don’t know how you measure this progress? And when you realize you have it.

One feedback I got was: “It helps me get into a creative learning mode in the morning before boring work kicks in”

This is way more specific and helpful. It contains metrics for success and some information on the time. But I am still missing a lot of information. Like “what in the text brings you into the creative learning mode”. Also, getting good feedback is a lucky coincidence. And we don’t want to depend on that.

It is better, to learn how to ask good questions

Learning to ask better questions takes time and practice. To get you kickstarted, here are five rules for asking better questions:

1) You can’t fake being interested

Either you truly want to know more about the other person or not. You won’t get good results, unless your questions are about them and not about you.

2) Think about how you want to make their life easier with your product

Not about how to increase sales. The whole process of asking questions is about them.

3) Don’t suggest

Asking neutral questions is work. Most questions contain a primer. You don’t want them to just confirm your opinion, do you? Even questions like “What did you like about our product?” assume that they liked something.

4) Ask only facts, not opions

“Would you buy this car, if xyz?” is a terrible question. People either did something or they didn’t. Humans tend to not do what they say they will do. Ask for how they did it, not how they would do it.

5) Know what you are looking for

For that I can recommend our article on “structuring unlearned information”.

Want to learn how to ask better questions?

Have a look at our next Mastering Jobs to be Done Online Workshop

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