How to write great questions

At Help Me Choose we absolutely love the store assistant analogy. We like to think our tool takes the place of an absolutely brilliant store assistant guiding customers to their perfect product. Engaging customers at the right time, asking the right questions and making sensible product recommendations. This process builds trust, familiarises the customer with the products and gives them the confidence to buy!

When our customers come to us asking for advice on how to write great questions, we always go back to the store assistant concept. Imagine you’re in your very own bricks and mortar store and put yourself in the shoes of the sales assistant behind the counter. A customer walks in and starts perusing your range of products, After a while they start to look a bit confused. So what do you do, just leave them to it where they’ll almost definitely leave without making a purchase, or do you step in and politely ask if they might like some help?

The same scenario essentially plays out in the world of E-commerce too, but this time there’s no one there to step in and help….. Until now! That's where we come in!

Think About Your Products

So how do you help that confused customer? Well you need to find out a little bit more about what they're looking for and the only way to do that is to ask them!

The first thing to think about when it comes to asking questions is your products. Do you sell one type of product with lots of variations or do you sell lots of products across different product categories?

Either way you’ll need to ask some questions, however if you only sell one type of product the questioning flow is generally more straight forward. If you sell products across multiple categories the best option is to use the first question to define what category of product they are looking for and then go from there. For multiple product categories generally speaking it’s best practice to build out separate question branches for each category.

The next consideration with regards to your products is to think about what differentiates them. Once you’ve got this down you can then ask really relevant questions designed to narrow down your range of products so you can show the customer just the ones that meet their criteria. Imagine you sell chocolate for example and your dark chocolate range includes mixed flavours with candy as well as nuts. So asking something like “Which flavours do you prefer to mix with your chocolate?” With the answers “Sweet” and “Savoury” would be a logical question to ask in order to help you define which of your dark chocolate products to show the customer.

What Do Your Customers Ask You?

Another important thing to think about when question writing is what are your customers currently asking or struggling with? Do you receive customer enquiries with a common theme? Is there something in particular they need clarity on? The great thing about having a guided sales quiz is you can pre-empt a lot of these questions. Not only does this save you time manually replying to customer enquiries, it also helps to educate your customers on your products and helps them engage with your brand. We find that if customers contact a retailer after going through the quiz, they are already more informed on the products and further along the sales pipe and more likely to make a purchase.

Type of Questions To Use

The Help Me Choose tool enables you to ask different types of questions and we recommend you use a selection of them if possible. Having a variety of question types helps to keep the customer interested and improves their experience whilst using the tool. If a customer is engaged by the tool they are far more likely to answer all the questions and we see a much higher conversion rate when multiple question types are used.


Simply asking Yes or No questions can identify some really strong customer needs or preferences however its not the most enjoyable experience for the customer. Asking more in depth, engaging questions will really help the customer to feel like they are engaging with an expert rather than a chat bot and that is key to the success of the tool. Asking a mix of simple yes/no questions and more engaging questions is a recipe for success.

Try not to repeat yourself - Rather than asking something like “Do you prefer black or brown handbags” with the answers “Black” and “Brown”. Try asking something like “Which colour handbags do you prefer?” with the answers “Black” and “Brown”

This simple rule improves the readability of the question flow.

Use your brand voice and utilise the same tone as the copy in your store. This helps with continuity and allows the customer to identify and connect with your brand. Using a friendly, natural tone is the ideal way to communicate with your customers, again going back to the store assistant analogy, a friendly personable store assistant will always deliver more sales than a pushy or abrasive one.

How Many Questions To Ask

There’s no hard and fast rules here however, simplicity is key to keeping the customer engaged and the success of the tool. With this in mind we normally recommend asking between 4 and 7 questions. However if you need to ask more questions than that to really define what the customer is looking for then do it. Data shows us that customers convert better when the recommendations are super specific so feel free to ask as many questions as you need in order to achieve that.

Gain Some Customer Insight

Although we don't recommend asking too many questions, The Help Me Choose tool can also be used to gain some really useful market insights. Our customers often ask questions that don't factor into the recommended products that are displayed but rather tell them something about that particular customer. Questions such as “Have you shopped with us before?” are useful to understand what percentage of shoppers are return customers, the tool can also display “New Customer Discount Codes” to those that indicate they are first time shoppers. Asking questions such as age, gender, geographical location generally don't go down too well but if you are wanting to find something out about your customers, you can always use the tool to ask them. The performance dashboard will shed light on the answers for you.

Still looking for answers? Get in touch with the team on