June 25, 2020 | 5 Min Read
CX takes centerstage within the new normal for insurers as generating new customers gets harder in the current economic climate and amidst the comms clutter of discounts and offers that may even sway existing loyal customers through the way.
Our series mind the gap, attempts to highlight crucial gaps that if fixed, could turn the tide for all the stakeholders.
Part 3- User research techniques you can use
User research, is centered on the idea of getting into the mind of the target audience, simulate behaviors and expectations, and apply them to a product offering, service, or experience design. Digital technology & social media tools help businesses with zero or limited budgets to undertake user research with minimum cost and effort.
In this article, we explore a few techniques and tools for you to build your own user research.
Fundamental to any research exercise is to know intrinsically and deeply the research objective. It is essentially the key desired outcome you want from the research activity. This could be a combination of qualitative and quantitative insights including:
- Scores– scoring on a scale
- Yes, No, Maybe scores
- Agreement statement based (Agree/disagree/strongly agree) also known as Likert items
- Semantic differential (SeQ)– where we measure responses to 2 contrasts (very good/very bad)
Your research objective would best determine the preferred outcome(s) and it is important to use multiple outcomes to arrive at an optimum conclusion. Conducting research could also be a slightly terrifying experience for first-timers, but with open source tools and information available on the internet, this could be better managed by using the right tool and mechanisms.
A few commonly used research mechanisms include:
- Focus group- a group of close-knit users (friends/loyalty members/key influencers/ long-term customers) are assembled at a common venue and the moderator asks questions to this focus group and records their responses
- User interviews- one of the strongest approaches to get user feedback is to talk to the users via user interviews/feedback sessions. Users are invited to test a specific product/tech or service within a private environment and asked for open feedback, which is recorded for analysis
- Web survey questionnaire- a commonly used tool is a web survey that can be planted at various touchpoints in the website; customers after they have consented to provide feedback, are able to give specific and immediate feedback of their web experience
- Social media polls- organizations can run polls/opinion surveys via their social media pages across FB/Twitter/IG, etc, all of which allow live polling
- Analytics– if you have set-up Google Analytics or any other analytics tool, this is a rich source of customer-centric behavior insights and provides information on aspects that are working and ones that are not. These insights can lead you to set-up further user research
- Email marketing- a simple and easy to use method to either reach out to your existing customer database to get feedback or purchase email data of prospect customers to gain insight
Now that basic user research seems more palatable, let us also look at a few key components to get the best out of your research exercise:
- Research design- the most important aspect of understanding your users, starts with asking the right questions. Framing the questionnaire would ensure we gauge the correct sentiment from our users. Questions should be easy, but thought-provoking & should focus on one or two core concepts for best responses. Also, using a positive, empathetic and pleasing tone of voice within the questionnaire design would go a long way in encouraging users to provide feedback
- Timing & Context- a lot of times research questions pop up at the ‘wrong’ time, forcing users to not offer their feedback or opinions. IVR based survey is a great example of this. Understand the context of your user specifically with his/her context within the journey (in this case the user is calling the IVR number perhaps for getting urgent information about their policy or wants communications with a call center) and then offer ask them questions with respect to your research
- Outcome explanation- as end-users, we have experienced surveys being pushed in our customer journey without any explanation/ timelines of how this will benefit me. Instead of a generic ‘we want to improve’ message, if you specify the purpose and how/when the insights will be used, it will be more authentic and genuine for the users to engage. Have a follow-up comms on any actions you have taken at the back of the survey
- Incentivize- in order to get strong participation in your survey, it is a good idea to provide an incentive for users that is exciting to them, budgets permissible that is. A giveaway like a mobile phone, tablet, or any others can motivate users to participate
At FWD, one of our greatest strengths is the understanding of the impact and power user insights have on creating a successful financial service organization. Get in touch with us, if you need the support to unlocking insights relevant to your target market.