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Every business owner’s dream is to see their company grow and reach many people. They have business goals connected, from building a solid brand to getting a broad audience and developing effective marketing strategies to increasing their profit margin. In achieving these goals, they need to conduct customer research thoroughly. Entrepreneurs should have a deep understanding of their target consumers. Acquiring proper knowledge about their hobbies, interests, culture, and demographic information is essential to achieve business goals. It can lead to many opportunities and help develop a practical marketing approach.

As a business owner, you know it’s not enough to drive more customers to your online store. It would help if you analysed the Psychology behind customers’ buying behavior, why they choose a specific brand, how much time they spend to find what they need, and what other categories they check out on a website. This information can help you decipher important factors or triggers to make people purchase a product.

Nowadays, there are customer research methods to help business owners collect data from their consumers. Technology innovation has played a vital role in implementing various types of customer research. You can quickly gather information through either direct or indirect contact with your customers.

Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been running your business for some time, you need to know the meaning of customer research and the right method for your business.

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What is Customer Research?

Customer research is collecting business-related information from your existing and target consumers. It helps business owners learn their customers’ interests, preferences, and expectations. Customer research methods are proven to work for various business industries. Identifying customers’ behavior can help entrepreneurs sell products and cater to the best type of services.

Customer research can equip business owners with information about their potential buyers' profiles. As part of the marketing strategy, entrepreneurs conduct customer research to improve their products or services. It aims to meet customers’ standards and improve the quality of products and services.

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If you’re wondering what the questions are to be asked, think of the answers you want to get. Ask yourself what specific goals you want to achieve. Why are you conducting research in the first place? Your response to this question should be clear and specific. Identify the progress you’re eyeing for your business. Here are some questions you can focus on when you conduct customer research.

- Who will need your products or services?

- Where do they usually hang out, or what groups do they belong to?
- What’s the easiest way to reach out to them?

- What do these people look for?

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There are two types of customer research you can use to collect data and learn more about your target customers.

Types of Customer Research

With technology, business owners and marketers have different options to get customer feedback. There are two ways to conduct customer research. You need to find out what works best for your business.

Primary - It is the process of collecting data directly from the customers, including phone calls, surveys, virtual conferences, personal conversations, emails, comment threads on social media, chat messages, or SMS texts.

Secondary - The information comes from public sources that another person or agency collects. It includes online lists, databases, forums, online communities, industry research studies, and the like.

The two types of data are as follows:

- Qualitative data is focused on understanding customer behavior patterns. It can be in the form of quotes, essays, summaries, and narrative reports.

- Quantitative data is in the form of numbers, charts, graphs, and statistical analysis. Unlike the qualitative data type, it is a measurable result in numerical representation.

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Different Customer Research Methods

Here are the most commonly-used customer research methods that many successful businesses use.

1. Surveys

As one of the most commonly used customer research methods, surveys make it quick and easy for people to participate. It gives the impression to customers that a specific business values their feedback. The voice of the customer is essential to improve your products or services. Once you figured out your customer’s interests, you can design customer-oriented programs to boost your sales. Because of survey results from real customers, entrepreneurs can address issues and areas of improvement. Thus, they value their customers’ feedback. Surveys can be done in many ways, such as through emails, website links, in-apps, SMS texts, chats, and phone calls.
2. Interviews

This is one of the best-known customer research methods. Getting customers’ insights depends on how the interviewer asks the right questions. It can be time-consuming, but if done right, you can get precious insight from customers. Face-to-face or virtual conversations with customers can be challenging. However, it is one of the most straightforward yet valuable ways of gathering data. The data you’ve collected from consumers can drive marketing strategies for one year. It is recommended to conduct customer research after a certain period of time because the trend changes every now and then.

Some of the surveys you can try are pop-up surveys, after-purchase surveys, thank-you surveys, new customer surveys, and the like.

3. Online Research

You can gather customers’ insights on content shared on social media platforms, comment threads, social media groups or communities you belong to, and other online sources. This customer research method is also called reviews mining. You don’t need to focus on your business’s reviews alone, but check out similar industries. If you know what their customers say about their products and services, you can apply the best practices to your company. Although it is time-consuming, you can get valuable insights that customers don’t readily share with direct interviews or surveys.

4. Analytics

Analytics is another customer research method that is unique and innovative. Rather than what the customer says they need, analytics focuses on the customers' actions or activities online.

Analytics is a customer research method observing customers’ actual behavior instead of a report-based activity. Observational research can track changes in an activity affecting customers’ decisions. This information about customer preferences or interest changes is essential in developing business strategies.

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Why Do You Need to Conduct Customer Research?

Conducting customer research is vital to your business's success. You cannot compromise on launching big projects based on assumptions or speculations. It’s not a brilliant idea to guess what your customers like and dislike. Without proper customer research of your potential customers, you will have no clue about how they make decisions. Therefore, business owners must conduct customer research to know their new and existing buyers personally. It’s necessary to determine the challenges and buying principles of various consumers.

Before launching a product or service, entrepreneurs should invest in the information they can use to serve the best products to their customers. If you nail this significant part of the marketing strategy, there’s no reason for the whole project to fail. Making customers talk about their expectations and previous experiences with specific products will give you a chance to improve yours. While you can think of the many benefits of conducting customer research, some of the best reasons are below.

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  • Get Direct Feedback From Customers

Do you know how important it is to get direct feedback from your customers? It’s priceless. If you take the negative ones as a form of constructive criticism, you can work on improving your brand. Once you identify the downsides of your products or services, aligning them according to your customer's demands is easy.

  • Acquire Research-Based Customer Personas

Have a researched-based profile from real customers. Customer persona or buyer persona is constructed and detailed information about your ideal customers. If you have this, you can quickly implement marketing tactics based on their needs.

  • Helps You Create Targeted Content

In creating targeted content, you should have your ideal customers in mind. You can attract more audiences based on your business niche. Your deep understanding of customer personas will allow you to develop relevant content.

  • Opens Many Business Opportunities

Business growth is one of the goals of many entrepreneurs. Who would not dream of expanding their business? Many startup owners aim big for their businesses. At first, it may seem difficult, but there are ways to make things possible. Customer research is one of the best solutions to grow your business, reach more people, and build a remarkable brand.

Final Thoughts:

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We can’t deny that conducting customer research benefits many businesses. You have identified your goals even before establishing your company. And it is crucial to stick to your goals. Like we mentioned, business growth, reaching more people, and building a solid brand are every business owner’s dreams. Most of our website users dream the same thing. That’s why Strikingly is dedicated to catering to our users’ needs and purpose in building a website. Working with talented individuals and professionals, especially startup business owners, made us realize how important it is to understand our users' interests and principles. It’s the same thing as knowing your target consumers well. Start your journey with us and become a global business brand many people love. Join our millions of users today.