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.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Troy Powell, Ph.D
Troy consults on solutions to derive insights from customer information that optimize business performance. He has primary responsibility for deploying advanced analytics and developing innovative solutions for understanding and driving customer behavior. Troy has fifteen years of research across multiple research disciplines for both academic and corporate organizations. Troy holds a Ph.D. from Duke University.


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