Having reliable information about your users is essential for improving your business. Without this information, you’re making decisions based on assumptions rather than facts. It’s for this reason that the businesses that have the best user research tend to have the best results.
In fact, a great number of companies report that using customer mapping results in a positive impact on their ability to improve customer experience. In addition, companies that outperform in customer experience regularly map customer behavior.
To have reliable information about your users, you need to conduct user research. Doing this in the right way leads to better data and better results.
Decide on Your Goals
The first thing you need to do is decide on your goals. A goal of simply wanting to know more about your users isn’t enough. You need to come up with some specific questions that you want your research to answer. For example, what aspects of your product do customers like or how much are customers willing to spend on services similar to yours?
Spend some time thinking about your reasons for conducting user research. What areas of your business are you looking to improve and what pieces of information about your users would help you do this? Create a list of 5 to 10 questions that you want to answer or goals you want to reach. You can then use these goals when you’re conducting your research to ensure you’re always gathering information that’s relevant to you.
Have the Right Tools
Conducting user research becomes a lot easier if you have the right tools. Luckily, there are plenty of software options out there that can help you out.
One of the first things you’ll want to explore is a user research platform. A user research platform is an all-in-one tool that helps you design your research tests, collect data, analyze it, and share it with others. Once you start gathering a lot of information you’ll want one location to organize it all in, making a user research platform a valuable tool.
Beyond that, you may want some tools for conducting your research. For example, if you plan on sending out surveys, you’ll want a tool that makes it easy to create and send out these questionnaires.
You may also want something like video conferencing software to conduct customer interviews online. As you’re developing your research process, always be on the lookout for software options that can make your job easier.
Choose Your Methods
The next thing you’ll want to do is decide how you want to collect information about your users. For this, you have several options. One option is to send out a poll or survey to your user base. Surveys are great for asking a lot of questions in an efficient way. However, they can also make it hard to gather more in-depth answers, as they lend themselves to quick responses.
Another option is to conduct interviews and focus groups. This option allows you to talk more in-depth with your users but it also requires more time and resources. Setting up an interview takes time and you won’t be able to get as many responses as you would with a survey or poll.
Finally, you can look to analyze some existing online data. For example, you can buy access to databases about your specific target niche or analyze your website traffic data. Analyzing datasets is a good way to get an overall picture of a group quickly. Just be careful if you decide to buy user data, as there are some precautions you’ll want to take.
Which methods you should use depends mostly on the questions you want to answer and your available resources. If you’re trying to find some specific ways to improve your product, you may need to conduct an interview. On the other hand, if you just want to know what your customers are looking for in products, you may be able to learn this through a survey. However, you’ll probably end up using a mix of the above methods to obtain more comprehensive results.
Compile and Analyze Your Data
Once you start collecting data, you need to compile it in one location and analyze it. It’s typically not recommended to make big decisions based on the responses of a single user. Instead, you want to look for patterns. By compiling all your data in one location, you’ll have an easier time seeing the big picture.
Through this process, you’ll hopefully gain some valuable insights into your users. However, don’t stop there. Continue to conduct user research, refining the process above as you go along. The more information you can gather about your users the better decisions you’ll be able to make for your business.