After the Research: Ensuring Insights are Acknowledged and Applied
Present-day methodologies embracing business, product and customer development often overlap, lean and borrow from one another. A common element orbiting these practices, is the importance of talking to customers in the pursuit of building better products by advocating for the adopters of said products.
With this in mind, how can we be sure that the research project findings will complete their journey, reaching the right ears at the right time in order to make an impact where they are most valuable? Previously thought to be the researcher’s dilemma, leading the awareness campaign to act on customer discovery data has–in recent times–become a priority throughout several departments. Customer retention and development seems to be everyone’s prerogative.
After customer interviews have been conducted and the insights extracted, diligently compiled into a standardised report, the application of this data should follow systematically. However, many organisations are fraught with challenges that prevent the ideal situation from developing. To spotlight a few:
Teams aren’t communicating effectively across departments
Individuals work in silos, meaning their work doesn’t carry over to the right people
Information overload obstructs the message from making an impact
Research reports aren’t effectively engaging their audiences
Research insights aren’t actionable–and stop short of being functional
The Antidote to Interest Fatigue
These seem like benign issues that can be easily corrected, but they are a cause of constant frustration to research teams that invest time and effort distilling the voice of the customer into viable solutions.
When “getting out of the building” and getting to work with real people who have valuable information to offer, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the novelty of this aspect of the research process. Your role is to refine qualitative research into easily consumed and ready-to-apply insights, and while you see the value and opportunity in this–not everyone else does. You can’t force your colleagues to pay attention, but you can work on ways to gain their interest and ensure that the research isn’t lost or trivialised and doesn’t stop with one department.
So how can we ensure that the work ends up helping the right decision-makers? Let’s unpack a few methods that will inject some sorely-needed effervescence back into your research reports.
Look at things from the perspective of your audience
Who is your research most likely to impact? Other than the customer of course, discovery insights are often used by UX design, product teams and marketing. These departments will no doubt benefit from qualitative data about the current and prospective customer. But not all teams work the same, and thus your research will need to adapt.
Consider your use of language and visual components that relay your research and the bottom line. Using video and audio as a supplementary tool may help to get your points across. Don’t be afraid to be a little creative and have fun with the work and the way that it’s presented. While you find your research inherently absorbing, the next person may not, tailoring your research to the correct audience can help significantly to increase awareness, interest and adoption.
Ensure that your research findings are worthy of action
Actionable insights. This term is well-worn in the field of research and marketing, but what does it actually mean? In short, insight refers to the significant information complied in the act of research analysis. These insights have the influence to propel and product further, or make a case for pivoting. If the success of your research is defined by anything, it’s the value of your insights and whether they are potent enough to compel all decision-making parties. The quality of your insights truly do rest on your ability to inject meaning into the user interviews and find opportunities for lasting progress.
Make sure you’re using accessible tools to share your research
Best-served warm, insights gleaned from the discovery pursuit are to be shared and acted upon opportunely. Research insights do have a sell-by date, especially where innovation is concerned. Making sure that all vested parties have access to these reports is essential. Not surprisingly, even research that has long since run its course can still be a useful source of information, one that charts specific trends and speaks to the past as a motivator for the future planning.
For this reason, an insights repository is a useful tool that each stakeholder will have access to for the purpose of using, sharing and collaborating on research.
With the Voyc platform, you’re able to analyse, share, and strategically collaborate on your user research. Explore our full, comprehensive feature list or sign up for a demo so that we can help your team conduct better customer research.