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The missing voice: The role of (good) customer research in optimization programs

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The missing voice: The role of (good) customer research in optimization programs

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Are you doing research with your customers? Most optimization teams are doing user research but not involving their most important stakeholder: their customers. They passively observe click behavior or extrapolate from analytics data. You can start here – but if you want to get ahead with your optimization program, you need to do customer research.

In this talk, you’ll learn how to pinpoint customer frustrations by infusing usability research into your optimization program. We’ll cover the three ways user research should be used to move faster and spend less time on low impact tests. We’ll help you make the case for why your optimization team needs to prioritize user research.

Like what you see? Sign up for our monthly webinars at growththroughempathy.com.

Are you doing research with your customers? Most optimization teams are doing user research but not involving their most important stakeholder: their customers. They passively observe click behavior or extrapolate from analytics data. You can start here – but if you want to get ahead with your optimization program, you need to do customer research.

In this talk, you’ll learn how to pinpoint customer frustrations by infusing usability research into your optimization program. We’ll cover the three ways user research should be used to move faster and spend less time on low impact tests. We’ll help you make the case for why your optimization team needs to prioritize user research.

Like what you see? Sign up for our monthly webinars at growththroughempathy.com.

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The missing voice: The role of (good) customer research in optimization programs

  1. 1. The Missing Voice: The Role of (Good) Customer Research in Optimization Programs Presented by AJ Davis, Founder of Experiment Zone
  2. 2. Agenda What we’ll cover We’ll discuss how to advance your CRO practice using user research. ▪ Intro to user research methods ▪ How & where to infuse usability research ▪ Examples of the impact of research on A/B testing programs ▪ How to make the case for better research
  3. 3. Intro to AJ Davis Experiment Zone AJ loves helping brands improve their conversion rates by improving customer experiences. Expertise: - Finding user experience issues & solving them - Identifying small and large changes that improve conversion rates - User research, analytics, and conversion rate optimization Reach me aj@experimentzone.com LinkedIn
  4. 4. Customer Research + CRO Current State In 2019, CRO research was the top process issue for optimizers. Bigger than test prioritization or test velocity. Results as seen in the 2019 CXL State of Conversion report: https://cxl.com/blog/2019-conversion-optimization-report/
  5. 5. Customer Research + CRO Current State One-third of optimizers had no process in place for user research or test prioritization. Many CRO experts focus on research that doesn’t include talking with a person. Results as seen in the 2019 CXL State of Conversion report: https://cxl.com/blog/2019-conversion-optimization-report/
  6. 6. Intro to User Research What is it? User research focuses on understanding, user behaviors, needs, and motivations. Through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. Definition adapted from Usability.gov (https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-research.html)
  7. 7. CRO Process Balancing act Good decision-making needs a balance of qualitative and quantitative insights.
  8. 8. CRO Toolkit How do we find answers? Adapted from NNGroup’s A Landscape of User Research Methods https://www.nngroup.com/articles/which-ux-research-methods/ A/B Testing Usability Testing Analytics Analysis Email SurveysInterviews Intercept SurveysFirst Impression Testing Card Sorting & Tree Testing Click Tracking Analysis Heuristic Review Expert Review Why Behaviors
  9. 9. Definition: evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. ▪ Participants complete core tasks ▪ Observers watch, listen, and take notes The outcome? ▪ Uncover usability problems ▪ Understand participant’s understanding & satisfaction with the product Usability Research What is it? Definition adapted from Usability.gov (https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/usability-testing.html)
  10. 10. Usability Research and A/B Testing When to research Before Testing Test Planning After a Test
  11. 11. Usability Research and A/B Testing When to research Workout 4 You 👟 Goal Increase online revenue from DTC business Testing Maturity We run a test or two per month
  12. 12. Usability Research and A/B Testing When to research Before Testing Test Planning After a Test
  13. 13. Usability Testing in CRO Before Testing Why now? ▪ Direct our testing to the highest impact areas. ▪ Focus attention to the pages with the most pain points for visitors Outcome Improve test prioritization Illuminate new problems that testing can solve.
  14. 14. Usability Testing in CRO Before Testing At this stage, you can answer: ▪ What are the biggest pain points in our customer journey? ▪ Where do participants get confused? ▪ What’s unclear to participants about our product or service? ▪ What tasks do participants fail to complete? Struggle?
  15. 15. Usability Testing in CRO Before Testing Workout 4 You 👟 Tasks Browse and find the right product for you. Insight Visitors struggled to use the filters to narrow their results.
  16. 16. Usability Research and A/B Testing When to research Before Testing Test Planning After a Test
  17. 17. Usability Testing in CRO Test Planning Why now? ▪ Improve the test variant before putting it into the world. ▪ Pinpoint small points of friction that could turn a winning improvement into a losing test. ▪ Create more effective test variants. Outcome Increase the likelihood of a winning test. Refine the variant prior to running the A/B test. Decrease likelihood of custom service phone calls, big losses.
  18. 18. Usability Testing in CRO Test Planning At this stage, you can answer: ▪ What usability issues exist in this variant? ▪ How do participants respond to this new solution / design? ▪ What improvements can we make to this design before A/B testing?
  19. 19. Usability Testing in CRO Test Planning Workout 4 You 👟 Test Add Live Chat to the website Insight Participants didn’t notice the Live Chat next to the Call Now.
  20. 20. Usability Research and A/B Testing When to research Before Testing Test Planning After a Test
  21. 21. Usability Testing in CRO After a Test Why now? ▪ Some A/B test outcomes are inconclusive or confusing ▪ We need to know why something happened, to update our knowledge of customers Outcome ▪ Understand what happened in unexpected results. ▪ Unpack mixed or unexpected results.
  22. 22. Usability Testing in CRO After a Test At this stage, we can answer: ▪ Why did the test fail? ▪ Why did different visitor groups yield polarizing results? ▪ What should we consider in the next round of testing?
  23. 23. Usability Testing in CRO After a Test Workout 4 You 👟 Test Add track your order at the top of each page. Insight Visitors ignored the message initially and eventually felt annoyed.
  24. 24. User Research Tools & technology Usability Testing Tools Participant Recruitment Platforms Additional Tools
  25. 25. Usability Testing in CRO 4 Tips #1 - Ask open ended questions. #2 - Ask participants to think aloud. Remind them if they forget. #3 - Avoid leading questions or responding with obvious interest to certain comments. #4 - Include 5-6 participants per persona or customer segment.
  26. 26. Usability Testing in CRO Make the Case Each usability study yields many A/B tests worth of insights. ▪ More focused test roadmap ▪ Less time spent to get to the best (and highest converting) experience ▪ Risk Reduction - avoid putting poorly performing variants in front of large numbers of visitors
  27. 27. Next Steps Visit Us Need help bringing usability testing to your CRO program? ▪ Find out about what we do at ExperimentZone.com ▪ Sign up for our next webinar at GrowthThroughEmpathy.com ▪ Join our Growth Through Empathy Facebook Group to have regular advice at your fingertips. ▫ https://www.facebook.com/groups/growththroughempathy/

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