Competitors’ customers are treasure troves of insight. Not only can they tell you how satisfied they are with the competitor’s product or service, they can also clue you in as to why they picked the competitor in the first place.
In other words, you may learn why you missed out and how you can have the winning solution the next time around. Here are a few good questions to ask customers who have been using the competitor’s products for a period of time.
Episode 122: Post-Sale Questions for Competitor CustomersThis article is based on a “B2B Market Research” podcast episode. If you would rather listen to the podcast episode. You can do so below.
How often was the user or organization engaged with after initial sign-up?
The answer to this question shows you whether or not the competing company was high-touch. It can also show you whether the customer felt they were engaged with as much as they would have expected.
Was the transition from sales to implementation smooth?
Some of your competitors are going to be very good at selling and not so good at implementing. This is a potential win-back opportunity for your firm.
Did the implementation go well?
What were the pain points? What went smoother than expected? Again, this can highlight whether your competition is good at selling but not so good at implementing.
Now that the product has been in use for some time, which features are being used more than expected and which are being used less than expected?
The features the customer is enamored with may not be the ones that you expect.
Dig into this question to figure out which features drove customer engagement and which features have grabbed and held the customer’s attention after deployment.
Did third parties influence the customer’s decision to go with the competitor?
Were there partners involved while the application or the service was being deployed and integrations between the new product or service and existing solutions were being established?
How fundamental were those partners to the success of the deployment of your competitor’s product?
How was education handled for the product or service?
Buying is one thing, but having a product or service that you can learn well enough to actually use in a real-world setting is another.
How much support did the competitor offer?
What type of support did the competitor provide? Was it predominantly focused on community support or were paid support vehicles available? This can help you decide what types of support assets you need to invest in.
Which type of support did the customer utilize the most?
Which type of support did the customer find the most useful? You may realize you should consider webinars, “how-to” style content, reference architecture guides, or something completely different.
Was the customer satisfied with the mechanism of payment?
Did the customer feel that they were paying for the product in the way they wanted to? Were they forced to sign a yearly agreement when they would have preferred a monthly agreement? Were there certain tiers of pricing that they didn’t necessarily agree with? Were there areas in which they wished there were more options available?
Did the actual cost of the solution measure up with expectations?
Ask whether the solution began to cost the organization more and more over time. This could happen due to increasing support costs, challenges with integrating the new purchase with existing systems, or even the cost of educating users on how to use the new product or service effectively.
Does the customer foresee a time where they will outgrow the solution now that they’ve had it in production?
What could cause the company to outgrow the solution? The answer to this question could help you predict a win-back opportunity. Even if you have lost that company as a potential customer for the time being, you might have the opportunity to win them back months or years down the road. Factors such as vertical, company size, number of users, etc. could be indicators that it’s time to get your customer back.
Find The Competitor’s Achilles’ Heel
All of these questions are designed to bring insight to:
- How the customer came to the competitor.
- How satisfied they are with the competitor’s solution.
- Whether and when they may be looking elsewhere.
Obviously, having that sort of knowledge of your competitor will give you an edge.
Any one of these questions are guaranteed to generate insight in your next research study. Go out and ask them.
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