We know that in today’s mobile world, our customers are interacting with us across a variety of different channels and devices like the web, mobile and tablet applications, live chat, email, social media, and the list goes on. Because of this, customer journeys are incredibly dynamic and complex.
At the same time, this end and customer experience has become incredibly important in terms of business value. In a world where companies match product offerings and prices and customer experience can be a very valuable differentiator between you and your competitors. One of the most effective ways to understand the end to end customer experience is a qualitative research methodology called a diary study. Now, a diary study is exactly what it sounds like. You recruit customers to provide information about their experience, completing a key activity with your organization over a long period of time, using a diary style format. Participants will report each interaction they have with your organization as they complete the tasks and share those details about their experience with you. There’s five main steps to conducting a diary study like this. Number one, planning and preparation for the activity. You want to study, write out your research questions, write up detailed instructions and resource materials to help your participants understand what type of data you need and how to report this data to you. Recruit participants from your user audience who intend to conduct this type of activity and ask them to share their experience along the way. The second step is the pre study brief schedule, a short kickoff call with your participants to help them understand what’s expected of them, what type of data you need them to report. Number three, the logging period, select a designated time period for participants to report these interactions to you. And also be sure to monitor these insights as they come in and ask clarifying questions to fully understand the context of their experience. The fourth step, the post study interview schedule a time with these participants to discuss their experience as a whole and ask any final questions you might have. And lastly, step five, analyze the findings. Look for points of friction in the customer journey.
Find opportunities to improve the entire customer experience by addressing key points of friction that you observed these participants as they completed these activities. This methodology allows you to collect contextual information about the customer journey as it’s unfolding. You’ll be amazed what kind of insights you’ll uncover by looking at your customer experience under this lens.