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10 ways Hotjar helps you understand your users better
Your sales are down; the well's running dry. What do you do to encourage people to buy from you: add a new product or service or multiply an existing product's features?
Increasing choices and features may be a business's automatic response to boost interest and, later on, conversion and sales. But more is needed to justify using company resources to create a solution that may or may not resonate with customers.
To achieve real, needle-moving change, you need to dig deeper and understand users better—what motivates or frustrates them and what hinders or helps them satisfy their 'jobs to be done'.
Last updated7 Aug 2023
Start by observing how and why people buy your products. For those doing business online, it’s easier than ever to accomplish this with Hotjar’s tools: Recordings, Heatmaps, Surveys, and Interviews. Effectively uncover insights into customer behavior and use them to tweak your product, messaging, and user experience (UX).
Here are ten ways to learn more about your users without leaving our platform.
Unleash your data’s true potential with Hotjar
See the bigger picture by visualizing user behavior data and seize the opportunity to collect in-the-moment feedback. Do it all in one platform.
How to use Hotjar to understand your users better
Customer behavior is complex. Hotjar simplifies data gathering and analysis, giving you instant access to eye-opening user-centric insights.
Scroll down to learn how it’s done. 💪
1. See how users behave when using your site or product with Recordings
Your team just shipped a feature, so you're monitoring the activation and adoption rates—how many users are setting up and tinkering with it. However, you notice that less than half of the users use the new feature after activation. Now you're bent on finding out why this is happening.
Fortunately, you allowed Hotjar to capture sessions when users install the feature and when they start using it. So, you watch session recordings to see if people encounter errors when interacting with the latest feature.
That's just one example of putting Recordings to work. In general, it's a fantastic tool for
Observing user actions and patterns when introducing a feature, design, or product
Uncovering issues hiding in plain sight and proposing a solution with confidence
Getting the context you need to analyze behavior-related numbers and metrics, such as activation rate, adoption rate, drop-offs, feature usage, and retention rate
Enhancing your analysis by visualizing user behavior and complementing other tools in Hotjar, such as Surveys and Feedback—i.e. pulling up the recording featuring a user’s activity to contextualize their response
📝 Note: again, you don’t have to leave Hotjar to get a fuller picture of people’s actions and patterns, and that’s because our Ask and Observe tools—Recordings, Heatmaps, Surveys, and Feedback—work together to uncover vital user insights.
2. Figure out what frustrates users through Heatmaps—and fix it fast
You don't need psychic powers to know that a non-functional back button or slow-loading page can frustrate users. But in the real world, you may not know these emotional triggers exist in the foreground because you're busy building in the background (think back to the 'feature gone rogue' example above).
Here's something you can do to check in with your customers' feelings, specifically negative ones like frustration, if you have a few minutes to spare: open your rage click map in Hotjar.
A rage click map is a type of heatmap—a visualization of aggregate data on user behavior—that lets you focus on frustration points. Click the rage click heatmap button to make the angry face icons appear. If you see a concentration of these icons on a spot or two (or more!), you know where to start digging for potential issues.
💡 Pro tip: click any angry-face icons to show relevant session recordings. By watching what happened before and after the rage clicks, you may realize a button wasn’t working as expected, or the page was loading slowly, irritating users.
Analyze relevant recordings to find out why users feel frustrated
3. Know what customers find valuable via Hotjar’s Observe tools
Developers don't usually communicate with users. The Hotjar Observe tools—which include Recordings and Heatmaps (and Funnels and Trends under the Scale plan only)—help them and the rest of your team learn what users value about your product or service.
You can create value in various ways, from something as generic as adding a coupon code field at checkout to something highly personalized, like rewarding users with points for completing a workout using an app. Ultimately, your users dictate what it should be.
With the Observe tools, you can show your developers which changes to prioritize based on what people look at, interact with, and spend time on. Do they click the 'Add to cart' button on your product page? Or do they navigate to other pages, seemingly searching for additional information?
Hotjar is the fastest way for your team to empathize with users, so you can make sense of—and meet—their needs.
By reviewing recordings and heatmaps, we could see that users were looking at the benefits of our product. But it seemed like they also wanted more information before making a decision.
4. Capture what customers feel in real time using Feedback
From observing users, let's move on to asking them directly for input through Hotjar Feedback. Spot the little red tag to the right side of this page? That's where the magic happens! 👉
The Feedback widget allows users to express their thoughts and feelings in real-time. Instead of waiting until the interaction is over, it lets you gather feedback while the experience is still fresh to spark meaningful conversations.
Take advantage of this tool if you want to
Assess UX design's impact on the customer journey: see if people use specific page elements or follow key user flows as intended
Learn why a particular variation is winning during A/B testing: find out the reason behind user preferences and responses
5. Dive deeper into the customer experience with Surveys
Hotjar Surveys is another tool that helps you gather valuable user feedback—and more. Specifically, customer experience (CX) surveys allow you to study users' opinions and sentiments, so you can mine for insights that help improve the customer experience.
You decide how long your questionnaire will be and how much customization you'll do. But overall, CX surveys let you accomplish one goal: obtaining valuable data at crucial touchpoints—a couple of days after a sale or subscription renewal, when potential customers leave your website without purchasing, following a major site or product update, or right after resolving a customer support ticket.
Once you have the insights, act on them confidently to improve CX, benefiting current and future customers.
📝 Note: as you might’ve deduced, Hotjar Ask (available for free when you sign up for a free or paid Observe plan) comprises the Feedback tool and Surveys. By asking the right questions at the right time, businesses surface customer motivations, pain points, and preferences. The resulting user behavior data guides decisions for product improvements, optimized user experiences, and increased customer delight.
6. Conduct user testing before or during a redesign
User testing enables you to understand how customers use and perceive your product. Seeing your product through their eyes inspires empathy with your users. It also clarifies your priorities, differentiating what they truly need from what you think they need.
To ensure you glean user-centric insights, get in the habit of conducting user testing with our Observe and Ask tools:
Recordings: effectively analyze recordings by filtering them by Relevance (watch the most important sessions based on multiple factors), Frustration (high frustration helps identify common pain points), or Engagement score (high engagement indicates what’s working well)
Heatmaps: to bolster conversion, investigate where users engage the most on your website—where they click and how far they scroll. For example, focus on improving above-the-fold elements if users never scroll past the hero image.
Feedback: say you added a real-time tracking feature to a food delivery app. Validate the new feature by asking actual users whether they like it or not.
Surveys: building on our templates or from scratch, launch surveys that ask open-ended questions to collect insights into user perceptions about similar products
7. Get to know your users at scale via Engage
Hotjar Engage was built for busy product teams who need to streamline the user research process. These teams conduct user interviews remotely to probe existing customers (or non-customers from a target audience) about
Their likes, dislikes, frustrations, and motivations
The potential of concepts and ideas
The themes and messages that resonate with them
Engage empowers teams and businesses to gain concrete insights within 30–60 minutes. If you're the manager or main interviewer, you can host the user interview and have team members listen in. If they can't make it, ask them to review the automated transcription later.
Even better, automate the rest of the procedure, including recruiting participants and scheduling interviews, to ensure the user interview doesn't get in the way of more important tasks and meetings.
8. Analyze different customer journeys through segmentation
You can create as many segments or user groups as you like to narrow down your Hotjar data. For example, you can zoom in on users with the highest lifetime value (LTV) to understand their buying behavior and use the insights to optimize their experience.
Choose the right user attributes to ensure you extract the correct data
To segment high LTV users, apply User Attributes appropriately. Filter or segment by average spend and the date a user became a customer to view the most relevant recordings or heatmaps and target the correct respondents in your surveys.
9. Optimize conversion with filters
To truly boost conversions, it's vital to identify your visitors' needs and tailor your website accordingly. This includes fixing issues fast. However, some problems are far less obvious than a broken link and can stay hidden for long.
In this case, Hotjar's combination of tools and features is here to the rescue. Simply follow the steps below:
Step 1: access and analyze Recordings. Pay attention to how visitors interact with your website—what they see as they browse your products, view their carts, and abandon their checkout.
Step 2: take advantage of Hotjar's filtering options. Use rage clicks to identify areas where repeated clicks occur, u-turns to find instances where users backtrack while browsing, exit pages to see where visitors tend to leave your site, and clicked elements to pinpoint elements attracting the most attention or generating the highest engagement.
Step 3: determine the most significant pain points and usability issues. Prioritize related fixes while considering their potential impact on your conversion rate.
10. Uncover hidden metrics and uses for your product
Analyzing user behavior can reveal surprising ways customers use your product. These unexpected use cases might open up new opportunities and markets you hadn't considered before.
For instance, an online collaboration tool was originally designed for team communication and file sharing within organizations. But after a deep dive into Hotjar data, the product owner discovers that some are using it as an alternative project management solution.
Now, armed with compelling recordings, heatmaps, and survey responses, she's on a mission to seize a new market opportunity. She uses this data to convince key stakeholders and rally the team to refine the functionality and improve product experience.
Understand the ‘why’ behind user behavior
You've got to figure out what your customers need before tweaking your product, messaging, or UX. So instead of investing your time and resources into expanding your offerings, channel it toward deploying strategies that make you understand your users better.
You may develop a new product or feature after all—but this time, you'll be sure it's something customers love or have asked you to build. And they'll gladly repay your user-centric efforts with their hard-earned money and hard-won loyalty.
Unleash your data’s true potential with Hotjar!
See the bigger picture by visualizing user behavior data and seize the opportunity to collect in-the-moment feedback. Do it all in one platform. 👇
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