11 Mar

Exploring critical incidents: examples of CIT questions

The Critical Incident Technique (CIT) is a qualitative research method used to gather detailed insights into specific events or experiences that significantly impact outcomes. By prioritizing critical incidents over routine occurrences, CIT offers a thorough understanding of human behavior and decision-making processes. Read this article for an in-depth explanation of CIT.

In this blog, several examples of questions commonly used in CIT methodology are provided to prompt detailed responses from participants.

 

Exploring critical incidents: examples of CIT questions


Improving existing products through CIT

Incident Cause

  1. Could you recount an occasion when the product did not meet your expectations, detailing what you believe initiated this incident?
  2. Reflecting on your journey with our product, were there moments when an external factor or unexpected condition led to a less-than-ideal experience?
  3. Have you encountered a scenario where the product’s performance was compromised, and if so, what do you surmise was the underlying reason for this occurrence?

User Actions

  1. During an incident when the product did not function as anticipated, how did you respond or attempt to mitigate the situation?
  2. Can you describe specific steps you took when faced with an unexpected product behavior, aiming to rectify or navigate the issue?
  3. In a moment of product malfunction, what were your immediate actions, and how did they influence the eventual outcome of the incident?

User Sentiment

  1. How did the incident impact your feelings or perceptions towards the product, and could you elaborate on the emotional journey you underwent?
  2. Could you share the emotions that surfaced during an unsatisfactory product interaction, and how did these feelings evolve over the course of the incident?
  3. Reflecting on a specific adverse product experience, how did it alter your confidence in or perspective on the product’s reliability and effectiveness?

Incident Outcome

  1. After experiencing a product-related issue, what was the eventual outcome, and how did it align with your initial expectations?
  2. Could you describe the resolution that followed an incident with the product, particularly noting whether it resolved, worsened, or maintained the initial problem?
  3. Looking back at a product discrepancy, what were the tangible changes or resolutions that occurred, and how did they affect your subsequent use of the product?

Ideal Outcome

  1. Envisioning an ideal scenario, how would you have preferred the incident be resolved, and what steps or measures would align with your ideal resolution?
  2. In the context of a satisfactory product experience, what key elements or actions would constitute an ideal outcome from an incident for you?
  3. Considering your experience, what precise aspects of the resolution process do you believe would have significantly enhanced your outcome satisfaction?

Improving existing service through CIT

Incident Cause

  1. Could you recount the specific factors or events that led to the incident you experienced?
  2. From your perspective, what do you think was the primary cause of this incident?
  3. Were there any preventative measures that could have been put in place to avert this incident?

User Actions

  1. What were the actions you took in response to the incident?
  2. Were there any particular actions that you took which you believe exacerbated the incident?
  3. Could you walk me through the steps you took immediately after the incident occurred?

User Sentiment

  1. How did this incident make you feel at that specific moment?
  2. Has your sentiment towards the service changed as a result of this incident?
  3. Were there moments throughout the incident where you felt particularly frustrated or confused?

Incident Outcome

  1. How was the incident ultimately resolved?
  2. Can you pinpoint any lasting impact this incident had on your usage of the service?
  3. Was there one particular outcome from this incident that stands out in your memory?

Ideal Outcome

  1. How would you have ideally wanted this issue to be resolved?
  2. Looking back, is there anything you would change in how you responded to the incident?
  3. How would such an incident need to be handled in the future for you to have full confidence in the service?

 

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