There are 6 types of user research questions I typically ask my clients’ customers (or prospective customers) when I’m trying to better understand the sales funnel—or just one part of it.
These questions can be modified for all types of user research studies:
- Website Users
- B2B Customers
- In-Store Customers
- Buyer Personas
- Customer Journey Maps
When structuring my user research questions, I try to keep them as simple and high-level as possible. This helps me ensure I don’t unintentionally make assumptions about the user’s process.
1. How or where did you begin your research or purchase process?
What was the very first step? Was it a conversation, website visit, or something else? Why did you start there?
If they used a search engine, I ask which keywords they used.
2. What triggered your research or purchase process?
What set off this entire process for you? Why now?
3. What steps, activities, or decisions were involved?
Walk me step-by-step through the entire process you used — no detail is too small. What questions did you have along the way? What were your biggest challenges or obstacles to overcome? Were there any surprises along the way? How did that make you feel?
Which aspects of the process were the most positive or easiest to complete? Why?
How much time did you spend on each step? How did you feel at each step?
How did you feel after your purchase? Looking backing, is there anything you wish you had done differently?
4. What resources did you use?
What websites did you use during your research or purchase process? Which ones were most helpful? Why? Which ones were least helpful? Why? What other resources did you use?
Did you talk to anyone during this process? Who? What did you talk about? What advice or information was most helpful? Why was that helpful?
Which devices did you use to conduct your research or purchase — phone, tablet, or computer? Where were you at the time of your research or purchase — at home, work, or on the go?
5. Who do you trust?
When researching or making your purchase, how did you determine whether a source was trustworthy or credible? What clues or signs did you look for to determine if a source was trustworthy?
What types of websites or companies are not trustworthy? Why not?
6. What was your purchase criteria?
How did you ultimately make a decision? What was most important to you? Why was that most important? What criteria was second most important? Why?
How did you determine what was important?
What criteria was not at all important to you? Why did you discard other options?
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