Qual + Quant Insights: Two Wheels of an Axle
“The combination of qual and quant are like two wheels of an axle: You shouldn’t embark on a journey with only one wheel.” — CXperts
Embark on a journey with one wheel, and you won’t get far. Endeavor to improve on a customer journey guided by quantitative data alone, and the same may be true. User-analytics-driven insights are critical since best practices can only take you so far, but the balance comes in layering them with qualitative data. Creating a more meaningful digital experience for the customer requires a complete understanding of not just what is working (and not working) with the existing experience, but why.
“Knowing that something happened and how big a problem it seems to be is only half the story. To prescribe a true fix, it’s critical to get as many answers to the question of why something’s happening. This is where qualitative data is so crucial. The closer we can get to understanding people’s specific digital experiences, and the frustration or breakdowns that they’re encountering, the more empathetic and effective a perspective we’ll have to consult around solutions. The combination of these two is so valuable in crafting the proposed solutions or the ‘what now?’ in our process.” — CXperts
Once you have the quantitative and qualitative insights to shine a light on the “what, why, and what now?,” how do you implement a strategy to create a more meaningful customer experience? CXperts recommends following Nielsen Norman’s Refine, Remodel, Rebuild approach, using the insights to assess the problem and drive some of those optimization efforts wherever they fall on the 3R spectrum.
What research methods are most effective in identifying user sentiment?
Tactics such as user surveys, interviews with client-side customer support teams, and mining call recording and review data are passive research approaches. They’re valuable, but it takes quite a bit of volume to gain any confidence in user sentiment trends uncovered by these methods. Conversely, usability studies offer researchers more control, and can provide highly detailed feedback that typically includes plenty of sentiment about digital experiences that clients are delivering, but it’s inherently inefficient to scale to a point where the qualitative data is statistically significant.
“The good and the bad thing about all this is that we’re humans building experiences for other humans. Instincts can guide us to a degree, but it can be a slippery slope of bias reinforcement. Once we get to the point where we feel like our preferences or our egos are driving our opinions, then it’s probably time to stop and seek more user insights.” — CXperts
X Marks the Spot: Digging at the Intersection of Qual and Quant
When it comes to seeking more insights, how can you know where to invest the time and resources to dig in further? Surveys and usability studies can provide rich anecdotal feedback on a digital experience, but strong feelings expressed by one or two users in a limited sample might not represent the feelings of the target audience at large.
If you have a powerful searchlight for sentiment, the quantitative data will help determine which elements to focus that light on, then you can use the insights that are illuminated to learn answers to the questions of “why” UX is breaking down. This rapidly informs key ideas for optimization efforts; it can also lead us to more specific questions to frame up more focused usability studies to learn what CX or UX changes will make for a more engaging digital customer experience.
Ramsay and Steven shared an example from their work with an online gaming company that relied on users to sign up for their services. The company traditionally relied on data from web analytics, which revealed that they were losing prospects at the point of their signup form.
“They quantitatively knew exactly where there was inherent friction in the signup process, but they couldn’t easily get any clarity about what was going on. We knew to shine our searchlight at that touchpoint. We leveraged session replay tools to understand more about users’ areas of frustration. We found that the phone number field was the smoking gun, provided recommendations for changes, and once implemented conversion rates improved 20% on those forms overnight.” — CXperts
Relying on the one-two punch of combined qualitative and quantitative data provided both sentiment and statistical significance so the team was able to focus their efforts and the client reaped the immediate rewards.
To learn more about CXperts and how they leverage WEVO in their “Searchlight on Sentiment” approach to user research to improve the experience between customers and brands across digital interactions, visit CXperts online.
“In an ideal scenario, a single study can pass a two-part test to effectively gather a significant enough volume of sentiment, or qualitative data, and to deliver numbers-backed (quantitative) confidence in what you need to do next. When you can meet both criteria of that two-part test, you’ll know exactly where to dig a mile deep.” — CXperts
WEVO is turning this ideal into a reality by leveraging human-augmented AI to deliver curated, qualitative and quantitative insights to power more effective digital experiences. To learn more, talk to us!