28 Reasons to Invest in UX Research

A common misconception about UX research is that it only involves usability testing websites and apps.

In reality, testing websites and products to ensure they’re easy to use is a very small part of the user research discipline.

Instead, think of UX researchers as business strategists. They live at the intersection of customer needs and business strategy—driving head-turning results. No joke, customer-obsessed companies outperform the S&P 500 by leaps and bounds.

Below are 28 reasons to hire a UX researcher and catapult your business results. Which metric is most valuable to you?

1. Improve profitability

Conduct user research to uncover mistakes, inefficiencies, and problems that eat away at your company’s profits.

  • What are the reasons customers call?
  • What are the reasons customers return products?
  • What are the reasons your company doesn’t process or ship products more quickly?
  • Which routine tasks do employees complete manually that could be automated?
  • Are there more efficient ways of serving customers?

2. Increase gross revenue

With user research, find the reasons why customers don’t buy your products, purchase more of them, or purchase ever again.

  • Can customers find your products?
  • Do customers understand your products?
  • Do customers have enough information to purchase your products?
  • Why do customers stop purchasing?
  • Why do customers purchase a competitor’s product and not yours?

3. Reduce customer complaints

Customer complaints are harmful for 2 reasons: not only are you at risk losing this customer forever, but they may tell friends about their negative experience, too.

  • Why do customers complain?
  • Where do customers complain—to you, on social media, or by word-of-mouth?
  • What is the total volume of complaints & is it improving over time?
  • What is your overall brand reputation?
  • How quickly are customer complaints resolved?

4. Improve conversion rates

Conversion rate is the number of people who reached Point B from Point A: making a purchase, generating a lead, creating an account, downloading a trial, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.

A microconversion is a smaller event: clicking a link, watching a video, opening a file, etc.

  • What prevents people from converting?
  • Why do customers abandon?

5. Increase employee productivity

Maximize the time employees spend while at work. Look at the systems and tools they use, their physical workspace, business policies—and then keep an open-mind to different ways of approaching work.

  • How long does it take employees to complete key business tasks?
  • How do employees complete key business tasks?
  • What are the barriers to completing key business tasks?
  • What is the average system downtime?
  • Do employees have the tools they need to complete their tasks?
  • Do employees have the information they need to make sound decisions?

6. Prioritize your product roadmap

With a thousand and one ways to improve your product, product teams need to know which ones will have the biggest impact.

  • Which features do customers like and regularly use?
  • Which features cost money because they don’t provide value or are difficult to maintain?
  • Which features solve customer problems vs. just business problems?
  • Which features are must-have vs. solve an unmet customer need?

7. Improve marketing spend efficiency

When talking about marketing spend with clients, I often draw a picture of a sales funnel, and then I sketch a clump of land mines—representing bad UX—at the bottom of the triangle.

Clear the land mines and make ad dollars go further.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What do they care about? What are their pain points? What motivates them? What turns them off?
  • Who or what influences their decisions?
  • Where do they hang out?

8. Reduce customer churn

Ugh, it’s no fun losing customers that you worked so hard to attain.

  • Why do customers leave? Where do they go?
  • What is their onboarding experience like? What are the pain points, gaps, and barriers?

9. Reduce employee turnover

Unhappy employees are unengaged employees. Air hockey, unlimited snacks, and on-site daycare are effective tools to keep employees at work longer each day, but they don’t make them happier.

Happy employees find meaning in their work.

  • Do employees feel they are empowered to improve the customer experience?
  • Are CX metrics artificially inflated because employees feel pressured to obtain high marks?

Not convinced yet? Here are 19 more reasons.

  • Higher Margins
  • Higher Customer Lifetime Value
  • Increased Wallet Share
  • Lower Cost of Returns
  • Lower Replacement Costs
  • Lower Cost of Service
  • Lower Complaint Costs
  • Lower Compensation Costs
  • Lower Cost of Sales Acquisition
  • Lower Cost of Training
  • Lower Management Overhead Costs
  • Lower Retention Costs
  • Lower New Product Development Costs
  • Lower Cost of Sales Acquisitions
  • Reduce Lost Revenue
  • Reduce Marketing Costs
  • Reduce Cost of Recruiting
  • Reduce Cost of Defect and Error Rates
  • Reduce Upsell and Cross-Sell Costs

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Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is a CX / UX researcher and strategist in Minneapolis. She helps drive significant business outcomes by finding and solving customer problems. When she's not creating customer journey maps and conducting diary studies, Kristine is either kayaking, trying new recipes, or acting silly with her house full of boys.