13 Customer Discovery Questions to Ask for Valuable Insights

13 Customer Discovery Questions to Ask for Valuable Insights cover

What customer discovery questions should product managers ask to accurately identify the unsatisfied needs of potential customers and validate ideas?

This is exactly what the article deals with, so if you’re after the answer to this question, you’re in the right place.

Let’s get right to it!


  • Customer discovery questions enable product teams to better understand customer needs and problems so that they can build products that the potential customer truly needs.
  • To collect the necessary data, you can conduct customer discovery interviews or trigger in-app surveys. Other data sources include product analytics, asking customer-facing teams, competitor analysis, and industry events.
  • You normally use customer discovery questions as a part of the initial market and customer research. Their aim is to identify market gaps and unsatisfied customer needs.
  • Examples of questions to ask at this stage include ‘What is your main current pain point?’, ‘What tools do you currently use to [solve a specific problem]?’ or ‘What do you dislike about the solutions you’ve already tried?’
  • To retain product-market fit, you should engage in continuous customer and product discovery.
  • Examples of questions that you could be asking as a part of the process are ‘How easy is our product to use?’, ‘Are there any features you wish this product had?’ or ‘Is there anything that could make you stop using our product?’
  • If you want to see how Userpilot can help you with product discovery, book the demo!

What are customer discovery questions?

Customer discovery questions are questions that product teams can ask to gain a deeper understanding of their target customers – their behaviors, pain points, needs, and wants.

As a part of the customer discovery process, they allow you to validate assumptions and gather insights before developing or launching a new product.

In this way, you can ensure that what you’re building is in line with customer needs, which increases the chances of product success in the market.

Methods for collecting customer discovery insights

Product teams can gather customer discovery data in a number of ways. The most popular ones include:

  • Customer discovery interviews – either individual or in the form of focus groups, discovery interviews allow you to engage with potential customers directly to gain qualitative insights into their needs, challenges, and habits.
  • Customer feedback surveys – delivered either by email or in-app, they enable teams to collect both quantitative and qualitative insights at different stages of the product development lifecycle at scale.
  • Product analytics – tools like session recordings, funnel analysis, or feature tagging allow you to objectively analyze user behavior inside the product to identify customer pain points and preferences.
  • Internal discovery – customer-facing colleagues, for example, from the sales, customer success, or support teams, are a great source of anecdotal data about customers’ problems and needs.
  • Competitor analysis – analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of rival products and monitoring social media mentions and reviews allow the product manager to identify gaps in the market and find ways to differentiate the product.
  • Industry events – attending conferences and trade shows allows you to stay up to date with the trends in your niche, network with potential customers, and gather feedback on your product ideas.

Customer discovery questions for target market research

The key to successful customer discovery is asking the right questions. Here are a few possible customer discovery questions that you might consider while carrying out your initial research.

1. What is your current role and your most important tasks?

Understanding the nature of the roles that your potential customers hold and their everyday tasks is essential when developing new products.

Such insights allow product managers to prioritize features that help users complete their JTBDs. This makes the product more relevant and useful to the target users and increases the chances that they will adopt it.

2. What are your current pain points?

By identifying the pain points that plague users in their everyday work, product managers can understand gaps in the market and the weaknesses of the existing products.

Developing an effective solution to a customer’s problem increases the odds of product success. This is particularly true in the current economic climate. Customers may not always have the budget for vitamins, but they will always need painkillers.

3. What are the biggest challenges you encounter when trying to [achieve a specific goal]?

This question can be used as a follow-up to the question about users’ JTBDs.

It gives you a chance to better understand customer workflows and the obstacles that they face when trying to achieve their goals.

By understanding the challenges, product teams can design products that are easier to use and better satisfy user needs. The insights can also help them develop onboarding flows that remove friction from the customer journey.

Customer discovery questions: What are the biggest challenges you encounter?
Customer discovery questions: What are the biggest challenges you encounter?

4. What tools do you currently use to [solve a specific problem]?

Asking about the tools that users currently use gives product managers insight into the existing solutions and identifies their key competitors.

As such, the question could be a springboard for in-depth competitive analysis. It is the first step to building a superior product that outperforms competitors and effectively meets user needs.

5. What do you dislike about the solutions you’ve already tried?

This is a specific question exploring the shortcomings of available tools from the user’s perspective.

Analyzing the weaknesses of the existing solutions enables product managers to avoid the mistakes that other companies have made.

Consequently, they can come up with product ideas that not only solve the customer’s problems but also improve the overall user experience.

6. What factors are most important to you when making a purchase decision?

Understanding what factors users consider when making the decision to buy a product allows the team to prioritize their efforts.

For example, if they mention usability or functionality, these are the aspects that you should prioritize.

The answers to this question can also help you refine your product positioning, differentiation, and messaging.

Let’s imagine that the majority of customers say that price is the key factor. In this case, you need to adapt your pricing strategy to stand out from the competitors. For example, you could do it by lowering prices or offering a freemium product.

Customer discovery questions: What factors are most important to you when making a purchase decision?
Customer discovery questions: What factors are most important to you when making a purchase decision?

Customer discovery questions to ask for existing solutions

Discovery isn’t limited to new products. On the contrary, it should be an ongoing and iterative process so that you can keep up with the changes in customer needs and preferences and retain your product-market fit.

Let’s look at a few questions that can help you get valuable insights about an existing product.

7. How easy is our product to use?

This question is designed to identify any usability issues the customer might be experiencing. Their responses can provide insights into how intuitive and user-friendly the product is.

Answers to this question can guide the design and development teams to make improvements necessary to enhance the user experience. You can use them to remove complexities in navigation, improve feature discovery, and remove friction that makes it difficult to perform tasks.

Customer discovery questions: How easy is our product to use?
Customer discovery questions: How easy is our product to use?

8. Are there any features you wish this product had?

This question uncovers the unmet needs or desires of the customers. By asking this, you can understand what additional functionalities or features customers are looking for.

This can also help you identify issues with user onboarding and customer education. If the users request a feature that you already have or your product addresses the need in a different way, you need to explore why users don’t know about it.

By accommodating user requests and improving feature discovery, you make the product more competitive and enable users to fully realize its value.

9. If you could change one thing about our product, what would it be?

This question gives customers the chance to voice their concerns or dissatisfaction about the product.

The responses can provide invaluable insights into the potential areas of improvement – ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of customer churn.

10. How likely will you recommend this product to a friend/colleague?

This question is a direct measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty and is often used to calculate the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

In short, if customers are willing to recommend the product, it indicates their satisfaction and trust in the product.

When paired with open-ended questions, it can highlight the areas that need immediate attention to improve the overall customer experience.

Customer discovery questions: How likely are you to recommend our product?
Customer discovery questions: How likely are you to recommend our product?

11. Did you try any alternative solutions before this product?

This question helps to understand what made customers move on from your competitors.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of alternative products can help you identify your unique selling points and position your product more competitively in the market.

12. Are there any features that you rarely use or don’t find valuable?

This question helps to identify the less valuable features of the product.

By understanding which features don’t bring value to customers, you can better prioritize your development efforts and focus on improving the most useful functionality. This can simplify the product and make it more user-friendly and easier to maintain.

However, before you decide to sunset the unpopular feature, use in-app analytics to verify user feedback. Investigate why the feature adoption is so low. This may reveal issues with onboarding that you can easily address by improving in-app messaging.

Features & Events Dashboard in Userpilot
Features & Events dashboard in Userpilot.

13. Is there anything that could make you stop using our product?

This question identifies potential risks that could lead to customer churn.

Understanding these risks allows you to proactively address them before customers leave.

These insights can also be used to improve your product and customer service, which will translate into improved overall customer satisfaction.

How Userpilot can help with product discovery?

Userpilot is a product adoption platform. Its feedback and analytics features make it a perfect tool for continuous product and customer discovery.

What exactly can you do with Userpilot?

Let’s start with feedback collection.

Designing in-app surveys in Userpilot is dead easy thanks to a template library. It contains multiple survey templates, including industry-standard surveys like CES.

All you have to do is customize it for your product. So adjust the colors, maybe tweak the question a bit, or use AI to translate it automatically for speakers of other languages.

You can then send the survey at a specific time to all users or target a specific customer segment and trigger it contextually, for example, when they complete a task.

Survey templates in Userpilot
Survey templates in Userpilot.

Feedback analysis in Userpilot is straightforward too. It even offers a dedicated NPS dashboard where you can tag qualitative responses and analyze them for patterns. The team is also working on AI solutions that will literally turbocharge the analysis process.

Customer discovery tools: NPS response tagging in Userpilot
NPS response tagging in Userpilot.

Apart from collecting feedback, Userpilot allows you to track and analyze user behavior inside the product at all stages of the customer journey.

You can tag features and analyze user engagement in heatmaps, track trends, monitor custom events, or carry out funnel analysis to analyze conversion rates and look for friction points.

Customer discovery tools: Funnel analysis in Userpilot
Funnel analysis in Userpilot.


Customer discovery questions are essential at the early stages of product development when you’re researching the competitive landscape and assessing customer needs.

They are also essential for incremental innovation after the launch. They allow you to identify ways to improve the product and make it more competitive.

If you want to see how Userpilot can help you with product and customer discovery, book the demo!

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