Why you should ask people what they predict rather than what they prefer

Asking respondents to predict the success of an idea or option may provide a more accurate market response than asking them what they prefer. In my experience, incorporating this new question style into your next customer survey can lead to better response differentiation and reduced overstatement.

“Purchase intent is notoriously overstated in survey responses, showing little correlation with actual sales performance,” Julie Wittes Schlack writes in the Jan. 5 issue of the Harvard Business Review. “Perhaps it’s because we tend to be rationally driven in survey responses and emotionally driven in the heat of the shopping moment. Whatever the reason, as consumers we are lousy predictors of our own future behavior.”

If you are interested in ways to improve the quality of the data from your customer research, I recommend that you check out the full article on the growing popularity of prediction markets.