Research is integral for any business. Without looking back at the past, it is all too easy to make major mistakes that will cost your business a lot more than money. The good news: it is relatively easy to get some valuable customer insight to ensure the decisions you make are informed and more likely to lead to success.

As you can likely gather from the name, customer insight is all about learning more about your customer base. You understand their wants and pain points, features that impress or disappoint them, elements that influence purchasing decisions, and so on. You can learn this information from both existing and potential customers and via both primary and secondary data sources.

The more customer insights you gain, the more it can help your business. Benefits include:

  • Develop a product or service that includes the features most desired by customers
  • Ensure your product or service lands within the right pricing range
  • Create an emotional connection by delivering effective messages that land at the right time
  • Develop productive marketing campaigns that are segmented, targeted, and personalized
  • Enhance your unique selling proposition.

Naturally, these positives have a knock-on effect that leads to other advantages. These advantages include an increase in customer loyalty, improved customer satisfaction, and greater sales numbers.

If you want to start enjoying these benefits, however, you must learn how to gain customer insight for your business. Consider the following six methods for your education.

1. Analyze reviews for customer insight.

People around computer analyzing customer reviews to gain customer insight.

When you are eager to learn about your customer base, one of the best ways to do so is by reading the reviews they have left for competitors. Whether it is a review left for a product or the business in general, this feedback is often honest, genuine, and packed with valuable information.

Think about it…

When was the last time you bought a product online without looking at past reviews? Everyone scrolls down to the bottom of the page on Amazon or other eCommerce websites, looking beyond the star ratings to see what positive and negative experiences customers had with the product.

The same can be applicable to your company’s customer insight research. By analyzing competitor reviews, you learn a lot about your target audience. You pick up knowledge on what they seek when making a purchase, current pain points with existing products, and so much more.

With this information, you can improve your own offerings, whether that is through improved marketing efforts or refining your products to better match up to customer demands.

There is one issue: what if you have thousands of reviews to wade through? Not only will this eat up a lot of time and resources when done manually, but it can also be tricky to spot the actionable gold that lurks among the rubble.

The solution: GapScout.

With GapScout, there is no need to read through each review, one-by-one, and make a note of specific comments. That is fine when you only have 10-20 reviews to analyze – not so good when that number is multiplied tenfold or more.

GapScout removes the pain of attempting to do everything manually. Special AI technology does all the heavy lifting, sifting through any collection of reviews you throw at it, and supplying you with all the juicy insights and trends you seek from your customer base.

Related: 5 Benefits of Opinion Mining

2. Analytics provide valuable customer insight.

Google Analytics on a computer screen.

To learn more about your customers, perhaps the first place to start is with analytics. Now, analytics are not new. Every online business makes use of them in some way, whether this is looking at how many website visitors they receive or how many sales they make in a month. However, not every business knows how to make the best use out of analytics.

Ultimately, there are many different analytics available. Yes, visitor and sale numbers can be helpful, but they do not tell you the full story. More specific analytics, on the other hand, can supply you with a much higher value in terms of customer insight. The best analytics to track include:

Bounce rate: The number of people who visit a single webpage and then leave the site without progressing further. The lower the bounce rate, the better it is for you (or a competitor).

Average session duration: The length of time, on average, that a user remains on a website before they go elsewhere.

The ratio of new to returning visitors: Learn how many website visitors are newcomers compared to returnees. Both points are important. New visitors can suggest growth, whereas returners indicate a boost in lifetime value.

Organic vs. paid sessions: Learn how many users visit a website via organic means (non-paid) compared to those who have clicked on an advertisement of some sort.

Email open rate: See how many people are opening the emails they receive. This is vital for determining the success levels of email marketing campaigns, as is knowing how many people click through the link that is typically present in said emails.

Conversion rate: Understand the number of visitors that turn into conversions. Conversions can be everything from those buying a product to signing up for a newsletter.

User location: Know where users are located. This is one of the most important demographics-related metrics to track. By knowing which specific countries, states, cities, etc., people are visiting from, a business can better target its audience through paid ads and SEO.

Top landing pages: Understand which web pages are receiving the most initial traffic from visitors.

The great thing about studying analytics is that you can do it with both your website and your competitors.

You can learn a lot about your customers and what is making them tick on your site. By taking a peek at the competition, you can spot certain valuable tactics you have yet to implement in your own content. This could be everything from creating a specific type of landing page to using certain keywords.

Gaining these insights requires the backing of an analytic tool. Fortunately, there are many options available for all budgets. If you have no money to spare in this area, Google Analytics is the ideal starting point, as it is completely free to use. For something a little more robust that packs in more features, HubSpot is a recommended all-in-one paid option.

3. Surveys provide insightful information.

People working at a computer creating surveys

The previous two methods are all about using past data, aka secondary data. While secondary data is highly valuable, obviously, there is also a lot to gain from primary data sources. Yes, this does involve a greater level of participation and research from your end, but the results can often be worth the effort.

As for primary data sources, one of the best tactics is the use of surveys.

Surveys are easy to create and distribute. Not only that, but more people than you may realize are willing to complete them. Okay, you might have to add some form of enticement and ensure the survey is not too taxing to complete. Yet, you should receive a healthy response rate.

Surveys can be distributed to both existing and potential customers. For existing customers, you can gain insights into your own offerings. What do they like about your products? What features could be added? Can your approach to customer service be improved? These are the types of topics you can ask about – and you will receive honest feedback in response.

Another positive aspect of using surveys is that data can be collected and analyzed effectively. With a platform like SurveyMonkey, there is no need to go through the responses of each customer. The responses can be combined and presented via easy-to-understand graphs, tables, and other visuals.

Related: Market Research Surveys: All You Need to Know

4. Paid interviews take customer insight one step further.

Two women having a discussion in a board room. Paid interviews help businesses to get relevant customer insight.

If the aim is to gain customer insight without spending any of your budget, you may want to skip to the next tactic. With that said, you should not overlook the power of paid interviews and how these can educate you about your customer base.

As mentioned in the previous point, surveys are a great primary source for gaining customer insight. However, you can only really go over the surface. Try and go too in-depth with your questioning, and users will quickly give up on completing the survey. It is best to just fling a few softballs their way.

Paid interviews are different in that regard. This is the route you want to take for in-depth customer insights. You can listen, learn, and discover much more effectively with interviews by asking initial questions, responding to the feedback with further questions, and seeing if your ideas and assumptions are validated (or invalidated).

Of course, you have to approach a paid interview the right way. You do not want to go into it with any bias toward your business. It would help if you also asked the right questions to gain feedback that will be valuable. When done right, these insights can help in a big way. Rather than a customer simply saying what problem a product has, for instance, you can explore the ‘why’ behind this problem in a way other insight methods cannot achieve.

5. A/B testing gives you behavior insight.

A red apple and a green apple on a table representing split testing, a great way to get customer insight on behavior.

A/B testing, aka split testing, is one of the most productive tactics for gaining real-time insights from your customer base.

The general concept of A/B testing is to match certain elements against each other. Depending on the actions of the customer, you can determine which element is the best to implement going forward.

As an example, say you are struggling to decide on which call-to-action works best for your Google Ads campaign. You are stuck between two options: “Buy Now” or “Learn More.” To find out which one will work best for your ads campaign, you can perform an A/B test.

One set of ads includes the “Buy Now” CTA. The other set signs off with “Learn More.” Some customers will see the former, and others will see the latter. By going down this route, you can collect data and find out which version is most effective in generating ad clicks. If “Buy Now” results in a 7% uptick in conversions, you know this is the option to go with in the future for your full ad campaign.

There is no limit to what can be covered with A/B testing. You can use it to fine-tune every element of your marketing funnel. You can test out different product features to see which one is most appreciated by customers. Heck, you can even test out different initial responses when a customer uses your website’s live chat function.

A/B testing should be part of every business strategy in some form. It is one of the savviest tactics for gaining customer insight in a subtle yet effective way.

Also Read: Best Online Lead Conversion Tactics

6. Social listening keeps you in the know.

TikTok Logo

You know the power of social media from a business perspective. It is an excellent tool for promoting your products and services. It is also great for answering any inquiries a customer may have about your company’s offerings. But did you also know it is one of the best platforms for gaining customer insight?

This is achieved with a practice known as social listening. This is where you monitor social media channels – from Twitter to TikTok – to see what your audience is talking about. This monitoring can include brand mentions, product names, industry-related keywords, and competitor tags.

Social listening helps your business to stay with the times. You can keep up-to-date with the latest trends. You can understand how your brand is currently perceived by your audience. This same applies to the competition.

It is true: social listening will not provide you with in-depth information or data like other tactics on this list. What it does well, however, is offering a quick snapshot of your customer base and their current feelings. By following trends and changes as they happen, you are in a better position to make swift business adjustments when necessary.

In conclusion…

Customer insight is crucial for any business looking to improve and grow. By understanding the wants and pain points of customers, as well as the elements that influence their purchasing decisions, businesses can develop products and services that align with customer demand, create targeted and personalized marketing campaigns, and ultimately improve customer loyalty and satisfaction.

There are various methods for gaining customer insight, such as analyzing customer reviews, looking at analytics, and using specialized tools like GapScout.

By utilizing these methods and gaining a more in-depth understanding of your customer base, businesses can make informed decisions and take steps towards success.

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