With consumers gifted with multiple touchpoints, their interaction with brands has increased exponentially. CX is therefore crucial to brands, and CX research even more so.
Before the dotcom boom, CX used to be shaped in stores. If someone visited a nice bakery or a supermarket, word about the products, brands, or shopper experience used to be shared through word of mouth. Word of mouth is still a relevant channel for sharing consumer experiences. It’s called recommendations now, and you can find it all online.
With online interactions increasing, consumers are privy to sharing their experiences online – be it tweets, Instagram stories, WhatsApp status, Snaps, google map reviews, so on and so forth. Therefore, in today’s market, consumer experience is not just a facet of the brand. Consumer experience is the brand.
Consumer experience is not something that can be ignored. CX is the pillar that upholds consumer relationships with the brand. It drives brand loyalty, engagement, conversion, and retention. CX is not just about providing excellent consumer support or having a good crisis management strategy. It’s also about the quality of the product, advertising, packaging, service features, ease of use, and reliability. Since COVID-19 brands are also preferred, over others, when they are more empathetic towards their employees and conscious of their environmental impact. Hence the rise of vegan, eco-friendly, locally sources products in the market.
Let’s get started with CX research.
What is CX Research and Why?
CX research is not just a focus group interview or a stand-alone survey. It is about gathering data on consumer experience across multiple touchpoints.
Once brands have the data on consumer experience, their likes and dislikes – marketers can then use analyze and use the insights from it to craft their consumer-facing campaigns. This will ensure that marketing campaigns are data-driven decisions, and not based on hunches.
Say Goodbye to Traditional CX Research
Traditional research is no longer viable. Going to consumers individually, asking them questions and taking them through products, packaging, or ads is almost impossible now, if not cumbersome. The time it takes to execute the research is around 2-3 months. In a market where time is currency, waiting on CX research insights for 2-3 months is inviting disaster.
CX research insights cannot afford to be erroneous, which happens often when people are involved in analysis. Be it bias, or crafting the wrong algorithms, when findings are erroneous, consumer-facing campaigns fall flat.
Adopting CX Research in 2023
Go Digital via SaaS
COVID-19 changed lives and markets alike. Consumers had to stay indoors, while brands had to go digital. Consumer experience began to take on more precedence as brands took a stand and supported their consumer through tough times.
Along with brands being compassionate and increasingly consumer centric, remote work was encouraged. Researchers during these times had to evolve and revolutionize their methods by taking CX research online. Taking CX research online also has the added benefits, such as:
- Automating the CX research process
- Reaching out to a larger set of respondents
- Data models for accurate and efficient management
When it comes to consumer experience research, it is not a standalone study. It is an amalgamation of consumer feedback from multiple touchpoints. CX research must not be confined to a quarter or a year. Brand must conduct CX research all year round to ensure brands are continuously improving.
Introducing agility into CX research is the way to go about continuous improvement. Agile CX research is when larger research objectives are broken down into smaller objectives. This way researchers can access deeper CX insights. With deeper insights marketing efforts are streamlined, and hyper focused encouraging consumers to engage more with the brand.
Adopt Both Quantitative and Qualitative
While quantitative CX research is a numbers game, qualitative is a contextual one. When it comes to CX research, it does not bode well for brands to look at a linear research strategy. A good CX research strategy is one is that in multidimensional, reaching out to consumers across the touchpoints.
Which is why, while conducting CX research, brands must have both quantitative and qualitative studies running in parallel. This allows the brand to understand the consumer holistically and create laser-focused messaging to target segments.
Quantitative CX Research includes
- Behavioral Studies using facial coding and eye tracking
- A/B Testing
Qualitative CX Research includes
- Focus Group Discussions
- In-dept Interviews
- Behavioral Studies using facial coding and voice AI
The Future of CX Research: Integrated Research Platforms
In 2023, the reach of digital transformation will only expand. As it does, so will consumer touchpoints. Brands have to be on their toes, gathering consumer feedback and data, collating them, analyzing them, and rationalizing it into reports for the decision makers.
Introducing integrated research platforms – the answer the dilemma of increasing CX research workload. Research can involve themselves more into setting wider research objectives, while marketers busy themselves with executing consumer-facing campaigns driven by CX research insights. With integrated research platforms in the picture:
- Research processes can be made lean, thereby improving efficiency and productivity of research teams
- Conduct agile CX research to ensure access to deeper CX research insights and continuous improvement
- Conduct both quantitative and qualitative studies to understand the consumer holistically and customize messaging/offerings
- Actionable and accurate CX research insights to drive marketing efforts that will garner more consumer engagement