Measuring the impact of customer research

Thereasa Roy
March 10, 2022
Measuring the impact of customer research

If you are already doing customer research on a regular basis, the next question you need to be able to answer, is, “is this customer research making a difference in our organization?”

There are many ways to measure this type of work, but below you will find three different ways: qualitatively, quantitatively, and a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative data. For this blog post, we’re going to focus on the qualitative analysis of the impact of customer research. 

Define your audience

The first thing to consider is, who benefits from customer research? You may do research on your own, or you may already include teams during your research process, but no matter what you should make sure to include these teams in your survey of customer research impact projects.

Build a list of colleagues that have consumed, or have been able to connect better with customers due to the work your team has done. Some departments you will want to consider are:

  • Product management
  • Product marketing
  • Design
  • Customer success
  • Sales
  • Marketing

Qualitative methods of measuring customer research

Interviews will help you to get specific insights about how your team feels about the customer research impact. You can also use surveys and focus groups to measure the impact of customer research amongst your team members.

1. Surveys

One way to measure the impact of customer research is to implement surveys and seek feedback from your internal team. This will give you deeper insights into the customers' needs and desires. And it'll tell you how your staff feels about their customer research.

By asking open-ended questions, you'll gain a better understanding of your customer needs. You'll also know how the research program impacted employees' decisions on the organization's customer research.. 

You can also ask demographic questions, such as team or location to help narrow down specific groups that were more or less impacted by your research.

When implementing surveys, make sure you have a goal for each survey. If you stray from the purpose of your surveys, it'll be hard to see what impact customer research has on your brand. Avoid asking too many questions, too.

The more targeted you can get with answering specific questions about how feedback improves customer research, the better you can measure ROI.

Asking open-ended questions for surveys will give you more information when evaluating customer research impact .

By implementing survey strategies in customer research, you'll be able to better measure customer research impact.

Surveys can help you get valuable information about what customers feel was improved with customer research to measure ROI.

The better you can measure the impact of customer research, the easier it will be to make a case for budgeting and resources allocation in future projects.

2. Employee Interviews (individual and small groups)

Interviews hold the capability to measure the impact of customer research. You can conduct the interviews in person or over the phone. Make sure you are treating these interviews the same way you would a customer interview. If you are doing quarterly reviews, make sure you are asking the marketing teams the same set of basic questions that you are asking your product managers. 

When considering the best way to conduct these interviews, there are various factors that you should take into consideration. Pay attention to these three components:

  • The teams level of engagement
  • Interview length
  • Interview questions

The last component, interview questions, is often determined by what your goals are. Think about how much you want to know about your employees and their goals.

Be sure to create appropriate, customized questions that probe your team deeper into what customers say. That allows you to get all the necessary information.

You can interview both employees and customers as part of a customer research program. This is an excellent way to collect information and measure the impact (ROI) on your business as well as stakeholders.

The results from these interviews should include actionable insights that help determine future courses of action for improving products or processes to meet customer needs.

Once you have completed the interviews, it's time to measure their impact. You can do this by asking customers how they feel about your customer research program and if they would recommend it to others.

Also, ask them what other types of things they'd like to see in future surveys or feedback loops so that you know where else to focus your efforts.

For example, if they tell you that the survey was too long and had too many questions, this is important information to know. You'll want to keep track of it in case you do end up doing another customer research program or new surveys.

Related: Free stakeholder interview template

Next, do the following:  

  1. Measure your results to see how effective customer research was in achieving one of the overall business goals.  
  2. Create a plan for future customer research based on the feedback you received from the surveys you ran.
  3. Keep track of any customer research you do in the future to see if it's improving your business outcomes.

This way, you'll be able to apply what you've learned in this post and continue improving customer research in your organization.

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