NEWS22 February 2018

CX research goes beyond usability, finds study

AI Data analytics News North America Technology

US – Customer experience research has grown beyond usability testing, according to a study from insights platform UserTesting.

Mobile with stars indicating customer experience rating

The research, which involved 3,900 respondents in product, marketing, design and research roles across industries, explored how companies approach customer experience (CX) and conduct CX research.

The top reason for firms conducting customer experience research is “understanding customers and their needs”, according to 63% of respondents, followed by usability testing of websites ( 57%). Fifty-two per cent of respondents say they currently conduct user research on online and offline customer journeys, followed by product usability ( 51%), prototypes ( 48%), apps ( 46%) and competitors ( 42%). Around a third say they use it to test reactions to marketing content ( 31%).

The majority of senior management company executives surveyed ( 95%) believe CX research improves their products and services, and 91% agreed that they want to allow more people within the organisation to conduct user research.

Of those respondents in UX research and market research roles, 52% agreed that they and their team can easily keep up with internal demand for research, while 46% disagreed. Another issue for researchers was the need for speed: 46% agreed that by the time they can finish a piece of research, the company has already made a decision and moved on.

The research also found that 71% of full-time UX researchers want to allow non-researchers within the organisation to run their own studies.

Forty-nine per cent of respondents reported an increase in CX research budget, with about 5% reporting a decline, and 46% saying levels had stayed the same. Over half ( 55%) said they expect the frequency of CX research will increase throughout 2018.

Artificial intelligence was cited as the most important online trend affecting customer experience ( 64% of respondents), followed by voice interaction in second place ( 54%).

Mike Mace, vice-president of product insights at UserTesting, said: “In 2018, CX is front and centre at most companies, which has led to an increase in the number of people who gather quick human insights. Today a rising tide of employees across disciplines and titles conduct their own CX studies to uncover the ‘why' of customer behaviour and make customer-first decisions that increase brand loyalty and profitability.”