To obtain information about offline channel experiences, we spend time observing environments where direct interactions between customers/users and service providers occur.
Depending on your needs, the focus of the observation can be either the customer/user or service providers or both. Examples of popular contextual observation methods include Service Centre Observation and Call Centre Observation, which essentially relies on observing employees whilst they work.
Service Centre Observation
Observing interactions at service centres can provide insight into pain points and opportunities for improving both the in-person and online self-service experience. It also exposes us to real customers and service providers interacting in context, which aids in empathy and understanding for all parties.
Call Centre Observation
Listening in on calls from real customers in real-time provides additional valuable feedback. Hearing the solutions that the Call Centre staff provide can also inspire new self-service transactions. By adding face-to-face and telephone interactions into our research, we can identify if there are preferred channels for particular tasks.
Overall, a multichannel research plan enables a deeper form of understanding of a customer’s behaviour, needs, desires and motivations. Contextual observation of actual customers is particularly useful for obtaining realistic information about work practices, social, technical and physical environments.
The U1 Toolkit
To provide you with the clearest possible insights and help you deliver real outcomes, we tailor each project to include the right methods and activities from our extensive toolkit.
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True Intent Online Study