AJ Joplin, Senior Analyst

Show Notes:

CX, product, and design teams often struggle to build experiences that catch on with customers. This happens in part because teams rely on assumptions about users — what they want, how they want to interact, and what their problems and goals are — instead of findings from user research, explains Senior Analyst AJ Joplin.

In this episode, Joplin explains key features of successful user research and how organizations can weave research into their product and service development processes.

As a first step, Joplin recommends CX leaders get curious. Organizations often rush to make decisions and get something out the door. Instead, take time to explore and learn from your customers before building. This can help avoid the dreaded million-dollar prototype — where huge amounts of funds are poured into projects based on “gut feelings” about customers that turn out to be wrong.

It’s a good idea to map out your organization’s assumptions. Teams are often surprised by how much of their thinking lacks data to back it up. Running an assumptions mapping workshop is also a great way for CX professionals to build connections with product and design teams and demonstrate the value of their work.

As you begin to advocate for more formalized user research, don’t be surprised if it’s tough to get traction, says Joplin. The “we’ve always done things this way” crew will make their voice heard. And user researchers are in high demand, making it tough to get the expertise you need. Start small and earn some quick wins. The more examples you have showing user research leading to positive business outcomes, the more likely you’ll be able to get the skeptics on board.