Published December 18, 2023

Mastering Product Survey Questions: Unlock Your Product’s Potential

7 min read

Imagine pouring your heart, soul, and resources into a product only to discover that nobody needs it. It’s a startup’s nightmare but a reality for many. A staggering 35% of startups buckle under because they miss the mark on what the market demands. But what if you could peek into the future and pivot before the fall? Enter the power of product survey questions. These can be used for anyone building product.

We’ve talked in the past about startup failure, and Maja Voje reminds us that failure can be greatly reduced by talking to your customers.‘s study is super helpful for thinking about your research questions. Five of the top reasons startups fail is a lack of customer adoption.

The Heartbeat of Success: Product-Market Fit

CBInsights’ recent analysis sheds light on a sobering fact: a significant chunk of startups crash and burn because they ignore the market’s pulse. They build products in a vacuum, hoping for a need to materialize magically. Yet, the trick isn’t in conjuring demand but in discovering it—and that’s where product survey questions come in. 

I can confirm this from my first-hand experience – I see this daily with founders I consult. Getting early market feedback, getting as close to customers and testing willingness to pay isn’t that hard, and will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

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Maja Voje, Founder and Investor, Growth Lab

These questions are the stethoscope that listens to the heartbeat of market demand, ensuring you’re creating a product that fits snugly into the market’s desires.

5 Product Survey Questions to Validate Your Direction

There’s much to learn from startups, especially their failures. Here are five power questions to help you quickly identify if your team is heading in the right direction:

1. Can you describe a situation where you really need our product, and why can’t you use something else instead?

Talking with customers helps check if people need what you plan to sell before you start. Online formalwear outlet Getup recently ran a test with 100 male formalwear shoppers in the United States to validate their product direction.

Recipients were asked an open-ended question, “List the biggest challenges that you experience when you are purchasing a suit for yourself.” Here was an enlightening response:

My ever changing waist size and stomach size. I hate buying suits right now because my own physical needs change over time.

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– Helio Participant, Online Formalwear Shopper (US)

This insight could be used to create marketing campaigns offering suits in various sizes to existing customers with waist size data. View the Helio Example

2. What do you like most about our product, and how much is it worth to you?

Customer opinions can show if your business plan makes sense and if they’d pay for your offering. We asked our audience of 100 male formalwear shoppers in the United States, “On a scale of 0-10, how useful would it be to have a professional stylist available to you at all times when shopping for a suit online?”

Having access to a professional stylist could potentially be a value-add that Getup could offer to their users. View the Helio Example

3. What would you use if our product wasn’t available, and what’s the most you’d pay for it?

Chatting with customers can guide you to set prices they’re willing to pay. Getup asked the Helio audience of 100 male formalwear shoppers in the United States, “Imagine you need to purchase a suit for a wedding. How much are you willing to spend on the suit?”

Here was a response that shone a light on how potential buyers may be thinking.

300ish. I already have a few really nice ones. If I need an extra, I’ll shop sales.

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– Helio Participant, Online Formalwear Consumer (US)

This response illustrates a theory to explore deeper: If some buyers already have an existing suit that fits, they may become bargain shoppers for additional suits because the opportunity cost of not purchasing an additional suit is much, much lower. View the Helio Example

4. Was there ever a time our product didn’t fit your needs, and when should we have offered it?

Talking to future buyers can clue you in on the best time to release your product. In another Getup example, they first asked our audience of 100 male formalwear shoppers in the United States an open-ended question, “What would you consider a ‘formal event?'”

Then, we asked a closed-ended question, “What was the last formal event you attended?” with six different options of commonly-mentioned answers to the formal event question:

  • Wedding
  • Funeral
  • Cocktail Party
  • Holiday Party
  • Fundraiser
  • Other

The results from this question helped Getup understand other times in which their buyers could be in market for their product. View the Helio Example

5. What three things could we do better with our product?

Listening to customer complaints can point out what you need to fix or make better in your product. Adapting these questions to your product’s context is crucial. They’re not just queries; they’re a conversation with your future customers.

As you can see in the image below, we asked a Helio audience:

One a scale from 0 to 1-, with 10 being complete agreement, how much do you agree with the following statement:

“There is enough information on this page for me to make a decision on my purchase.”

View the Helio Example

The Early Bird Gets the Feedback: Engaging with Customers Early On

The journey to product success begins before any code is written or design is drafted. It starts with a customer conversation that sparks insights and fosters connections. Engaging with potential customers from the get-go is not just beneficial; it’s crucial. This early engagement is about opening a two-way street where dialogue flows freely, ensuring that the voice of the customer echoes through every facet of your product.

Imagine having a direct line to the thoughts and preferences of those who will eventually use your product. By leveraging product survey questions during the ideation phase, you can tap into this rich vein of information, clarifying what features are must-haves versus nice-to-haves. It’s about creating a foundation for your product rooted in customer needs—a foundation that can significantly reduce the risk of building something out of touch with market realities.

The Blueprint of Viability: Validating the Business Model Through Surveys

A business model is more than just a mechanism for making money—it’s the very essence of your product’s value proposition. It’s a pledge that your product is viable and valuable. Product survey questions can serve as a litmus test for this pledge, uncovering the truth about what your customers truly value and what they’re willing to pay for it.

Think of product surveys as a reality check for your business model. They can confirm if your value proposition resonates with potential customers and if your anticipated revenue streams are on point. These insights allow you to adjust and refine your business model, ensuring it is viable on paper and in the real world where it counts.

Perfect Timing: Timing Your Product Right

In startups, timing can mean the difference between a product that soars and sinks. It’s about understanding the rhythm of the market and synchronizing your product’s launch to the beat of customer demand. Product surveys are the tool that helps you find this rhythm, revealing when customers are most likely to welcome your product with open arms.

You can gauge the market’s pulse by asking the right questions at the right time. Are customers ready for your product now, or is waiting better? Is there an upcoming event or trend that your product can capitalize on? Product surveys can provide these answers, guiding you to a launch timed to perfection.

The Evolution of Excellence: Iterating Based on Customer Feedback

Building a product is not a one-time event; it’s a process—a cycle of creation, feedback, and refinement. At Helio, we call this continuous discovery. The first version of your product is merely a starting point, a canvas to which each stroke of customer feedback adds color and depth. Iteration is where good products become great, and product surveys are the tool that ensures your iterations are always moving in the right direction.

With each survey, you collect valuable data showing how your product is being received. This feedback is the cornerstone of iteration, helping you understand what’s working, what’s not, and what could be improved. It’s about embracing the mindset of continuous improvement, ensuring that your product is always evolving to meet the changing needs of your customers.

From Insight to Impact: The Power of Product Surveys

The path to building a product that resonates with customers is uncertain. Product survey questions are the compass that guides you through this maze, providing the insights you need to make informed decisions. They illuminate the path from conception to launch, ensuring that every step you take is grounded in customer understanding.

With tools like Helio at your disposal, this journey becomes less daunting. These platforms offer the means to not only ask the right questions but also to analyze the answers in a way that’s actionable and impactful. It’s about turning insights into strategies and strategies into success.

Using Product Surveys with Helio

Navigating product success hinges on understanding customer needs—a task where 35% of startups miss the mark. Product survey questions are crucial in this landscape, providing insights that shape product development to fit the market’s pulse.

Early customer engagement can guide design choices, ensuring the product meets real-world needs. These dialogues are foundational, informing a product that resonates with potential users.

Product surveys also validate your business model, revealing customer values and willingness to pay, thus refining your value proposition. Moreover, they pinpoint the optimal timing for your product launch, aligning with market readiness.

Continuous feedback is vital for improvement as your product evolves, turning good into great. Product surveys are a compass through the startup maze, illuminating the path from concept to successful launch. With tools like Helio, this journey is more navigable, transforming customer insights into actionable strategies for success. They’re not just queries but the keystones of customer satisfaction and product success. If you want to learn more about how to use product surveys with Helio, talk to an expert today.

Product Survey FAQ

Why are product survey questions important?
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They uncover real market demand and validate the product’s fit in the market.

How can I know if there’s a market need for my product?
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Utilize product survey questions to ask potential customers about their challenges and needs directly.

What’s a key strategy to avoid startup failure?
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Engage with customers early through surveys to shape product development based on feedback. Begin asking these questions before product development to guide your design and feature set.

How do product surveys help you make great products?
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They can gauge customer price sensitivity and perceived value, aiding in pricing strategy. They can test assumptions in your business model and refine your value proposition. Surveys can help identify the best market entry timing by assessing customer readiness.

How often should I iterate on my product based on survey feedback?
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Continuously, using feedback to evolve the product to meet customer needs better.

What is a feedback loop in product development?
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It’s a process where ongoing customer feedback through surveys informs constant product improvement.

Where can I find tools to help with product surveys?
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Online platforms like Helio offer resources to create and analyze product surveys.

Build something your users truly want