Understanding your customers using video feedback 

Editor’s note: Michel Feaster is chief product officer of research at marketing research software development firm Qualtrics. 

It’s never been more important to deeply understand your market, customers and employees at scale. From uncovering new opportunities for product research and development to the key factors of employee retention and satisfaction, organizations that know the drivers of positive change are leading the charge.

And in a fast-paced market, the need for insights have become more apparent along with the limitations of current research solutions. While quantitative market research can help gather quick and accurate data to tell us the “what,” it lacks the depth and context that can highlight important and possibly groundbreaking insights from respondents. On the other hand, qualitative research delivers the “why” and when you put the two together, you can uncover new insight gaps that quantitative research can't do alone. 

For example, with quantitative methods, a meat subscription company can uncover that customers are not satisfied with the current subscription plans, prompting the need to introduce more subscription frequency options. When qualitative research is added, the company can further identify that customers who want additional frequency options are keeping meat in the freezer longer because they’re unsure of what recipes to make. By having this detailed level of feedback, the company realizes 30% of their customer base has this issue, prompting them to introduce new recipe cards to go along with each package.

Qualitative research approaches can be siloed, slow, expensive and hard to scale. And with everything moving online, researchers must reassess how they capture critical, context-based insights to meet customers where they’re at.

One type of cost-effective qualitative research that can support existing approaches (e.g., in-depth interviews and focus groups) with the help of capturing insights from remote audiences is video feedback.

Learning more about your customers using video feedback

In market research, video feedback is nothing new. It’s a response-gathering method where organizations can request feedback from customers, prospects, employees or anyone else in a video format. Instead of writing responses, respondents simply record a video. But while video feedback has found routine use over the years with remote work, it’s not a replacement for essential parts of qualitative research, such as in-depth interviews and focus groups. Instead, it can further support these methods. 

For example, video research can help organizations scale their ability to capture insights as they use a format people are already familiar with. In addition, with the right tools they can start to connect research processes, eliminating the need to outsource for support. 

We all know time commitment is a major barrier for respondents and researchers. What’s most beneficial for organizations is that respondents can submit video surveys on their own time, enabling organizations to analyze results as they come in and with no moderators required, we can expect to see more authentic and consistent responses in their own words. In the absence of in-depth interviews and focus groups – or instances where it’s difficult to use those methods – video feedback help organizations investigate pain points that are difficult to express via words.

Utilizing video feedback for your business needs

Customer feedback can dictate whether a product, service or brand lives or dies. However, many people are experiencing survey fatigue and more importantly, don’t believe organizations turn their feedback into an actionable plan, so it's important that researcher professionals use the right research tools in an efficient way. By utilizing research methods like video feedback, organizations can:

Discover new business and product development opportunities

Because respondents are more likely to think carefully about their responses via video, researchers can use video feedback to help inform business decisions. This includes identifying product opportunities, acting on market trends, improving experiences and much more. Let’s look at an example. A yogurt company requests feedback on a new flavor and discovers a high demand for dairy-free yogurt alternatives. With video feedback, the yogurt company is able to uncover a new target market: the dairy-free community.

Get to the “why” faster

As mentioned, traditional quantitative research lacks the “why” behind data, causing researchers to spend more time analyzing the root cause behind an issue. Because respondents are spending less time typing out their responses, video feedback can increase respondent rate, helping you get to the “why” faster and unlocking insights you may not have previously received. 

Understand your audience and what they think of your business. 

If you want to gain customer feedback, you may choose to use a research panel or representative sample to survey online or in-person. 

While traditional surveys can only provide certain types of feedback (quantitative), video testimonials provide more detail and context along with non-verbal cues about how respondents feel about a product, service, experience, feature or brand as a whole. 

In an overly saturated market, it’s important to stand out among competitors. If a beauty company wants to launch a new product line, video feedback can help them identify how customers feel about current shade ranges, allowing them to pivot to create unique products for their customers.

Empower every team to carry out research. 

The right video feedback tools can help other departments carry out market research, extract critical insights and make pivotal changes to enhance what they do and how they deliver it. With video feedback, researchers will spend less time analyzing data. Because of the real-life feedback, other teams can feel empowered to easily understand the data and pull key highlights versus relying on a research professional to do it for them. Over time, market researchers move from just executing projects and delivering data to helping other teams make the best use of it.

Show audiences your brand is listening. 

Adding a layer of video to your quantitative research can help you understand respondents better. By listening carefully, you can begin to create new solutions and services to improve what you do already.

And as you action video feedback, you increase loyalty and engagement, building your brand image and turning customers into evangelists. The feedback gathered can help you better understand how you can tailor your brand messaging or customize offerings to reach current and prospective customers.

Tell a more compelling story. 

For researchers, video feedback tells far more compelling stories. By letting customers describe their experience in their own words, the power of real-life emotion and sentiment can help get key stakeholders on board with new business decisions.

Understanding your target audience using video feedback 

Ultimately, video feedback is far more authentic and representative of how people feel, and this kind of information from your target audience is invaluable. People want to be heard and feel like they’re understood. And by giving them the opportunity to voice their experiences, desires and concerns – whether relating to your product, brand, experience or target market – empowers them and empowers you.