Effective feedback that reduces risk and increases new product development success.
What is product testing and how can it help?
Using surveys to conduct product testing is an effective element of a market research program and a valuable way to assess what people think of your product during its early development stages.
By helping to validate the direction you are taking or inform you of any improvements you need to make, a product survey can ensure you are better able to meet your customers’ expectations. Offering you a fresh pair of eyes, surveys can also reveal any problems you need to fix at a much earlier stage, which can help reduce the risk of any product performance problems further down the line.
Through questions that ask your audience how they feel about your product, such as how much they like and find it useful, to how likely they would buy and be prepared to pay for it, the product testing template helps you to better assess your product’s market appeal. And with the inclusion of one or two open-ended questions that invite respondents to list anything they feel needs to be improved, you will be more likely to build a finished product that meets the challenges and needs of your target market.
Why do product surveys matter?
Given today’s fast-moving markets and demanding consumers, the pressure to introduce new innovative products, stay relevant and keep your business moving forward has never been more critical. Yet, this is impossible to do if you don’t know what potential customers might want and need. And the only way to achieve that is through a mechanism that allows you to collect feedback from potential customers during the early product development stages. That’s where the product testing survey is so effective.
It is also useful in terms of segmenting your target audience, as the responses it provides can allow you to identify different groups that each share common attributes that they desire from your product. This can enable you to tailor your marketing strategy to different groups accordingly and improve your overall chances of success.
Time is money, so having spent considerable time developing your product before releasing it to the market, you will need to get it right first time. With a product survey you will have the tools to do this, as it enables you to gain valuable insights throughout the entire lifecycle of your product from its initial concept ideas right through to customer satisfaction.
How to create a product survey
The benefits gained from product testing should be evident long before the product you are trying to develop becomes a reality. And that process needs to start with concept testing.
Whether it’s a selection of new product designs and features, or a new website landing page, company logo or packaging, or developing your pricing strategy, whatever you need to get feedback for directly from your target audience, concept testing enables you to refine your initial ideas irrespective of how simple or sophisticated they may be.
Using the survey format, you can gather feedback on many different concepts from a wide range of potential customers, before defining and developing the ones that resonate with them the most. Once these have been developed further, you can also re-visit them by conducting more testing with your customers to bring you closer to your finished product.
How to write product testing questions
While making your survey questions short and easy to complete will help to maximise your engagement and response rates, it’s also important to think about the accuracy of your results, as this will be paramount to ultimately developing a product that consumers want. To get the most accurate results, product surveys should be written from as neutral a point of view as possible.
It’s generally recommended to avoid using a lot of overt branding, or first-person language such as “we” and “our” when discussing the product. By simply talking about “the” product, this will encourage respondents to answer as honestly as possible, even if that feedback is negative.
Why the right audience is vital in product testing
Having written your survey and depending on your product and the aspects of it that you are looking to test, you will need to ensure that everything is set up correctly with your target audience before you send it.
From your sample size to the demographics of the group you are looking to survey, it is essential that it supports what you are looking to investigate. If anything is incorrect, it can be damaging to the reliability of your results and what you are able to achieve from your insights going forward.
While for some scenarios you may already have enough of the right contacts in your customer database to carry out an effective survey, in other instances, especially if you are moving into a new market or are just starting out, finding enough people to take your survey can be more challenging.