Why Customer Research Is So Important For Any Business

Published August 24, 2017

Customer research should be at the heart of everything you do, from the design of your website to how you conduct marketing – and even the products and services you offer. Without the vital information that customer research provides, you’re potentially doing all of these things wrong. Think of all the time and money you might be wasting! Investing in customer research is important for all businesses – here’s why.

What about established businesses?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you don’t need to invest in customer research if you’ve already cultivated an audience, but sadly this is not the case. Take a look at Amazon. How much customer research do they do? You might think that they don’t need to bother doing much, since they’re already so well known. But you’d be wrong. Amazon puts great effort into trying to understand their customers through research. Amazon’s reason for doing this is to ensure that they keep the customers they’ve won.

You may have lots of customers now, but you could lose them as soon as another business comes along and offers something similar, but better. An established business that fails to do its customer research isn’t thinking long-term, so make sure that customer research is built into your brand and that you are thinking about the bigger picture as you grow and expand. Even a big company will have to constantly react and change in accordance with market and customer feedback.

Customer research for a new business

Customer research is the secret behind small businesses, entrepreneurs, and disruptors who enter the market from nowhere and make a killing.

Let’s say you’re starting a business venture for the very first time. The first thing you should be doing is market research. Once you’ve identified that there is a clear market for what you’re selling, you can start building your site or business to appeal to that market. When the customers start coming in, it’s important to find out why they chose you over a competitor — and keep refining those core business USPs as you find out more about your customers.

Customer research will help small businesses to identify the best avenues for investment in terms of marketing, web design, and so forth. This is going to be especially important when the limited budgets of smaller businesses are considered. Customer research can really make or break a new business, so make sure you spend time and budget on yours.

How to do customer research

To get an idea of how other businesses conduct customer research campaigns, below is a list of different approaches:

  • Customer surveys: A simple approach that pretty much all businesses can and will use. Each time a customer buys something or uses a service provided by a business, they’ll be sent a survey about their experience (using a tool like SurveyMonkey). While they are sometimes ignored, they can provide valuable insights
  • Browser cookies: Larger businesses will use cookies for their customer research. These will track visitors to their site and help them to find out what other websites they’re visiting on the net. This can help to give them an idea of who their customers are what they need. Different cookies can do different things, but generally they all provide data that helps businesses to provide personalized experiences
  • Google keywords: This useful tool, offered by Google, can help businesses to identify which keywords they should be targeting on their site. It provides information on popular related search terms – very important for optimizing a website for SEO
  • Specialized research tools: Some tools are designed specifically to help businesses carry out customer research. Tools like Questback and Free Lunch can help you to identify who your customers are and what they need from you

There are lots of avenues available for customer research; it’s important for every business to take advantage of them. Without customer research, you may end up pouring time and money into something nobody is interested in – an all-round loss. Once you’ve carried out the research, you can push forward with your digital marketing strategy. What forms of customer research do you find the most effective?





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About The Author

Victoria Greene headshot
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. I work with ecommerce businesses & marketing teams to create content and targeted SEO strategies. In my line of work, customer research is very important, so I have my fair share of experience with it. Check out my website for more about what I do.