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A definitive list of questions to ask your clients. To understand clients and to get meaningful client feedback.

When you are offering technical service to clients, knowing why a client is unsatisfied is the first step toward the solution. For that, you need to ask the right set of questions to dig into their pain points and straighten the facts. Thus, you need to master the art of questioning. More specifically, know when and what questions to ask your clients.

And this is exactly what we’re gonna cover in this client relationship questionnaire.

Updated on June 14th, 2022 for relevancy.

Questions to ask before the development phase

The phase between the client approaching your agency and you building the client requirements is crucial for you as well as your clients. As clients need to explain what they want. And you will need to help them answer the right set of questions.

Remember, most customers know what they like, what they don’t like, what their problems are, and what they don’t need. However, they don’t know what it is that you can produce for them that they may end up wanting. Many people do not realise the need for something until it actually exists.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

– Henry Ford

Having a checklist of what needs to be asked always helps as it ensures you that you have all the necessary information before you start the hard work.

Never assume you know it, Just ask for it.

– Brian Tracy

Let’s lay down some of the key objectives of a web-designing and software agency.

Agency Objectives

  • Understanding clients and end-user needs.
  • Understanding the client’s business model.
  • Understanding challenges (discovery, competition, delivery, time constraints).
  • Understanding how the client visualises the finished product (any prior thoughts, likes or dislikes).

Here are some of the key questions you should ask your clients before you start coding a single piece of line.

Questions to ask your clients:

  • What is the problem statement and what are all the pain points being addressed (by the solution)?
  • How is your client different from its competitors? Is there anything unique they are offering to the users? If not anything different then ask how is your client better than others in the market? (If they’re an eCommerce or service-base, ask them) Do they provide cheaper deals, better customer services or anything else that affects end-user decisions?
  • Who is the target audience? Do ask for Specifications like age group, gender, occupation, interests, etc.
  • What features do your clients expect: responsive design, multilingual support, cross-browser support, social media integrations, etc.
  • What discovery channels (where their user can find their product) is your client planning to use?
  • What are the biggest challenges your clients see in terms of resources, distribution and ROI?
  • What is the expected time to market and why? Would it be a deal-breaker?
  • Who is the closest competitor in terms of popularity as well as market share?
  • What are your client’s immediate goals? Is it to spread awareness about the product/service, is it getting visitors’ contact details for cold email marketing or for setting up a demo etc. This will help the UI/UX team to design the solutions accordingly.
  • What are the long-term goals that your clients wish to accomplish? What are they expecting to achieve in future?
  • What budget do they have in mind?
  • What would be the client-side approval workflow? Who are the decision-makers? Generally, how long does your client take to decide?
  • Is there anything extra they would like to see in the finished product? Also, make sure to know about the things the clients would not like to see in the finished product?
  • How are the clients planning to measure the project’s success? Do they wish to set up google analytics, some CMS or a helpdesk service?

Questions to ask during the development phase

I’m sure you would have heard plenty of vague feedback comments from your clients during different iterations of the development cycle. Like: ‘I don’t like this, but I don’t know why, ‘It is good but can you make it better, ‘Can you Photoshop it’…But such feedback never helps you. Let me say this — It’s not your client’s mistake, they are not doing it deliberately. 

I have personally worked with multiple clients at zipBoard and although it might sound harsh, it’s almost always up to us to make sure we get the right feedback in the way we want them. Let me show you how.

One word: Context. It matters. And here’s how you can get contextual feedback on, say, a website.

Client collaboration and bug tracking for web apps in zipBoard
Contextual feedback on webpages in zipBoard

The problem is that the clients don’t understand design the way you do. So, to get meaningful feedback from clients you need to ask specific and to-the-point design questions.

Context matters

Agency objectives

  • To get insights into the user experience.
  • To know — Are clients able to communicate with the end-users.
  • To get confidence in the concept.

Here are some of the key questions you should ask your clients in the development phase for better contextual feedback.

Questions to ask your clients

  • Is the CTA clear and loud? Can your client focus on the right place?
  • Is the navigation easy? Does your client know where to click next?
  • What is it that your client remembers after viewing the design?
  • Is the colour scheme suiting the target audience’s interests?
  • Do the white spaces soothe your client or make them feel something is missing?
  • Are your clients able to understand what it is trying to sell, without sounding too salesy?
  • Can your client provide an example of something similar they are looking for?
  • Is user onboarding correct or too noisy/distracting?
  • Is there anything that irritates your client or makes him feel confused?
  • Is there anything extra which is not required?
  • If you’re also providing the copy for them then ask: 
    • Is the copy giving enough details, too many details or too few details?
    • Does the copy cover all elements that need to be highlighted? Is it reflecting all the use cases and scenarios?
    • Is the copy text readable in terms of fonts as well as in terms of visibility with respect to the background?
    • Is it giving too much information too quickly?

Get Contextual Feedback From Clients

Did you know you could get contextual feedback from your clients in zipBoard, without them ever having to log in?

Learn moreBook a free demo

Questions to ask in the post-development phase

To have lasting relations with clients, you need to make them feel you care about them and that they matter a lot to you. You need to make your clients comfortable enough to share their genuine feedback about their experience, your processes, and skills your team might need to improve. This lets you know where you can improve to serve your clients better in future.

Agency Objectives

  • To know the client’s experience during their journey with you.
  • To know if the workflow and collaboration processes are up to the mark or not.
  • To know if you need to add any skill to your skillset or if you need to catch up on some upcoming trends.

Questions to ask your clients

  • Are the clients satisfied? Why?
  • What do the clients like and disliked the most?
  • What could you have done that they didn’t?
  • Ask clients to rate the process for each phase?
  • Were the clients informed about each development in time or the collaboration needs to be worked upon?
  • Have we delivered what we promised?
  • Would your clients like to work with you again?
  • How likely would your clients refer you?

Conclusion

There is no magic template to guarantee success. It’s when you do it, that you get to know how to improve on it. What you need to remember is :  ask your clients the right questions at the right time. Asking questions to clients helps agencies understand what is to be made, for whom it is made, how to make it, and how to approach it. 

On the other hand, it helps clients to prepare better specification documents for agencies, communicate their insights at the right time and understand their product better.

Client feedback is a crucial for delivering projects faster. zipBoard makes it easy to manage and track all this feedback so that your team can collaborate better. Annotate on designs, live websites and HTML prototypes, add comments, track changes, get everyone in sync on your team. Be it a designer, developer or manager, zipBoard is easy enough and useful for everyone.

Collaborate visually with your clients

Book a free demo or sign up and start collaborating with your team! No credit card required.

Updated on June 14th, 2022 for relevancy by Gaurav.

Gaurav is a SaaS Marketer at zipBoard. While earning his degree in CSE at KIIT, Bhubaneswar, he rediscovered his inner love for creativity as he got into his first social internship. If he isn’t busy working, you can find him around his friends/family or enjoying a good football match or a passionate discussion over it, whichever works.

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