Customer research is invaluable for software companies, but there are many obstacles, such as finding the right group of people to research. Great Question wants to make construction and talk with its own panels available to all companies, regardless of size. The startup, which was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 program, announced today that it has raised $ 2.5 million in seed funding.
Great Question launched in February 2021, and clients include Linktree, Honeybook, O’Reilly Media and MainStreet. The platform has been used to interview customers about product ideas and strategies, find product market adaptation, conduct user studies on UX design and see how well marketing sites work. Great Questions’ seed round came from investors, including Funders Club, January Capital, Nomo VC and Twenty-Two Ventures. Angel investors such as Warren Hogarth, co-founder of Empower Finance; Jon Williams, co-founder of Culture Amp and Pyn; Jason Smale, senior vice president of engineering at Zendesk; and Robbie Allan, former CEO of Intercom also attended.
Before founding the Great Question, PJ Murray and Ned Dwyer sold their latest startup, the web developer market Elto, to GoDaddy in 2015. In an email, Dwyer TechCrunch said they did very little formal research on Elto. “We wanted to talk to customers, but it was not structured or consistent.”
However, after joining GoDaddy, they became “much stricter in our approach to product building – we suddenly had a much larger audience, a larger team and aggressive goals.” Murray and Dwyer also had the benefit of collaborating with GoDaddy’s UX research team.
The two saw an opportunity to make customer research more accessible to product development teams. Dwyer said that if companies outsource to a large UX research provider, the starting price could be $ 40,000 a year. On the other hand, Great Question’s freemium pricing model includes paid subscription plans for $ 49 and $ 199 a month.
Great Question has almost everything you need for customer research – simple smart templates, prototype testing, planning tools and transcription – in one place, so teams can easily share information. One of the most important functions is recruitment and filtering tools for customers. Dwyer explained that many UX research companies sell access to panels they have already built. This means that clients often receive feedback from relatively homogeneous groups of people who are not their target customers – for example, students or parents who are at home who registered to respond to surveys, so that they can earn extra cash or gift cards.
Great Question builds custom landing pages where users can select panels, decide what kind of research they want to participate in and how often they are willing to answer questions (for example, the platform automates rolling studies, sends questions to different customer groups every two weeks). Great Question allows customers to integrate incentive programs, such as Tremendous, to compensate participants with cash or gift cards. But many of the people who participate in research through the Great Question are motivated because they want to say something about products they already use, or first find out about upcoming releases, Dwyer said.
Once the customer panels are created, Great Question provides smart templates for surveys or interviews and automatically schedules them for distribution. This saves clients time. MainStreet, for example, approached the Great Question as they prepared to release a product that would change board flow. The start-up, which allows small businesses to find and demand tax deductions and financial incentives, did not have time to conduct customer surveys before launch. “Within 24 hours of signing up for the Great Question, they had booked eight customer interviews – this was over Christmas – and received feedback on the usability they needed to replicate the designs before going into production,” said Dwyer.
In a statement on the investment, Funders Club co-founder and CEO Alix Mittal said, “Even the best product and business teams know everyday iteration, big turns and new launches can be hit or miss. We supported Great Question because they provide the missing tool to easily incorporate customers into product and business decisions and never miss the mark. ”