20+ Effective Focus Group Questions to Gain In-Depth Customer Insights

20+ Effective Focus Group Questions to Gain In-Depth Customer Insights

Focus groups are an essential tool used by companies in market research to collect feedback on their products and services. They offer a chance to communicate with a group of people to comprehend their views and opinions better. A facilitator will raise questions for this group, dig for more information, and initiate conversation between focus group members. One important characteristic of a good focus group is to ask the right questions.

This article has brought up more than 20 questions that you can raise in your next focus group to draw from your participants the most insightful and valuable feedback that you can get. You can just copy-and-paste the questions you find relevant to your store.

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Table of Contents

What is a Focus Group?

What is a Focus Group?
What is a Focus Group?

In 1991 the term “Focus Group” was introduced by marketing and psychological specialist Ernest Dichter. It is best to describe a focus group as a small group of carefully chosen participants who make contributions to open research discussions. For the study, the hosting organization carefully chooses participants to reflect the larger population they are trying to target.

To understand the whole population’s reaction, the group may look at new items, feature changes, or other topics of interest. The right group members influence the study outcomes, so it is vital to be strict when choosing participants.

For qualitative analysis, you use a focus group. A group of 6-10 people, typically 8, gather to analyze a subject, like a new product and discuss it. The group shares their feedback, their thoughts, their expertise, and their perspectives on the question.

Participants express views freely and are allowed to persuade other participants of their ideas. The mediator takes notes about the group members’ discussions and viewpoints. The right group members influence the study outcomes, so when choosing participants it is important to be strict.

Focus groups have a competitive edge over other approaches to market research. They draw on the coordination between the moderator and the participants and the versatility to push the conversation. This helps you to gather valuable perspectives and viewpoints.

The group ‘s goal is not to find agreement or consensus on the topic. Instead, it attempts to define and recognize customer perceptions towards a brand, product, or service.

Why are Focus Groups important to Market Research?

Why are Focus Groups important to Market Research
Why are Focus Groups important to Market Research

A focus group is a qualitative research technique that gathers together, under a moderator’s guidance, a small group of carefully selected people to discuss an issue in-depth and gather comprehensive viewpoints. Especially in this digital era, focus groups are extremely useful to marketers as an effort to capture a better insight into customer desires, perceptions, motives, and preferences. Thus, both small and big brands like Disney, Twitter, and Starbucks have been using focus groups to strengthen their offerings and boost market share.

Focus groups are very useful if you intend to introduce a new product or analyze feedback about a current service or website feature. They are also effective when it comes to small adjustments to an advertising campaign’s focus. With focus groups, you can gain a better understanding of a specific audience segment or user persona. And they help facilitate the process of testing a prototype.

Survey research could provide the raw data to validate or invalidate hypotheses, but focus group research allows for a more in-depth analysis resulting in much more complex insights into customer behavior.

Focus groups provide the kind of deep, insightful feedback you’d be unlikely to get through quantitative analysis approaches. If you want to analyze how viewpoints are shaped and articulated in a social sense, then focus groups are perfect for you.

So, in a nutshell, a focus group can help produce deep and immediate feedback. You can discuss the subjects in-depth and ask for explanation and clarification. Also, you can gain insight into the motivations behind the customers’ actions and decisions. With focus groups, you can have a unique opportunity to comprehend the customers, sometimes reveal their new and surprising insights.

It is crucial to formulate solid, premeditated focus group questions that are explicit and bias-free to collect valuable information that fulfills the research objective, which is genuinely indicative of the customers’ thoughts and feelings.

Sadly, to do that, it is a bit easier said than done. But don’t worry, we will help you out.

3 Main Types of Focus Group Questions

Introductory Questions

Given right at the start of a focus group session, introductory questions should motivate the participants to interact with one another and immediately encourage a sense of community. Clear and self-explanatory questions should be raised to engage participants in a research topic.

For example, take Y as a product or brand name, a service, an action, or a subject area. The following questions could be asked:

  • Thank you for being a part of this focus group about X. I took the bus today; it was so crowded. How did you get here, and what was something weird or amusing that you noticed?

  • Thank you for joining in this focus group. This is a busy time for us, I guess. But I can’t wait for a Sunday trip to the beach! What are you going to do to relax throughout the weekend?

  • Today we’ll talk about Y. When did you last buy an item from this area?

  • What’s your Y brand favorite?

  • How often do you do Y?

Exploration Questions

As the name reveals, this focus group question is used to cultivate deeply into the research topic and evoke detailed responses from participants that provide an understanding of their needs, wants, and concerns. Such questions should be designed to extract as much feedback as possible from the participants.

For example, the exploration questions you can ask are as below:

  • Once you think about Y, what thoughts, feelings, and associations first pop up?

  • If you could change something about Y, what would that be?

  • Can you show an example of when and how you used Y most recently?

  • Would you choose Y or Z-and why?

  • What are the three factors impacting if you are doing Y?

Exit Questions

To sum up a focus group discussion, you can use this type of question. Exit questions are crucial in that they make sure nothing is left unaddressed and uncovered.

Check out the sample questions below:

  • Are there any another points you would like to bring about this topic?

  • About Y, is there anything else you want to talk about?

  • Is there anything that we haven’t discussed, but you believe it matters?

  • Are there any related subjects we should touch?

How to Write Good Focus Group Questions

Start with The End Goals in Mind

Start with The End Goals in Mind
Start with The End Goals in Mind

What do you aim to learn by implementing a focus group? First, articulate your targets, visualize the kind of results you want to be beneficial at the end of the meeting, and then use this perspective to formulate questions that will obtain the type of details you need the most.

Be Precise with Your Questions

What you are finding needs to be transparent completely. Do not overwhelm group members with long questions that have many parts or which could be interpreted differently. Make the phrasing straightforward, and you’ll avoid wasting time, and more importantly, you can get feedback of higher quality.

Don’t Ask Unnecessary Questions

As your time with participants is limited, and you need to structure your list of focus group questions to be tailored to those that can make significant contributions, normally between 8 and 12 in all. Have a look at your script and eliminate any questions which are not important as they will not produce new insights or that can be clarified via other methods.

Test Your List of Questions

Test Your List of Questions
Test Your List of Questions

Some questions may look great on paper, but in practice, they fail to deliver completely. You would not like to learn that is the case in the live focus group, therefore gathering a few individuals in advance and testing out the questions for them. If any of your script’s inclusions are misleading, vague, or worthless, you should discover in the pilot test.

7 Best Examples of Focus Group Question

Improvements and Dissatisfaction Questions

1. Are particular problems, questions, or concerns you encountered while using this product?

Determine the particular problems that your consumers are experiencing to identify the main problem with your products and address that issue.

2. How big is your issue or problem with this product?

This question seeks to give a better understanding of how significant the issue is to your customer or whether the issue needs to be handled and resolved immediately.

3. What caused that issue?

Just let the customer decide what they feel to be the cause of their issues, even when you might know the exact answer.

Positive Aspects of the Product Questions

4. When using this product, could you tell us some wonderful moments or experiences you have had?

Get any customer insightful stories or comments about their positive experiences with your product.

5. Which are the reasons and motives for choosing this product over others?

This question uncovers reasons why your customers prefer your product, be it for your particular features or something else like brand name, customer service.

6. What are the main advantages of this product?

You can recognize what your customers believe you are performing well and what aspects of your product that help them the most.

Specific Feature Information Questions

7. If you could select a feature of this product to develop further, what would you go for and why?

Obtain insights into your product’s useful features that might need to be updated, or simply improve on what you already have.

8. If you could bring any feature to our product, what would it be and why?

You can determine the feature the customers think your product does not have and find out why you should add it.

9. What features will make our product more useful in your everyday lives?

Investigate what contributes to the meaningfulness of this product in their daily life.

Overall Usage and Opinion Questions

10. How has your view on this product shifted in the last three years?

Show customers a timeframe to have a more specific response and find out how any company or product changes have influenced customers’ perceptions.

11. Do you intend to purchase this product again or make more use of it next year? Why, or why not?

Dive into your product’s very anticipated usage, as even though a customer may value your company and product, the customer may not intend to purchase it again in the future.

12. What could be a product that replaces this one?

Determine whether customers believe your product is probably unnecessary or could be substituted soon, and then prevent this from happening.

Probing Questions

13. Could you please explain why you have been using this product more or less in the last three years?

14. Among the competitor mentioned above firms, which one you pick if you have to choose and for what reason?

15. Why do you have these specific expectations while buying this product?

Closed-ended Questions

16. Are you happy with this product’s performance?

17. Are you willing to recommend this product to a friend?

Competitor Questions

18. Which company or brand first spring to your mind when searching for this product?

Target your marketing effort. Attempt to direct the answer in a way that shows you what will make your company the first in the consumer’s minds if they do not choose you in the first place.

19. Who do you think is our Product’s main competitor? Why?

You may assume you know your main rival, but having the customer’s perspective into that may help to explain other potential competitors to whom you might not even have paid attention.

20. Which features of the competitor’s product may be superior to ours

This question allows you to gain more realistic, clear insight into what customers feel your competitors are better.


Thanks to focal groups, you can get insightful views about what customers think of your products or services. If participants start to excitedly discuss something unrelated to your questions, you can recognize their answers, and then remind them of the question or objective of the session friendly. Stick to flexibility and appreciate every response as you can somehow grasp the needs of your customers.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the box below. We are glad to help you out. If you find this post useful, you can share this with your friends.

Niara Duncan
About Author: Niara Duncan
Niara is a content writer at Avada Commerce, a passionate girl whose desire is to sharpen her marketing skills. She is keen on reading novels, writing blogs, and listening to music in her leisure time. Her favorite quote is: Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.
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