There is such a thing as a bad question


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Another in my 140-word series.

As customer experience professionals, we often conduct customer surveys that primarily ask customers to provide answers from a defined set of response options. While I do believe we need to do more qualitative, ethnographic research, I want to take a different direction with this post.

Instead, my hypothesis is that our focus on closed-end survey questions leads us to ask “bad” questions outside of surveys. This hit me as I read this summary of Killer Questions by Phil McKinney. Good survey questions basically ask customers to confirm or disconfirm a hypothesis (our support is great, do you agree or disagree?). These questions are fine in a survey, but we need to use more investigative, Socratic questions within our organizations to drive the learning and innovation necessary to create the customer-focused strategies our companies need to thrive in the marketplace.


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