Group Vice President, Client Services

Why Qualitative Insights Are the Missing Piece in Your Analytics Strategy

User experience analytics has emerged as a major differentiator for businesses. In the age of the consumer, it’s more important than ever that marketers understand users’ online brand interactions. According to Gartner, 89% of marketers are competing primarily on customer experience.

As data-driven marketers know, no amount of speculation, guesstimates, or third party data can be a proxy for truly understanding how users perceive the online experience your brand provides. There are clear quantitative ways to measure and monitor your digital assets based on interactions (an online form completion, a click on a desired call to action, an online purchase, etc.); however, how users feel about their experiences while completing those tasks is often overlooked. This is a gap that must be bridged with qualitative experience analysis.

While quantitative methods help answer “what” visitors are doing on your site, qualitative analysis provides insight into “why” they are doing it. At Rise, we take the full bird's eye view when designing user experience strategies, bringing in both quantitative and qualitative behavioral research data. By turning data into insights, we’re able to help unearth roadblocks, reduce friction, and leverage results-oriented opportunities (the proverbial low hanging fruit) to deliver optimized experiences for the end user.

There are many ways to achieve a deeper, more nuanced understanding of your users and their experience with methods that marry quantitative and qualitative data. Below, we explore three of these techniques: voice of the customer, user experience testing, and social sentiment analysis.

Voice of the Customer
Voice of the Customer (VoC) encompasses onsite surveys, email surveys, and polls. VoC is the most scalable of user experience analysis and feedback activation. What better way to know who your users are and understand their needs and motivations than asking them while they are engaged with your brand? VoC can help uncover perceptions of your brand, website, or products so that you avoid assumptions. At Rise, we have seen impactful results from a variety of surveys and work with the client to execute a phased approach to a VoC program.

User Experience Testing
User experience testing can validate or challenge expectations by understanding a user’s process in accomplishing a specific task through your digital asset. The goal is to identify and fix potential experience concerns to improve efficiency and enhance end-user satisfaction. User testing is often moderated, allowing for interaction between user and researcher as well as conversation around the user's behaviors and motivations for performing certain actions. Leveraging remote moderated testing is a more tailored and non-interfering approach to data synthesis.

Social Sentiment Analysis
The rise of social media enables customers to share their feelings about a brand or an experience openly, on a public platform. What is especially unique about this method is that providing the feedback is a proactive decision. Brands can capture sentiment directly from their communities through testimonials, reviews, comments, and other methods of engagement. With a sentiment analysis, you dig deeper into retweets, likes, and shares to inform and measure campaigns, experiences, or your overall brand perception.

Qualitative user insights are not limited to fueling your analytics strategy. They can also help drive product development, content creation, and sales and support functions. For instance, we helped one of our retail clients leverage VoC analysis to uncover that the post-check-out experience (shipping and returns) was not meeting user expectations.

As a result, we implemented “smart” thank you pages with post-sales surveys. These prompted users to provide contact information for a customer service follow up if any response in the survey indicated a sub-par satisfaction rate. In another instance, a client was not getting quality leads through their website contact form. Through a site survey, we identified that a lot of job seekers were using the form in the hope of getting information on career opportunities. This led us to create a personalized homepage with a distinct user journey and a clear call to action for potential job applicants.

Through working with numerous brands to optimize user experience, we’ve seen that companies can set themselves apart by taking qualitative factors into consideration. How users feel while interacting with your site may be the missing link to providing a truly optimized experience. When qualitative and quantitative methods work together, brands gain a full view of the customer. To learn more about UX analytics, please reach out to Rise.

01/16/2017 at 10:38