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Understand your customers with user behavior data and customer insights
To understand your customers, it's not enough to look at metrics like pageviews, bounce rates, and conversion rates alone—standard metrics are out of context and leave you guessing and making assumptions about what your customers need.
In this interview, Good Growth shares how they use a combination of standard metrics, user behavior data, and customer insights to help clients understand their customers.
How does Good Growth help clients understand their customers?
"No single data source on its own can give you what you need to optimize digital performance and strategy," says Paul Cooper, Principal Consultant at Good Growth.
"Most of the businesses we work with have vast quantities of data available to them—on traffic volumes, conversion rates, campaign performance, and a variety of other data points—but this data alone doesn’t always help them optimize immediate performance or develop a digital strategy for long-term growth.
"Standard metrics don’t explain why conversion rates are up or down, or why customers are spending more time on your website. And they don’t help you identify and test growth opportunities."
How do you turn data into actionable insights to improve performance and de-risk growth in new directions?
"Use it as a starting point for understanding your customers better. Many businesses make assumptions about their data, default to 'best practices' and expert opinion, or follow what their competitors are doing. As a result, they make changes in the wrong places and fail to optimize performance despite their efforts and investment.
"Instead, businesses need to focus more on the ‘why’ questions—especially those that can be tested online—to learn more about their customers. A business with an actionable understanding of its customers can make better hypotheses and better use of its resources to achieve commercial goals.
"We help our clients blend data (a picture of what the customer is doing) with insight (an understanding of why the customer is behaving that way)."
💡 Find out what customers need, right on your website
Use Hotjar to better understand your customers and give users the experience they deserve.
How do you generate actionable customer insight?
"Our process is to gather and blend quantitative and qualitative data from three principal sources, creating a dashboard and methodology to inform digital strategy:
Performance analytics: this includes analyzing organic and paid acquisition effectiveness, funnel effectiveness of key customer journeys, ecommerce performance, and email and retention analysis.
Customer surveys: customer feedback from online surveys is particularly valuable for capturing the voice of the customer and discovering why customers are ‘failing’ to complete certain actions onsite.
Executional effectiveness: heatmaps and other on-page analytical tests provide further detail on how customers engage with key pages on the website.
"We apply our own scientific methodologies to blend these data sets to produce highly granular customer insights. These insights inform a set of customer hypotheses—evidence-based, testable theories of customer behavior.
"By using these hypotheses as the basis for an innovation strategy, and then running a continuous program of testing and learning, businesses can create better customer experiences and deliver commercial results."
👋 Editor's note: at Hotjar, we use tools like Google Analytics (GA) for standard metrics—and most of our customers do, too. Hotjar is built to add depth to the insights you get from traditional web analytics tools: using them together, you can answer questions about your users' behavior that standard metrics alone can’t answer for you.
👉 Read more: learn how to use Google Analytics and Hotjar to grow your business.
What advice do you have for businesses in 2021?
"COVID-19 has led to unpredictable customer behavior, including dramatic peaks and troughs in traffic and conversion rates, and we don’t know what the ‘new normal’ will be as we exit the current restrictions.
"This disruption has eroded the usefulness of standard data reports (for example, for forecasting)—but it has also created an unusual opportunity to separate the contributions of standard metrics on the one hand, and blended customer insights on the other, to measure and predict performance.
"Companies that are set up to generate insights have been able to make quicker, better, and bolder moves while reducing risk.
"My advice is to make sure you are set up to ask the right questions and test hypotheses continuously, rather than in a one-off analysis or report. For example:
How effective is your acquisition strategy in engaging and converting your customers?
Why do your customers fail to buy, and why do they fail to return?
How far can your brand proposition be extended, and in which directions?"
About Good Growth
"Finding ourselves frustrated by poor online experiences and understanding how this directly impacts revenue, an idea took hold. This idea was Good Growth, founded on our ability to help organizations understand the customer and work together to improve commercial performance. We work with leading brands globally to build, grow, and optimize their digital channels faster and with more profitability than their competitors. Our clients tell us that our difference comes with our approach: Commercially effective digital strategies that are customer-focused and based on a scientific blend of insight and innovation."
How tracking user behavior on your website can improve customer experience
Imagine you’re running a brick-and-mortar store. From your perch at the counter, you can see and fix any issues the customers have as they move around the shop: if they have trouble navigating the aisles, you can make adjustments and help out; when they come up to the counter, you can strike up a conversation and learn who they are and what they’re looking for.
Understanding and measuring your Customer Effort Score (CES)
There’s a reason why moving junk food to a hard-to-reach shelf might help us eat less of it: the location is impractical, it’s going to take effort to reach it, and—unless the motivation is really strong—most of the time we end up not actually bothering.
Sometimes, online businesses are exactly like that hard-to-reach shelf: something impractical that requires extra effort and make people lose motivation and leave.
The good news is that there is a simple way to find out if that’s the case with your business: all you have to do is ask your visitors and customers how much effort they have to put into doing business with you. This is the Customer Effort Score (CES), and measuring it can help you make accurate predictions of future business success or failure.
The customer feedback guide: analyzing and collecting customer feedback (and using it to grow)
At Hotjar, customer feedback is at the core of what we do. We want all of our team members to obsess over the wants, needs, and opinions of our users and customers, and in turn, we encourage our users and customers to obsess over their users and customers. It’s a virtuous cycle where everybody can have the best experience possible.
There are no quick hacks or fancy solutions here: the most direct way to find out what’s working (or not) for customers is by simply asking them. In this article, we show you why you should collect feedback from customers, how to do it, and how to use that information to make positive changes.
Diana de Jesus