Customer Research: What to Ask Before a Launch
It’s no secret that customer research is a crucial aspect of running a successful product- or service-based business. After all, you need to know as much as you can about your target audience: who they are, where they are, and what they need in order to market your ideas directly to them – and even create new ideas.
But as you grow and expand your business into new offerings, it’s important to tap back into customer research and get to know your target audiences all over again. Why, you ask?
Because people who buy one offer may not be the same people who buy another.
Even if your business, your brand, and your goals stay the same, your target audiences will be different with each offer — because you’re meeting them at different points in their journey. That’s the whole point of an offer suite.
Sure, there’s going to be some overlap between your current and new audiences and customers. But to assume they’ll be exactly the same means missing out on tons of opportunities to scale your business and your offerings.
So, ahead of your next launch, where do you start? Here’s what you need to know about your audience – and how to get that information from them.
Their pain points + hurdles
Before you even promote your newest offer, you need to take a few steps back to figure out what problems this specific offer can help others solve. Find and reach out to people who are newer to your industry or are just starting out in your specific ideal client niche. Ask questions like:
- What do they wish they knew?
- What are their current pain points and hurdles?
- What are their limitations? Time, money, skills, or something else?
Ideally, these will be people who are still a few steps away from being ready to work with you or purchase your product. That way, you can put yourself in their shoes, so you know exactly how to market your offer to them.
Their thoughts + feelings
While you’re on the subject of pain points and hurdles, it’s also good to ask potential customers lots of open-ended questions about their general thoughts and feelings. You can ask questions about areas related to your offer – or about your offer specifically. Try to get more insight about:
- How they feel
- Initial reactions
- What’s overwhelming or confusing to them
- How your service might be helpful or useful
Remember: Try not to ask leading questions or have defensive responses. You’re simply trying to get to know your target customers better so you can service them to the best of your abilities. Plus, they’ll likely have really good insight and feedback – all of which can make your offer that much better!
Their buying + scheduling preferences
Your customers’ buying and scheduling preferences may not seem like a big deal but, in reality, could be the ultimate deciding factor for them. Think about it: If they have total buy-in on your service, for example, but not your payment or scheduling options, it won’t take them long to jump ship. That’s why it’s important to get in-depth feedback about your customers’ preferences. For example:
- Do they prefer paying upfront costs or want several payment options?
- Do they prefer to use an online scheduler? If so, which one?
- Do they prefer a do-it-yourself or done-for-you service? Would they be willing to pay more for the latter?
Bottom line: The tools you’ve used in the past to purchase things or schedule services might not work for your customers. Really understand what they want and need so you can adjust along the way.
Their thoughts + opinions about your service/product
If you have time (and the ability to take constructive criticism), ask about what you’re creating specifically. Whether you want to ask high-level questions or get into the nitty-gritty, this is a really good chance to get helpful feedback. You can ask things like:
- What do you like about it?
- What do you not like about it?
- Would you purchase this? Why or why not?
Remember: Take all of this feedback with a grain of salt. Some opinions might not be the most flattering or helpful. Others might say they’ll buy it and never follow through. And that’s okay! All you’re trying to do is gather feedback to make your offer (and future offers) as successful as possible.
How to conduct your own customer research
Now that you know what to ask customers, it’s time to figure out how you’ll ask them. When it comes to customer research, there are two different ways you can go about it:
- Broad surveys
- 1:1 research
Broad surveys can happen through multiple mediums, like emails, forms, polls, Instagram Stories, and more! The latter can happen through interviews (virtual or in-person), direct messages, or phone calls.
If you have time, we suggest you do both forms of research, so you’re gathering as much information as possible!