User Research it is a methodology that it is based on knowing information from our customer and their behavior. User Research is a tremendous weapon to get inspiration into the design or redesign process of existing experiences, generating insights, improve our product/service features and many more solutions.
Given that User Experience (UX) is a user-centered process of which User Research is supported it is really important you have a good recognition of who is my client and why does my solution is important to them, also which are their wants and needs (InVision).
Related: 5 reasons to invest in UX
Steps to understand your target users
Collect data from your users and analyze similarities/differences between your type of users
Review everything that you already know about your target market. Obtaining information from market researches that are on the internet or that you already have done in the past or regard to the industry.
Likewise using customer segmentation will help you understanding characteristics as age, gender, geographical location among others. In like manner in order to obtain deeper information, qualitative research and methodologies as user interviews, focus groups, ethnography, and contextual inquiry can help, as mentioned by Nilsen Norman Group.
Develop a different type of users and then prioritize which ones are more important for your business
With past research then it is time to analyze desires (what does my user want?), behaviors (what does my user need?), pain points (which are the problems associated with accomplishing a key task for my user?), after answering those questions you should prioritize those features that will be included or excluded by keeping in mind all the types of users that you have, not just the ones that are more profitable.
That’s why knowing the similarities is fundamental to synthesize functions that will make sense to every user, no matter if they are new or they are recurring customers.
Design different persona profiles based on the information you have collected
Persona profile is an illustration of a user created from the real-world understanding of the users they represent in the market. Persona profile should be developed with a name, a face, a photo, quote (one sentence quote written in the voice of the persona), basic demographics (age, income level, location, job), key needs/goals (what are the goals that my persona want to accomplish?), key pain points (which problems does my persona have to accomplish his goals?), brand affinities, technology that my persona uses and a brief description of how do I describe my persona (Interaction Design Foundation).
Benefits of investing in user research
Improve customer satisfaction
Keeping in mind your target market needs will make them happy, as a result of it, they will engage the brand over and over again.
In a digital era, will give you organic reach for the reason that when we are satisfied by a product/service we tend to post a positive experience or recommend it with our friends and relatives.
Achieve your business goal
When a company develops a digital experience must remind that processes have to be easy and the purchase flow has to be enjoyable and intuitive with this features the business objective will be easier to achieve (UX Matters).
In web design, the graphics interfaces usually tend to be the problem because the web designer builds the website thinking about how he would like it to be but no how the target market expects it to be.
Discount support costs
Every company has their support system for those clients that have problems in some part of the process, must of the time this is caused by an incorrect nesting and architecture of information, the customer needs to be guided across all the process, thereby it will be a decrease in the amount of product or service returns due to users that feel they cannot use the product/service, this can be also caused by code defects, as mentioned by IBM.
Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it. – Peter Drucker
Knowing your customer will give you more understanding of who is the person that is buying your product/service, how do they relate to it, how you are giving them a solution and how you can improve their experience, this will help you keep them happy, and on the other side, it will keep your company in the top of mind and at the heart of your clients.