Your clients and target market will ultimately decide whether a new product is a hit or a miss. And if they can only speak after the launch, when all product development stages are over, they might voice their disapproval with their wallets.
That could lead to financial disaster (and more than a little embarrassment). New product development questionnaires help because they give your customers a voice long before you’ve developed and launched something they’ll be asked to buy.
Concept testing, or evaluating potential customer response to a product idea prior to introducing it to the market, is an important—yet often overlooked—component of the product development process.
Say you’re part of a software company and you’re getting ready to launch a new product. You’ve spent the past 12 months developing it, and you’ve just briefed the marketing team on the important features and benefits. Then you introduce it to the market and it flops. As you dig into why, you realize you’ve missed the mark on what’s important to your customers and the customer experience—and have built a product that doesn’t fully resonate with their challenges and needs.
How could you have avoided this result? By questioning customers and consumers early and often during the product development process to validate your direction.
Stumped about what to cover in a product development questionnaire? Let’s go back to our software company survey example. If you’re designing a new product, you could use a survey to test:
Determine how familiar your target market is with your product category or brand. If, for example, someone is asked to recommend a great project management tool, what will they say? Will they be familiar with lots of different tools or just a few? Will they mention your brand? Will they recognize the “project management tools” category, or would they call it something else? Find out what words they use, and where you stand against your competitors.
Understand what’s really important to your target audience, and whether your development team has prioritized the right features. Where do users go first? What do they do over and over? What are they looking for but can’t find? What do they complain about that doesn’t exist yet? Ask users to rank features in terms of priority—and make sure to include the features already built as well as features that are still on your roadmap.
In the world of software, how you use specific features can be more important than the features themselves, so testing user interface early and often is extremely important. For qualitative testing, like a focus group, sit behind users and watch them navigate your application. What do they click on? Where are they getting stuck? What annoys them? Write everything down and ask questions. Then, ask them to quantify their experience in a more structured sample online product feedback survey where you can compare answers from different users and over time.
You may think you know all about what your customers like and dislike, but there’s some guesswork and mindreading involved in the product development life cycle unless you test ideas with surveys first. Additional SurveyMonkey polls give you data that can inform your product development strategy and make your launch even more successful. With those results, you can:
Planning to sell your new product in a store? Make sure you’re ready for the traffic. Find out how often consumers find what they want when they come to your store and hear what they think about their shopping experience. You can even learn if they’d recommend your product to a friend or family member. Our Retail Customer Feedback survey template makes it easy.
Questions, concerns, and orders might jump when a new product is released. Train your team for the increased traffic and make smart staffing decisions. Use our Customer Service Feedback template or Customer Comments survey template for feedback that will help you enhance your team’s customer service skills.
Conduct invaluable market research with product development surveys. This early intervention in the product development process helps you to build something that will really work, long before you’ve invested in a product launch. Check out our expert-certified templates for an easy way to test your new products.
Perform pre-launch testing and find out if a new product will be a big hit with your target market.Preview template
Make sure a service you’re contemplating will beat the competition, long before you release it.Preview template
Developing both a product and a service? Test both ideas at the same time.Preview template