To survive in today’s competitive market, brands must conduct consumer research. Studying your customers’ behavior is known as consumer insights research. It reveals what motivates them, why they behave the way they do, and what they think of your product or service. This article discusses the various types of consumer insights that companies should conduct.
Consumer insights defined
Consumer insights are pieces of information that provide a more in-depth understanding of a specific group of consumers. Viewing this data as a whole has advantages, although some insights can be more actionable than others. The actual skill in working with consumer insight research is knowing how to use the information presented effectively.
Every day, your company collects a large amount of data. Some of this can be used to improve your messaging and branding significantly. This isn’t because you’ve hit upon a brilliant marketing campaign concept. It’s because you used your insight to determine how your services improve the consumer’s life. When you crystallize the messaging to focus on how you can solve their problem or improve their life, there is a real, tangible benefit for the customer.
Types of consumer insights
There are various types of consumer insights. They can be used in tandem to conduct a research campaign in order to gain a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of the consumers. You can use these data sources to inform your customer insights strategy, stay on top of changing customer behavior and needs, and identify areas for improvement. However, remember that not all of these insights may apply to your product. Therefore, pick and choose the insights pertinent to your business and user goals. Or, even better, hire professional consumer insights researchers to assist.
1. Online reviews
Online reviews provide direct access to customer feedback and can be used to gain authentic insights into how your customers feel about your product. Use online reviews to determine what your product or brand does well, what it best assists customers in doing, and where you can improve.
Gathering and acting on online review insights:
- In the case of eCommerce sites and websites: Look for customer observations on your website’s product pages and on Google and Facebook. Use their feedback and worries to improve your product offering and inform how you write about it on key conversion pages.
- For product team or SaaS: To stay on top of product feedback and complaints, look to niche review sites like G2, Trustpilot, or Capterra. Use your findings to inform future product or feature rollouts and better prepare customer service representatives to provide product guidance and support.
2. Competitor reviews
Checking out your competitors’ reviews, similar to online reviews, reveals patterns in customer needs and purchasing decisions. Use competitor reviews to determine how well your product compares to the competition and what gaps you can fill.
How to Gather and Use Competitor Reviews:
- Examine review websites (see the section above on online reviews) to identify competitor flaws and better position yourself. For example, if a product team reads multiple reviews from users complaining that a competitor’s music streaming tool lacks a ‘select all’ playlist feature. In that case, they may prioritize it in their next update.
- Track online mentions of your competitors and their products using tools like Google Alerts. Use it to keep an eye on changing customer sentiments and identify any weaknesses your competitors may have that you do not.
- Use keyword research tools such as SEMrush or Google Adwords to determine what customers are looking for and whether your competitors are meeting their needs. Use your research to generate ideas for new features or products that correspond to your target audience’s search intent and volume. Then, look for similar keywords and potential domains to build backlinks and brand authority.
3. Purchase activity data
Tracking your customers’ purchasing behavior allows you to see which products are most popular with individual customers and in general.
This data allows you to see patterns such as routine purchases, impulse purchases, and large decision-making purchases, allowing you to predict better which products to promote and when.
If you run an eCommerce business, for example, you can use your eCommerce platform. It can be used to personalize communications and marketing campaigns and recommend similar products to customers. You can also access purchasing activity metrics such as order history, key sales, average order value and store visitor data through your platform’s reporting and analytics feature.
4. Customer feedback
Collecting customer feedback through interviews and surveys gives you direct visibility into your customers’ micro experiences, journeys, and satisfaction levels. It also demonstrates to your customers that you care about their experience.
Remember to include both closed-ended and open-ended questions in your customer experience surveys and interviews to gain granular insights into customer sentiment and drive insightful user experience (UX) design changes and improvements.
How to Gather Insights from Customer Feedback:
- Segment survey campaigns by customer type, such as loyal customers, new customers, inactive customers, referrals, etc. In order to quickly spot patterns in your user experience and their sentiments about your business and products, ask them questions based on their specific segment.
- Create and distribute Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to determine how likely your customers will recommend your product or service to others on a scale of 1-10. Use this to determine whether starting a referral program is worth your time and money and to identify areas where you can add more value.
5. Social media
Social media is excellent for gathering customer feedback, complaints, and product use cases. You gain access to popular comments, videos, and product comparisons that will help you understand the language people use to talk about your product, why it’s trending, and what customers need help understanding.
Use your social media insights to connect with customers on an emotional level and learn about their product interests and preferences. Here’s how to do so:
- Take a poll of your audience: To poll your customers or target audience about new features and upcoming products, use Instagram ‘Stories’ or LinkedIn. Inquire about their interests or the features they’d like to see. For example, an eCommerce store may prioritize selling hats over boots this season after polling their Instagram followers about their favorite fall accessories.
- Monitor mentions of your brand or product using social listening tools. Interact with your customers, stay current on current events, and track popular comments to determine exactly what to improve.
- Utilize social media analytics: for additional customer insights, track social media metrics such as engagement rate, impressions, conversions, response rate, and so on. Use this data to tailor your product offering better and align your social feed and following with your ideal customer profile (ICP).
6. Website data
The following website data sources can help you understand customer needs, drivers, and purchase paths:
- Demographic data includes a customer’s age, location, job title, and other information.
- The keywords customers use to find your product, the paths they take through your site, the web pages they linger on, and the content they engage with are all examples of behavioral data.
- Campaign data includes key conversion pages and what drives leads and sales.
How to Gather Website Data:
- Google Analytics can be used to track and report on website traffic, metrics, and trends. Gain access to critical data such as conversion rate, time on page, and pages per session to determine which web pages and channels perform well (and which do not). Then, use your findings to improve your website and products.
- Use Google Search Console to track your website’s performance and traffic and optimize it for search engine visibility. Examine the number of clicks you receive and your average ranking position to determine how well your site performs compared to the competition. Then, identify topics and keywords that will improve your content’s discoverability.
7. Customer service data
Tracking customer service data allows you to understand better your product or service’s customer frustrations, pain points, and friction points. Investigating common customer complaints, queries, or help requests allows you to identify and prioritize product improvement opportunities.
When gathering customer service data, you must have access to:
- Customer support tickets: Identify patterns in customer complaints, troubleshooting, and product fixes to gain insight into your most serious issues. Use this data to determine where to begin with product enhancements.
- Chatbot or live chat data: Detect trends in customer support conversations, such as what resources customers require, what questions they ask, and what they need the most assistance with. Create a FAQ section on your website and helpful self-service resources like product guides and knowledge bases to ensure that your customers have everything they need to get the most out of your product.
8. Case studies and testimonials
Case studies and testimonials are two types of customer feedback that describe a problem and demonstrate how your solution solved it.
They assist you in comprehending the overall story behind your customer’s pain, how they discovered your solution, and how it helped them achieve their objectives. You can then experience the buyer journey from their point of view and make it a repeatable process.
How to gather information from case studies and testimonials:
- Email surveys to your customers. Send detailed questions about their experience to product advocates, brand champions, and power users. Use their responses to improve the copy on your landing, product, and home pages. You can also post them as case studies on your website.
- Reward Customers who agree to participate. In exchange for a discount or loyalty points, ask a few customers to send video footage or written testimonials detailing their success stories. Use B2B customer insights to strengthen your sales pitches and the way you discuss your product’s unique selling point (USP).
Leverage the types of consumer insights to create delight
Collecting and analyzing customer insights allows you to better predict and meet customer needs and make informed decisions about your site or product to provide a fantastic customer experience to your users.
Use this guide to identify gaps in your current insights and drive customer-backed improvements. Then, use product experience insights tools to add context to your customer analytics data so you know exactly what you need to do to delight your customers.
Contact the Survey54 team for a customized approach to leveraging the various types of consumer insights at your disposal and start reaping the benefits in the shortest amount of time.