UX Research: How to spark a conversation and get easy insights

11th August 2021

Hi I’m Bri. I work in UX research at Metigy. Now…I know what you’re thinking, what on earth is a UX researcher?

To put it simply, my job is to talk to customers and understand how our product can help make their lives easier. 

So I’m here to tell you the most important thing to know about your customers. And more importantly, how you can get that information from them so you can use it for your marketing.

After all, if you don’t know who your customers are and what they care about, you might be wasting a lot of marketing dollars targeting the wrong people or targeting the right people but with the wrong message.

The most important thing you need to know about your customers is why they need your product or service. Specifically, what problem are you solving for them? 

In UX research, I answer these questions by understanding:

  • Why they do the things they do
  • What are their frustrations?
  • Expectations, motivations, needs, wants, likes and dislikes
  • Most of all how we can help solve those frustrations.

Let’s use an example: Say you run a cafe that sells coffee. 

The first question you need to ask is why a customer would want to buy your coffee over all the others?

Maybe your coffee is made from good quality coffee beans that are fair trade certified.

So it’s probably safe to assume that your customers want to drink really good coffee and feel good about their purchase. Right? Maybe… maybe not. 

Is that what really motivates them to choose your coffee? 

The best UX research is a simple conversation:

  • Ask them questions while making their coffee that allow open ended answers.
  • When you take their order, spark up a conversation – how was your day? What brings you here?
  • Be the first one to listen to any complaints and ask why they’re frustrated.
  • You can also look into your reviews on Google or Social Media and rather than ignoring them, follow up with those customers and dig deeper into their feedback.
  • You can also observe their behaviour when they’re in your cafe – who are they with, what time of day is it, what do they do – do they sit down and work on their laptop or just grab their coffee and go?

What you’re looking for is not only what they say, but what they do…

  • For example: from your observations in the cafe you’ve noticed repeated patterns in the way people used the space. You might find the majority of your customers get ‘have here’ coffees rather than take away and spend at least an hour in the cafe relaxing on the lounges, reading the newspaper, talking on their phone, nursing their babies, enjoying meals with their family/friends.
  • And you might find that after talking to different types of customers, the majority of your customers don’t actually visit your cafe for the fair trade certified coffee that you’ve been advertising. The cafe close by actually has better coffee, but they come to your cafe because it’s a comfortable space where they can escape the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre and relax in the big lounge area. 

All of a sudden it’s not about the coffee you’re selling, it’s the way your cafe makes them feel when they visit that keeps them coming back.

Now that is something real you can use for a powerful marketing campaign. Something that could cut through the clutter of your market. 

And that’s why talking to your customers and asking them why they buy your product is so important.

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