Actionable Feedback: The Best Questions to Ask Your Users
We all know that listening to your users is the best way to improve your website, product, or services – but, how do you know which questions to ask to get the feedback you need?
Quantitive data is great, but the true value in collecting user feedback lies in the qualitative data i.e. the information you can actually do something with.
After all, if your feedback isn’t actionable, what’s the point?
Before you get started with user feedback, you must first define your objectives. Are you trying to find out why people are leaving your site? Do you need to know what’s standing in the way of conversions? Do you want to catch bugs and errors before they cost you time, money and resources?
Depending on your objectives and goals, the range of things you ask your users will vary. However, there are some fundamental questions that are useful and applicable for all kinds of businesses and will help you get the rich, qualitative answers you need to make real improvements on your site.
Why did you visit our website today?
This is a really clear way to find out what your customers are looking for and whether you’re actually providing it for them.
Some of the answers to this question might surprise you or shed light on user objectives that you hadn’t even considered. Are the right people (i.e. your ideal clients) visiting your site? Are you providing valuable information for them? Analytics might show you how many people are visiting your site, but user feedback will tell you why they’re there.
Did you find what you were looking for?
This question is vital in finding out if your website is delivering what your users want/need and it will also highlight any potential top-level navigation issues. There may be some content that your users are looking for that isn’t as prominent on your site as it should be.
What do your users expect to see when they land on your homepage? What content are they looking for first/most regularly? If your users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave your site and go find it somewhere else.
What was your goal today and were you able to achieve it?
With an understanding of your users’ goals, you can make informed decisions about your site to make sure you are facilitating an optimal user experience. This question will also give valuable insight into their motivations so you can align your current positioning with what users are trying to achieve. Does your site directly enable your users to reach their goals? If not, you may need to make some changes.
Do you have any questions that you couldn’t find the answers to?
Asking your users if there’s anything you’ve missed will immediately highlight areas for improvement. Your potential and even existing customers are likely to be on your site to find information on your company, products or services, and if they can’t find it, they’ll look somewhere else.
This question might bring attention to things you hadn’t even thought about; sometimes, you can lose objectivity when you’re working on something closely or for a long time. The best way to get a clear understanding of how your users are interacting with your website is to ask them. Research and internal hunches can only get you so far, asking your users directly is the best way to truly understand their experience, and only then will you be able to optimize it.
What was the biggest challenge in finding what you were looking for? How much effort did it take to carry out your task today?
It may not be an appealing thought to ask your users to specifically highlight potentially negative things about their experience, but this can sometimes be the most valuable information you can get. You’re essentially asking them about barriers to conversion i.e. what’s stopping them from completing the desired action (and really, that’s what we all want to know, right?).
This is also a great way to determine the Customer Effort Score (CES) of your site, which is becoming an increasingly important metric to measure customer loyalty. Having a better understanding of how easy or difficult your users are finding it to complete an action will give you a clear indication of areas you need to improve or optimize. The sad truth is that your users will probably feel more comfortable telling you what’s not working over what is, but this information can be just as valuable.
How can we improve our [X] page?
Asking your users about specific pages will make it easier to implement changes on a smaller scale. Any good feedback tool (like Usabilla!) will give you the option to leave generic or specific feedback so you can drill down to individual elements if you want or need to. Is there something on a particular part of your site that’s causing drop-offs? Every page on your site serves a purpose so it’s really important to find out if each page is delivering what it’s supposed to, and you can be sure your users will tell you if it’s not.
Other questions to consider
General site improvement
- Help us improve our website! Tell us what you like or dislike.
- How can we improve our website?
- If you could change one thing about our website, what would it be?
- What would make your experience on our site even better?
- Based on your visit today, how would you rate the overall experience of the site?
- What factors did you consider when choosing our product?
- What’s preventing you from signing up today?
- Why did you choose [X]?
- How would you rate this content?
- Was this post helpful?
- How can we improve this page?
- Is there information missing from this page?
- Did you find the information you were looking for?
- Did you enjoy this article?
- What would you like to read next?
- Can you tell us what issue led you to this page?
- Which page did you visit before this one?
- Where were you trying to go?
- What stopped you from completing your purchase today?
- What’s your biggest concern about purchasing from us?
- Do you have any questions before you complete your purchase?
- Were you able to complete your purchase without any issues today?
- How could we improve the checkout process?
Collecting user feedback should always be centered around getting information you can actually use. Try to avoid questions with a yes/no answer and instead leave your questions as open ended as possible. The answers you get back might be varied but they’ll also be highly insightful.
User feedback qualifies and explains your quantitative data – analytics tells you the what, user feedback tells you why. If you want to deliver the best user experience, increase conversions and boost customer satisfaction, you must listen to your users. After all, your users have the answers, all you have to do is start listening.