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There is such a thing as a bad question

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.


About the Author

Troy Powell

Troy Powell

Troy Powell focuses on business analytics with primary responsibility for advanced analytics and data mining projects. He also serves as a key thought leader with responsibilities of developing new, innovative solutions and advancing knowledge on customer research, analytical techniques, and research methodology.

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