5 Steps for Effective Diary Studies in Customer Journey Research

5 Steps for Effective Diary Studies in Customer Journey Research


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-to-end customer
experience has become incredibly important in terms of business value. In a world where companies match product offerings
and prices, 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 your
experience with you. There’s five main steps to conducting a diary
study like this. Number 1, 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 3, the logging period. Select a designated time period for participants
to report these interactions to you. 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 may have. And lastly, step 5, 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 with 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.

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