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How Digital Qualitative Research Improves Your CX and UX

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Improve Your Customer & User Experience with Digital Qualitative Research 

The incentives are rich and the stakes high for today’s brands to implement solutions that improve the customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX). Leading enterprises know having a highly rated CX and UX leads to more loyal customers who can serve as brand ambassadors — the ultimate prize for any company. Other important benefits include greater alignment with market and customer needs, and more insights to guide market segmentation and targeting.

Strong evidence indicates the solution to accomplishing the above lies in digital qualitative research.

Continue reading as we reveal how to leverage digital qualitative research to positively transform CX and UX.

What Is Customer Experience (CX)? 

Customer experience (CX) is what consumers think, feel, and perceive as they interact with a brand.

Part of  CX is the customer journey, which includes all brand touchpoints encountered by a consumer. At a high level, the journey is comprised of these elements:

  1. Awareness – The customer has a problem they want resolved. They search for a solution and become aware of a brand and its services.
  2. Consideration – The customer compares solutions to identify the ideal candidate based on price and budget, trust and reputation, and features offered.
  3. Purchase – If a brand meets the consumer’s expectations in step one and two, the consumer makes a purchase.
  4. Retention – The company wants the customer to return. The sales and CX team engage the customer to drive retention, tempting the consumer with additional products and services.
  5. Advocacy – When a customer is happy with a purchase, and comes back for more, they may become an advocate. Consumer advocacy is where existing customers actively recommend and talk about your brand, driving awareness and engagement across real-life interactions and social media channels.

What is User Experience (UX)? 

Where CX covers everything relating to the experience with a brand, user experience (UX) focuses on what customers think, feel, and perceive while using the brand’s products or services. 

A smartphone user may consider the following as part of the UX: 

  • Is the screen sharp or fuzzy? Screen resolution. 
  • Can all four corners of the screen be easily reached? Screen size. 
  • Do the speakers sound good? Audio. 

A website user might consider these points as part of the UX: 

  • Can I easily navigate and find the features I need? Webpage design. 
  • Can I access documentation to learn how to use this site? Documentation and knowledge management. 
  • Does the page load quickly? Webpage optimization. 
  • Can I load the page in poor internet conditions? Webpage compression and accessibility. 

What Is Participant Experience (PX) in Market Research? 

Companies use market research to collect data on consumer and market conditions. After processing this data, businesses can drive improvements to CX and UX thanks to actionable insights.

Within the realm of market research, there is another experience metric: participant experience (PX). A poor PX can be detrimental to the quality and relevance of market research insights. Bad insights can lead to a misguided transformation of the CX or UX.

For a good PX, participants need to be well-informed. This way, they can engage at a higher level, as they understand the purpose of the research. Other factors that create a good PX include recognition and purpose, so participants understand exactly what their voice and opinions contribute to and why their voice is valuable.

Why Is Digital Qualitative Research Important? 

Without research, brands act blindly. Research clarifies your vision of your customer, enabling you to understand what conditions and trends your business is up against.

At a high level, market research falls into two categories:

  • Quantitative Research – Collect and process quantifiable data to generate statistical, mathematical, or computational insights. This can be boiled down to the “what” of a given research query.
  • Qualitative Research – Collect and process non-quantifiable data contained within language, images, video, and audio. This reveals the “why.”

Where quantitative reveals what consumers do and think, qualitative reveals the why behind the what of consumer behavior. This additional context is important in guiding business decision-making processes.

Here’s why digital qualitative research is so beneficial to modern, global enterprises:

1. Digital Qualitative Research Allows Participants to Engage in Real Life 

If a company wants to collect data on e-commerce shopping habits, the place to do that is in their homes, on their home laptops, not in an in-person research environment. Digital qualitative research makes it possible to communicate with research respondents in their own homes, using their own devices, to understand their real responses to research questions. It replicates their actual habits and processes more accurately and improves insights into emotional and behavioral responses. This more realistic scenario also reduces biases triggered by unfamiliar environments or the physical presence of other people.

2. Asynchronous Research Leads to Higher Engagement and Response Rates 

Synchronous research, aka live research, can be challenging, as it requires all campaign participants and researchers to be present simultaneously for maximum benefit. This time-sensitive pressure can result in lower engagement and fewer omitted responses in research campaigns.

Asynchronous qualitative research, on the other hand, allows participants to respond in their own time, and researchers can process insights as they arrive. Respondents can think through their responses and provide richer, more meaningful answers. An online qualitative research platform, like QualBoard, enables this kind of asynchronous research.

3. Interactive Research During Evaluation and Concept Exploration 

Digital tools allow participants to digitally manipulate research materials for an interactive experience. This can include annotating and drawing on images or offering ratings for concept designs.

Interactive research is much like the concept of gamification, in that it drives engagement and focus among research participants. Younger participants are particularly fond of gamification. Greater interactivity leads to far richer insights than seen with simple Q&A formats.

4. Asynchronous Qualitative Research Gives You More Control Over Study Variables 

Controlling the variable is a key tenet of the scientific approach, also known as a “scientific constant.” It helps secure reliable and reproducible results, which is equally critical in market research.

Digital qualitative research ensures all participants have a similar experience, reducing the risk of bias or invalid responses. This helps to avoid:

  • Answers being influenced by other participants and their experiences, promoting “agreeable” responses
  • Time constraints leading to rushed responses that are inauthentic or incomplete
  • Non-attendance due to location, commuting difficulties, etc.
  • Demographic and cultural biases from research in urban versus rural areas – the research center is located wherever the respondent is
    Limitations on the sample demographic and size (if you choose a solution that includes access to a global panel of respondents)

Start Your Digital Qualitative Research Campaign with QualBoard by Schlesinger Group 

Schlesinger Group is a global market research partner offering quantitative and qualitative research services.

The highlight of this case study is QualBoard, our digital qualitative research platform. It helps businesses capture rich, agile insights with access to our global audience. This is achieved with a powerful, intuitive user interface coupled with time-saving automations. Businesses can design and deploy asynchronous qualitative research campaigns in significantly less time to gather essential insights on consumers and the wider market.

Schedule a consultation with Schlesinger Group to design your next research project. Start by getting in touch today!

Schedule a consultation with Schlesinger Group to design your next research project. Start by getting in touch today!