Follow-up questions have many uses, whether it’s during a job interview to find out if a candidate will adapt to the culture and way of working of a team, or in a survey, to learn more about a previous answer.
Although many will ask the “right” questions, the key is the ability to listen carefully or know the respondent well enough to create follow-up questions that reveal the real thoughts and feelings of the person answering.
Advantages of asking follow-up questions
A good follow-up question will build on the flow of the conversation or previous survey questions, delving into a certain response or statement from the person.
One of the benefits of follow-up questions is that they help you identify additional aspects that can make a difference in an investigation.
It is very important to keep track of the key points of the subject being evaluated; If, for example, you ask questions in person, the person will feel comfortable and will commit to answering the follow-up questions honestly, allowing you to get more information.
Steps to ask a follow-up questions
These steps are key to asking follow-up questions in an interview:
1. Listen carefully and pay real attention to the answers to the follow-up questions
Many interviewers listen but don’t really engage in the conversation. Listen to the details and select the key experiences and examples they give you to follow up.
2. Participate effectively in the conversation
With a goal in mind, you can attract the interviewee’s attention. By linking your follow-up question to their answers, you are engaging them and you will go beyond the answers they may have ready and will still be able to see a more genuine side of them.
3. Don’t settle for an ambiguous answer
It can happen that people try to divert your question to other topics. If your question hasn’t been answered, rephrase it: ask people to be more specific.
By following these three steps when asking a follow-up question, you will avoid getting the closed answers that you want to skip.
Follow-up questions for a customer survey
Customer surveys are the bread and butter of companies engaged with their audience; whether you send out customer satisfaction surveys, Net Promoter Score surveys or questions with the purpose of knowing the indicator of customer effort with your product.
Follow-up questions are used to find additional nuances or add some qualitative color to traditionally number-laden reports.
While the quantitative data and numerical scoring is helpful and satisfying, if you don’t add follow-up questions after the survey, you may be missing key customer information.
Ideally, make them feel heard by acting on or responding to their constructive opinions.
By asking follow up questions right after the main one, you get the opportunity to take time and make room for them to open up about how they feel.
So what are some of the best follow-up questions you can ask to learn more about your customers’ needs and wants, and what will the answers to these questions tell you? Here are some examples that may help you:
What could we do to make you satisfied with our service?
This is an open question that allows your clients to write whatever they want.
Of course, there is a risk that people will not want to answer, since free answers are usually longer than multiple-choice questions. If you choose to make this question optional, you will get fewer answers, but the ones you get will be much more valuable than if you force everyone to answer.
The answers to this question will let you know which aspects of your product are really valuable to people: pay attention to them and see if they speak more about the characteristics of the product, the support options or simply the overall value of the product. Once you find a trend, you will have more direction in which to direct your strategy.
If you could change just one thing about our product, what would it be?
As in the previous case, this is a free answer and therefore it should probably be optional. This kind of follow-up question gives your customers permission to think big and really give you an idea of what part of the product they would like to see more of.
Unlike the previous question, this one is a bit more direct (it focuses on the product), so you can expect to get mostly ideas on how you could change your product.
What are the three characteristics that you would most like to see from the product in the future?
This can be a required and multiple choice question.
In it, customers should list some of their most requested feature requests and with this, you as a company see which ones are the most valued by your customers and work on them.
Which of these words best describes our product?
This is a multiple choice question with the option to add a blank space at the end. The value of this question is that it helps you understand the feeling that your customers have about your product; You can also create another similar question to evaluate, for example, your customer service or some other aspect of your company in addition to the product if you want to obtain information about it.
Use these example words to make sense of the evaluation you want to do:
- Something confusing
- Other (Please indicate the option you want to add in the blank space)
- You can do a sentiment analysis through these options, this is a great way to understand how people feel about your product in general. Similarly, the “other” option can lead to some interesting comments or ratings.
What problem would you like to solve with our product?
Nobody is able to define the needs and desires of the clients like themselves.
Asking them and giving them a chance to share what they are trying to achieve can help you build patterns to understand what the motivators of your customer base are, and see how you could better satisfy them.
It also gives you a good idea of how to best market your product and its features: If you know the main problems that your target demographic is trying to solve, you can talk about them in your market research campaigns.
This should be an optional question that gives people the opportunity to write as much or as little as they want.
How would you rate the value for money of the product?
Money is a sensitive subject that can be difficult to bring up outside of conversations when a customer is debating whether to abandon a purchase or buyback of a product. Including a Gabor-Granger question in your survey opens the door for customers to share their opinions without feeling that what they are experiencing is an awkward conversation.
Use this question to understand how most of your customers view the value of your product, and perhaps continue with other follow-up questions about how you could increase the value of your product.
Have you been able to find the information you were looking for on our website?
Include this question in a survey as part of the attendance or sales follow-up and allow the customer to tell you if your help seemed intuitive or if they find it difficult to navigate.
Don’t forget to absorb all the comments to improve the user experience of your audience.
You should also know which questions are general and which are specific.
Ask your follow-up questions using QuestionPro
Many of these follow-up questions supplement the information already asked for in customer service surveys.
Use them to find additional nuances. By inviting your customers to dig deeper and provide you with even more incisive information, you will build trust and loyalty with them, and that will allow you to make an even better product.
Have more questions about creating follow-up questions and using survey logics that will help you get respondents to answer certain questions, depending on their previous answers? Our team is here to help you.