Like anything else, getting valuable feedback is all about asking the right questions. So we asked seven entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what questions they would ask to get the most helpful information. Q. When looking for actionable feedback on a new product, what is one helpful question you should ask?
A. How Would This Change Your Life?
I like to pull out the big guns. Try asking, "If I gave this to you right now, how would it would change your life tomorrow?" Then listen for pain resolved, desires fulfilled, or specific points celebrated. The feedback becomes actionable as you weave it into the marketing material for your new thing!
A. Can You Live Without It?
I like to ask the boldest question feasible: Can you live without it? Think of what you couldn't bear NOT having -- your smart phone, a certain app, a brand of coffee that jolts you to life and so forth. The answer to this question is usually, "Well. . . yes." Get to the answer, "no way!" and you'll be on to solving a true problem in the marketplace.
A. What Can Be Eliminated?
I like to start by asking what parts are unnecessary for the user.
If there are too many unnecessary items, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
A. How Would You Describe This Product to a Friend?
It can often be difficult to summarize something that you're too close to -- or understand what the standout feature is to others. Asking your early users to describe the product to you reveals what they think the product does, as well as some really useful language to use for marketing copy.
A. How Would You Use This?
I recommend taking a consumer research approach. Ask the user to describe where, when and how they'd use it. This is where you get to the nuances and details that are so essential in product development. It helps you envision every interaction the user might have and how and where it fits into the nooks and crannies of their life.
A. How Much Would You Pay?
One critical aspect of getting product feedback is making sure that you speak with the right stakeholders. Avoid getting product feedbackfrom non-customers. To determine if someone is truly a valid critic for your product, ask how much they would be willing to pay for your solution. If they are not willing to pay, or their answer is out of your expected range, their input is likely of less value.
A. How Would You Customize It?
Additional feedback regarding how customers would customize and modify your product is helpful insight into adjustments that could be made in the future. Hearing a variety of answers will help you to ask specific follow up questions to further drill down on your customers understanding of the product. Customization questioning also helps unveil potential up-sell and impulse purchases down the line.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.