Using a Customer Research Survey to Optimize Your Lead Generation

Philip Cleave
March 18, 2020

Have you ever wondered if you’re communicating the right messages to your prospects? Or maybe you are worried that these communications are not connecting with your audience and you’re missing out on opportunities?

Whatever you think may be harming your lead generation, you might want to consider conducting an online survey as part of your customer research, as the insight it provides can enhance your understanding of your customers making it easier to deliver more of what they want and need.

Knowing what questions to ask in your customer research survey is vital

If you’ve ever searched for examples of customer research questions online, chances are you may have been offered some sample market research questions instead.

However, while there are some similarities between the two, market research tends to be wider in its focus, looking at areas such as the issues people may be experiencing at work, the magazines they like to read and what they do in their spare time. In contrast customer research tends to be more specific in focus and is more concerned with issues such as how customers’ feel about your company, products or services.

The insight you can pick up through market research can be very useful, especially if you’re trying to assess the potential demand for a new product that you want to introduce to a new market – more information to help you with this can be found on our Market Research solutions page. However, for the intents and purposes of this blog we will focus on customer research, and how through the use of a survey you can better understand what your customers think about your product or service, which will help to inform your strategy and strengthen your lead generation efforts.

Great questions are key to better understanding of your customers

To get the insight you require, you need to be asking your customers the right questions. We’ve outlined some great questions to get you started below, with a brief explanation of how they can help. In addition to inserting your own product or service name, you may also need to tweak these questions to best fit your own specific needs.

How did you discover our product/service name?

Customer acquisition is a challenge for all businesses. By asking the above question you will be better able to identify the source of some of that direct or hard-to-track traffic that comes to your website or physical location.

How much time passed between you hearing about our product/service name and using product/service name?

This is a useful question, as by asking it you’re able to get a better idea of how long your sales cycle really is. This can also impact how you structure your lead generation funnel and help highlight which parts of it you need to strengthen in order to improve your lead conversion rate.

What made you choose to try out product/service?

Asking this question will help you to get inside the mind of your customers and better understand what they were thinking and feeling at the time that they made their purchasing decision. 

What was your initial reaction to or opinion of product/service?

Sometimes a customer’s initial reaction is different from how they feel about your product or service months later. This is a useful question to ask, as the insight it can provide you with can enable you to ensure the quality of what you’re providing is consistent throughout the customer’s journey and help to boost your overall customer retention efforts. 

What happened when you first used the product/service that made you want to continue using it?

Often an individual’s reason for buying something and then continuing to use it will be completely different. Whether it’s the result of an unexpected user benefit, or satisfaction with the level of service they have received post sale, asking this question will help you to learn more about why people are continuing to use your product or service, rather than just the initial facts of why they first purchased it.

What results and outcomes were you expecting from product/service?

While you will be eager to know what your customers thought of your product or service, it can be equally valuable to know what they expected before they made their purchase, as you can use this insight to guide you and improve the success of any future acquisition campaigns that you run.

What have you been able to achieve with product/service?

Sometimes a product might have more use cases than you realize. This is a good question to ask, because if enough people are saying the same things about an extra use that you didn’t know about, you might be able add this as an extra product feature or benefit on future product iterations.

How were you handling these tasks before?

This is another useful question that helps you discover the ‘before’ state of your customer, whose insight you can use to add even more features and benefits going forward.

Can you tell me about what worked and didn’t work regarding your previous way of doing things?

Again, this question can enable you to dig deeper into the lives of your customers before they started using your product. You can then use this insight to make any further enhancements you see fit.

How has product/service impacted your performance or long-term goals?

This question is particularly useful for B2B companies, as it can help them discover all the results and outcomes of their product including any that they were previously unaware of. 

What aspects of product/service name could you not live without?

Given how some survey questions are worded, it can sometimes be challenging to distinguish between what a respondent deems important and what they view as just a ‘nice to have’. In contrast, this question is very straight to the point and its inclusion will help you to separate out the most critical features and elements of your product.

How do these aspects make your life better?

By following up the previous question with this one, you will be able to dig even deeper into your customers answers to better understand what it is about these specific features that they love so much.

Can you offer an example of a specific time when product/service name really impressed you and helped you?

To obtain further value and context from customer research into a new product or service, it can help if you ask your customers to provide you with a real-life example of when it benefited them. This can help you to uncover additional value propositions you didn’t even know existed.

Can you tell me about any unexpected benefits and/or results of using product/service name?

Similarly, by asking this direct question, you could discover more positive outcomes about your product or service, beyond those core ones you were already aware of.

How often do you use product/service name – daily, weekly or monthly?

With this final question you can gain a better sense of how your product or service fits in with your customers’ everyday lives, which can be extremely helpful when you are trying to forecast future demand and sales.

Why customer research surveys are so important for your lead generation

There can be a fine line between knowing what’s best for your customers and what they will best respond to or not. It pays to find out as much as you can about them and their views on every aspect of your product or service before moving forward.

With the right customer research survey and questions not only will you gain better insight into what your customers are thinking, you will be able to use this information to enhance your messaging and optimize your lead generation.


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