The reason is simple: the product didn’t satisfy the customer’s needs. The consequences are obvious. This may happen if a project team neglects the customer research process and doesn’t pay too much attention to its importance. Are you surprised? Let’s clarify it together step by step.
What Is Customer Research?
Customer research is a complex process of collecting data regarding the customers’ preferences, wishes, and pains. The research is usually done on consumers’ preferences, attitudes, loyalty, usage, and behavior in a market.
What Does Customer Research Solve?
Firstly, it helps to identify potential new customers and assists in understanding various behaviors, motivators to meet customer expectations. Secondly, customer research simplifies the process of setting realistic targets for the project. Thirdly, understanding how customers will use the project identifies upsell opportunities.
It is easy to make more informed decisions regarding the pricing, distribution channels, marketing mediums, or to identify opportunities to introduce a new product or service. Customer research helps in understanding customers so that the variable projects can be designed accordingly.
The best way to prove its necessity is to present real-life examples. We chose 4 specific cases in 4 well-known companies as Lego, Apple, Google and Uber that are worth observing.
Uber Experience in Customer Research
When the Uber team decided to launch a project in India and Brazil, the main research tool was direct communication with customers. The results got the team to make some unexpected but customer-centered decisions.
Most of the customers in India and Brazil had old smartphones, so it was impossible for them to pay for the service by credit card because the application image of a credit card didn’t load properly due to its high resolution.
The best way to fix it was to make an Uber lite app that weighs up to 5MB and works very quickly. Thanks to this research, the Uber team measured the benefits either of adapting their app to old phone models or simplifying the order and payment process.
Lego Experience in Customer Research
In the customer study done by The Lego group, it was reported that only 9% of the primary toy users were female. To extend the target audience, the company decided to produce a new product to involve more girls in playing with Legos.
How did they do that? By conducting a four-year study of customer research that involved 3,500 girls and their mothers. The research included studying the girls’ playing habits and extensive surveys about the most interesting features for girls in Lego.
As a result, Lego came out with a new line of toys on January 1st, 2012. This line was called “Friends”. The changes covered brick colors (more vibrant ones were added), the packaging and the general look of figurines. Additional accessories such as hairbrushes and purses were added as well.
Apple Experience in Customer Research
Customer research by Apple was aimed to figure out how to make customers’ desires a reality. To reach this goal, the marketing team at Apple created the “Apple Customer Pulse” online survey platform.
After a successful launch, the company was able to compile and analyze the data faster, and the surveys were easy to administer, without much effort. Such an innovative approach made the market research more appealing to participants, as well as to the company.
These surveys have resulted in different modifications to Apple products. Such modifications include the increase of screen resolution that allows watching videos and games with better quality.
Google Nest Experience in Customer Research
For customer research, Google Nest uses Google Consumer Surveys. Mostly, surveys include questions about the functionality of current products and jobs to be done to improve them.
The surveys create opportunities for Nest (a wireless kit for creating a smart home security system that is stuck on the walls or ceiling) to quickly gain information from thousands of people concerning their needs and wishes.
Some surveys may include such a tricky question as “How high is your ceiling?” that rounds out the information about how large a certain appliance should be. By incorporating the feedback, Nest is able to improve the products and, in turn, increase their sales.
Why Customer Research Is Important for Project Team Members?
As all team members are involved in the customer research process, there are more chances to create embarrassment about the project and empathy for its users.
Also, customer research improves internal team communication that leads to a better understanding of the product essence and its distribution. Consequently, it lets us make a solid content marketing strategy that aligns with modern trends of customer needs.
It is important to conduct a research process in the following way to achieve the proper results:
team members conduct user interviews, take notes properly, listen to the customer feedback attentively;
the team analyses the raw data from research on the workshop session;
team members continue the research and project development process.
We are sure that a full team engagement makes every stage of the customer research simple. Moreover, all team members understand each other, share various ideas to make the product better. Joint customer research has a wonderful effect on team coordination.
What Does Customer Research Affect?
Customer research helps to get feedback to measure satisfaction, perform market research, and gauge expectations. No doubt that customer research assists in creating a shorter development time with a clear vision of what you are trying to build. Secondly, it allows for avoiding costly fixes of development problems later.
Customer research also enables different teams to work collaboratively, ensuring a cohesive user experience across the entire product/service. Done well research makes the project a high-quality customer-centered product that really solves the relevant problems that people have.
We believe that a full engagement with your customers makes every stage of the customer journey simple and saves huge amounts of money. Customer research is a helpful approach used by outstanding organizations to evolve their products and release features that people will definitely like.
In addition to this, customer research expands the knowledge in the specific methodology such as JTBD (Jobs to be Done) and Customer Value Proposition. The usage of these tools may create a shared understanding of the user’s needs, make the work towards the same goal easier and more interactive.
Our experience in customer research proved the theory that the methods of research are variable. For some projects, we applied a direct interaction with customers, competitive analysis, for the others — comparison tables of prices, services, etc.
The main point is that we personalize each research for each project. There is no instruction for ideal customer research, each attempt is unique. Our team will be glad to conduct in-depth customer research for your project and provide you with an up-scale service. Don’t hesitate to contact us!