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Introduction

How do you create an unforgettable customer experience? Is there a blueprint you can use? The best approach is to do your own customer experience research, you shouldn’t copy what everyone else does. You want to delight your own customers not someone else’s, right? 

In today’s article, we’re going to talk you through the process of customer experience research.  We’ve chatted with Kate Jordan, our Product Marketing Specialist who spent the past 6 months doing customer research all to ensure we create an experience that our customers will never forget!

What is customer experience research?

I bet that most of you will think NPS. However, the net promoter score is just a drop in the ocean – it’s the least you can do to check whether your customers are satisfied with the service you provide. It’s easy to do which makes it a good starting point. 

While the majority of people know how to measure NPS, they don’t know what to do with the results. And checking your NPS just for the sake of it, just because everyone else does it is a waste of time. 

Customer experience research goes way beyond NPS. It’s an ongoing process, not a one-off project.

It can be divided into two major areas: customer satisfaction and customer engagement.

Customer experience research best practices to follow

Start collecting qualitative data by interviewing your customers

Try to focus on the experiences of specific users. You can segment them into two groups: 

new customers – to discover how they found you, what made them choose you over the competition, what problems they want to tackle with your product or what job they believe they can get done with it and what their first impression is.

long term customers – to learn what the main product value is, what could be improved, what’s done well. They are an amazing source of knowledge because they know the product well, and they clearly like it since they haven’t churned. 

Go through the conversations your customer-facing teams had with your customers. The information you find there might be very different from what you’ll learn in the interviews or they can support the conclusions from your 1:1 interviews.

Reading customer conversations in Intercom, for example, will let you in on some first-hand product insights. Customers will report any problems or issues they have with the product at the point of experiencing them. This will provide you with very honest information. 

You can find out what their obstacles are, what lowers the quality of CX, to identify all areas which require improvement. 

Start collecting quantitative data with CX surveys

Running a CX survey is a great way to identify any CX gaps you might have. This is something different from the golden trio – CSAT, NPS, and CES. Where can you run such surveys?

On your website to ask your prospects what stopped them from signing up for the product. It’s one of the most important questions you can ask your visitors, much more valuable than an NPS. Getting insights from “what stopped you from signing up” survey will help you optimize your website for better conversions. 

customer experience research

After sign up, ask your customers what their goal for using the product is. If X% mentions a reason you’ve never heard of, it might be worth sharing this feedback with your product team. This could help with future product roadmap development. 

customer experience research

In your knowledge base, to check if your content is helpful. Target your survey at the readers, asking if the article they read was useful. If the user doesn’t get anything out of it, it might lead to frustration. In the fast-paced business world, customers choose self-service over (sometimes) time-consuming contact with a support/sales team.

After your customer churns. Not knowing why your customers leave you is a real problem and a massive growth inhibitor. As soon as your customer churns send them a survey to ask why. Identifying the factors that stop your users from using the product will help you improve customer experience and reduce churn – if you use the findings that is. Be aware of how many customers you lose due to unfulfilled expectations (e.g., poor customer service) vs the reasons you have no influence on.

Measure your NPS regularly

You should measure your NPS continuously to check if it’s going up, down or if it’s static. NPS might come handy after getting feedback from the surveys mentioned above and incorporating it. You’ll be able to verify if the improvements had a positive impact on the customer/user experience. 

customer experience research

Track product behavioral data

Customer experience research also includes tracking data inside your product to check how it’s used and how it performs. This means that you not only research how customers think you treat them but also how they actually engage with your service.

It’s worth establishing milestones, which will make judging success easier. For example, at Survicate one of the milestones is getting a specific number of survey answers.

We monitor what actions an average user needs to take to reach this goal and how long it takes. We then try to figure out how to optimize the process to make it easier for our customers to collect the answers. 

There are a lot of tools like Mixpanel, Pendo, Amplitude which provide invaluable product insights. For example, how your customers use certain features. Are there any features that no one uses and you can dispose of to enhance product usability?

Use web tracking apps for session recordings and heatmaps

Your website is part of the customer experience. It’s the first impression your customers and prospects get – and we all know that first impressions count. You can use web tracking tools such as Hotjar to monitor what your visitors do on your website.  Do your CTA’s get enough clicks? Is there any section that can be moved for better visibility? You can find it all out by using web-tracking tools.

Customer experience research – final thoughts

Creating an unforgettable customer experience starts before purchasing a product. Conducting a customer experience research is an absolute necessity and there is no blueprint that you could follow. You need to discover what works for your customers. The most important thing is to realize that customer experience research is not a one-off project but a long-term process that the entire company should commit to. 


Kasia Kowalska

Senior Content Specialist @Survicate. Passionate traveler and a massive fan of American stand-up comedy!