“If you’ve never done market research before, you might think it’s expensive. But the truth is that not doing a research can cost you much more.”
In this episode of Business Sidekick podcast you’ll learn:
You will also hear a quick interview with Justyna from our Product Development team. She has explained how the team has built the prototype of the LiveChat Manager App and how they’ve conducted market research to be sure that this is exactly what our customers needed.
Oh, you’ll also hear Maciej, our Graphic Designer, saying “hello”.
This is Justyna from LiveChat, welcome to the very first episode of Business’ Sidekick!
In this series I am going to share experience and knowledge we’ve gained, I will also give you tips and tricks on how to grow an online business.
In today’s episode I’d like to start from the basics: from market research.
I hope you’ll like it!
OK, so why is market research so important?
To run a successful business, you need to know your customers, your competitors and – of course – your industry. Doing a market research helps to understand what your customers need and what they love.
To explain why is market research so important in business, I’ve asked Alicja, our customer success manager, to tell me what are her thoughts about it.
Alicja: I really think that it is crucial to get to know our customers. This is like buying a birthday gift. When you know someone, it’s very easy, because you know what they like, you know what they need, you know what they’re waiting for so it’s easy to make them happy. But if you don’t know a person, it is quite hard to find a perfect gift for them.
Me: Yes, because you have to guess!
Alicja: Exactly! So to avoid all that guessing, it is important to get to know your customers, their expectations, needs and thoughts.
To sum it up: market research is the activity of gathering information about your
consumers’ to tailor your product to their needs. It is crucial if you don’t want to fail.
I know, once you’re starting a new business, the last thing you want to focus on is failure, but the truth is: you need to know what’s the risk of not being prepared for every eventuality.
We all want to believe in romantic legends about great business owners.
You know, the stories about the most successful CEOs who wrote down their ingenious ideas on napkins and then brought them to life and changed the world!
Well, I don’t know how true it is. I only know that ordinary people of flesh and blood, need to prepare before opening a business.
OK, as we already know why market research is so important, it’s time to learn how it can be done.
There is one golden rule of every business: spy on your competitors.
How does their website look like, what information it contains, what is the price of their product, do they have a content marketing strategy, do they run their social media channels – this is the information you should be looking for.
First thing to start with is the Google search. Check all the websites that Google will show you, check the product reviews and customers’ opinions.
Speaking of the opinions, that’s something that will also let you find out what are the greatest problems your competitors are facing. Thanks to this you will also know what mistakes you should avoid.
A nice spy tool is Google Alerts. If you want to know when your competitor is mentioned online, whether as a link or simply a mention, you’ll get the report. You can monitor keywords as well.
There is also website.grader.com where you can check how is your website performing along with your competition. You just need to paste a link and it will tell you how strong the website is and will suggest a couple of improvements.
Google Alerts and Website Grader are both free.
Another nice website is alexa.com. It’s a tool helping to find out how much traffic, from where are your competitors getting. It will also tell you what is your web ranking and how well is your site doing relative to others. You’ll see your competitors top keywords and what percentage of visitors come from a search engine.
Alexa is not free, however it offers 7 day free trial so it’s worth trying.
You can also find other useful websites. Like, for example, if you’re making a business application, you can use the Getapp.com . It allows you to find out and compare many products from the same category, their pros, their cons, their overall rating.
There are plenty of tools that can help you with SEO like Semrush, however I will tell you more about SEO in one of the next episodes of Business Sidekick.
OK, let’s leave spying for now and let’s make a next step.
The most important way of getting information about the market is the primary research. Its goal is to gather data from your current sales and measure the effectiveness of your current practices.
You can do that, for example, by talking to your customers and website visitors.
There are several ways this kind of research can be done.
You can collect your data thanks to focus groups, interviews or online surveys. It will allow you to gain information about your customers behaviour, what they like or dislike in your products, what are the areas you could improve or what is the expected price of your product.
Here’s how Alicja does it.
Alicja: For example I use TwitterDeck where I can add some fields I’m interested in, like #livechat, #customerservice etc. Then I can monitor the trends, what our potential customers might need and I can approach them directly, just tweet to them or send them a message. We usually chat “how are you”, “how is your business going”. I also approach them on their websites and try to forward them to our development team. I think it’s a cool way to get to know what your customers need!
Another way of gathering information is the secondary research: analyzing data that is already published. It can help you to identify your competitors. Having this information you can establish your benchmarks for free.
So again, an example from our experience.
Every year, we create a Customer Service Report based on the data we gather through our app.
The last report presented customer service trends from 21 industries. so that’s something that can be used by you as a benchmark.
Even if you don’t use live chat, you can find something useful there or simply find other reports, statistics and findings that will help you to improve your product and service.
At the end I’d like to present to you a real-life example: a quick chat with Justyna, my colleague, who took part in a market research before the new LiveChat mobile app was designed.
Me: Now I’m going to have a chat with Justyna from Product Development team to ask about the new prototype of application and feedback we’ve gained. In the meantime I’m passing Maciej, our product designer, who was responsible for this project. Maciej, say “hi!”
Me: It was supposed to be “hi” but thank you! OK, Justyna is here. Hi Justyna!
Me: Can you tell me something about your project?
Justyna: Sure! It’s an application we are building with the whole development team. It’s dedicated for managers. It will be an app that will let them track what’s going on in their Livechat without logging in to LiveChat. They will be able to check it wherever they are…
Me: On their mobiles!
Justyna: Yes, it sounds awesome but we didn’t know if this app will be awesome for our users, if they actually need it, so we wanted to perform market research and that’s what we did. We’ve built a prototype app. It took us about one or two days to make it live. Basically, we’ve made a landing page and users would go to this landing page and click on the prototype, play with it, explore places…
Me: So the whole app was clickable on the website, yes?
Justyna: Yes! And users wouldn’t have to download it, just click on the link, go to the app and there it was. The reason why we did it was because we didn’t know if we want to build it and if users gonna use it so that was the way to invest low resources and little time.
Me: And what was the result? What did you do?
Justyna: After we built it, we needed to contact our users and ask them “what do you think?” So we sent an email to about… At first it was about 100 users but the response was really poor. But what it gave us was insight into what to improve in the application.
Me: You didn’t mention it but you were tracking the customers behaviour on the website, didn’t you?
Justyna: Yes, for this 100 people who received our email, we tracked about 20 users behaviour on the website, their mouse movement. Based on that we were able make some changes that would make the application more usable. We did it and after one more day we sent an email to about 30,000 people and response was… It was just beyond our wildest expectations! We are still replying to all these emails and comments! It was about 300 emails with really great feedback, 70 chats and 100 comments. Discussion is still going, people are sending feedback and the great thing is that they not only talk about the app but about LiveChat in general. They’re interacting with themselves and are giving us really valuable information, so definitely a good thing!
Me: A win for market research.
Justyna: A win-win because we know what they want and they will get what they need.
Me: Nice! Thank you very much!
So, If you’ve never done market research before, you might think it’s expensive. But the truth is that not doing a research can cost you much more.
That’s all for today!
I hope you’ve liked what you’ve heard and you’ll look forward to the next episode of Business Sidekick as I’m going to give you best tips on how to create a killer website.
If you want to be sure that you didn’t miss anything, check the podcast transcript and if there is anything you’d like to say, please leave a comment.
For more information about this series visit our website livechatinc.com/podcast and don’t forget to sign up for email notifications to be up to date!
Hear you in two weeks, take care!
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