How to Gather Deep User Insights to Break Engagement Barriers

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Most businesses claim to put their users first. But is this always true? 

Possibly not. 

You may think you know exactly who your ‘perfect’ user is and what it is they want. After all, what person or computer could possibly argue with your 20 years of industry experience? 

But sometimes it pays to dig deeper than your own opinions and hunches. (Even if your sales are already performing!)

Too many businesses fail to utilize deep user insights and fall behind competitors who offer a better user experience. 

Even worse, ignoring deep user insights can create engagement barriers that hinder prospects and break down important relationships. In order to avoid such fates, this quick guide will get you up to speed. 

What Exactly Are Deep User Insights?

In a nutshell, user insights help paint a clearer picture of your users and their needs. Insights are attainable from multiple sources, such as customer response and information databases. 

Luckily, most businesses already have heaps of this data. Once collected and analyzed, patterns of behavior will emerge which allow you to understand your user and make better decisions. 

Time to Get Deep

For maximum effectiveness, your user insights need to go deeper to understand your users’ behavior, psychology, and needs: 

  • What drives them? 
  • What are their desires? 
  • Are they satisfied? 
  • How can you solve their problems?

But in order for these insights to be effective, your whole team must operate on a deeper level to ensure everyone understands your user insights. Get it right and you will hit the mark every time and gain confidence knowing you’re delivering a service that meets the expectations of each individual user. 

Deep insights mean deep profits! 

How to Gather Deep User Insights

Using deep user insights with success involves balancing qualitative and quantitative data. It’s all good having a bunch of quantitative data on user behavior, but you need to find the motivations and emotions behind them. 

As ex Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said

We must turn data into information, information into knowledge and insight, and knowledge into a competitive advantage.

The digital transformation of most markets has made gaining deep user insights easier. From collecting and analyzing data to conducting science-backed interviews, it is now possible to understand your perfect target client better than ever. 

Follow these steps to find out exactly how to start gathering deep user insights. 

Go Over Your Existing User and Product Data

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Look first in places you already collect data. Consider specifically the touchpoints between your staff and end-users. 

Those rants from the customer service department may come in useful here! 

 Some typical places to look are:

  • Email archives between support staff and users
  • Conversations between sales staff and potential new users 
  • Exit surveys and feedback forms
  • Existing research into users
  • Feature/product requests

After collecting and grouping this data into a pool, begin to assess your insights against current user issues. This will highlight trends and patterns to help answer important questions such as:

  • What’s working for users and what isn’t? 
  • Can you identify the specific needs of a certain type of user?
  • Can you search your insights for specific features?

If you can start to answer these questions, you’re on the right track! 

Hold Regular Meetings With Customer-Facing Teams

Think of your customer-facing teams as a goldmine for user insights. By holding regular interviews with sales and customer success and support teams, you’ll receive their golden nuggets of actionable information. 

Customer-facing teams deal with so many users daily that they will have their own insight to bring to the table. And since they understand your product or service, they can interpret these insights within the relevant context. 

Inputs from your frontline team like this are vital for your deep user insights. 

Talk to Users More

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In a technology-filled world, the art of real conversation has become too often neglected in favor of emails and chatbots.

The problem is, some of your most reliable user insights will come from open and honest conversations with users. It’s great having pages of customer data to go over, but a simple conversation between two humans where you can ask WHY is often the best way to solve any issues. 

And with access to the best video conferencing software, even social distancing can’t stop you! 

Conversations are also great for capturing new insights that spring organically from spoken interactions. These can be as valuable as lots of numerical data. 

Make sure you:

  • Make time to regularly speak to users.
  • Let colleagues know about your new plans so they can send prospects and users your way. 
  • Oversee calls and any other exchanges between your staff and users.
  • Keep a list of target users you can reach out to.
  • Build a customer community using websites or social media.

Build a System That Consolidates All Your User Insights

Businesses today have access to loads of tools for managing their interactions with users or prospects. 

Unfortunately, it’s easy for insights to slip through the gaps or for data to become misleading if these systems aren’t understood or used correctly by your team. Experian recently found that 45% of customer data is incomplete or of poor quality. 

Your system is the central hub for your insights so it needs to be up-to-date and accessible. Think of it as a one-stop shop for everything. You could even build a mobile app to allow access at all times. 

Whatever you decide, your system needs to integrate with your current tech stack to automatically funnel all inputs. Pay specific attention to your sales enablement tools to turn those insights into profits. 

Act Now to Prevent Engagement Barriers

Now you’ve gathered your deep user insights you are ready to reap the rewards. 

But be careful, failing to properly understand or implement them could create barriers between you and your user. This might happen if:

  • You’re working on a hunch rather than deep insight.
  • You’re failing to see users in their own context.
  • Your business is not actually customer-centric.

To prevent such barriers and save valuable time, make sure you follow the steps above and keep your systems-up-to date.

Now it’s time to get started with deep user insights and unlock the full potential of your business. 

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