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Consumer Research: Unlocking Customer Insights

Market research 04 12
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Table of Contents


What is Consumer Research?

Consumer research is the process of determining the inclinations, motivations, as well as buying behavior of the targeted customers. By helping businesses delve deeper into customer psychology, consumer research empowers them to build effective purchasing behavior profiles. On the basis of identified and segmented buyer personas, it becomes easy to create targeted marketing campaigns. 

It leverages research techniques for understanding what customers actually need. This helps brands to seamlessly improve their products & services and make them more customer-centric. By focusing on surveys, interviews, questionnaires, etc., companies can gain consumer research insights that can boost their revenue.

Consumer Research

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What are the objectives of Consumer Research?

Every time a brand plans to build a new product, it becomes important to conduct consumer research to discover the consumers’ needs, the missing attributes in a product, and what they aim to have? To simplify the process of conducting consumer research, organizations should use efficient survey software.  

Intended to elevate brand equity, consumer research helps brands uncover customers’ perceptions while buying a product or service. In order to ensure a successful business idea, it’s important to focus on consumer research. Also, consumer insights play an essential role in identifying brand positioning among the intended audience. By unveiling the levels of consumer psychology and keeping an eye on their shopping patterns, consumer research can help to improve sales to a great extent.

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Uncovering the model of Consumer Research

In earlier times, consumer psychology used to be treated in a different way by researchers as there was no emphasis on the emotions, mood, or situations that directly impact the customers’ buying decisions. Most of them believed that customers evaluate products rationally and prefer buying items from brands that deliver the highest level of satisfaction at the minimum cost possible.

However, the situation has completely changed now. As customers are more aware of brands and their existing competitors, the loyal customers keep returning to a brand for repeat purchases. They even recommend their friends or colleagues to purchase from the same brand irrespective of the prices offered. 

Using a Net Promoter Score® (NPS® ) survey empowers brands to determine brand loyalty as well as customer satisfaction. This survey asks customers a single question to identify their level of satisfaction. It comes with a scale ranging between 0-10 and depending on the responses of the customers, they can be categorized as:

Promoters: Customers that give a score between 9-10.
Passives: Customers that give a score between 7-8.
Detractors: Customers that give a score between 0-6.

Consumer research has been divided into two types namely:

Qualitative Consumer Research

Being known as descriptive in nature, qualitative research is a method that includes open-ended questions for gaining insightful feedback from respondents. It relies on the following methods of research:

Focus Groups: A focus group is defined as a small group of subject experts who sit together to effectively analyze a specific product or service. There are typically 6-10 members in a focus group. 

One-to-one Interview: It is a conversational method where the data is collected by asking open-ended questions to the respondents. This method consumes a lot of time and requires more than a single attempt for gathering insightful data.

Text Analysis: A popular qualitative research method, text analysis is a process in which researchers decode words & images from the available documents for analysis. In this method, researchers draw conclusions from the used images. The right example for text analysis is social media.

Quantitative Consumer Research

In today’s digitally driven world, there’s nothing more crucial than data. Every leading company strives to collect and analyze actionable data that yields validated insights.

 Quantitative consumer research is mainly focused on numbers and statistics. It prioritizes customer satisfaction in order to get loyal customers for the brand. This research is comparatively easy to perform & analyze and includes questions that can make or break a business. For instance, the question used for determining Net Promoter Score®. The data collection tools for quantitative consumer research involve online surveys, polls, and questionnaires. This type of data is numerically evaluated for uncovering the preferences of consumers.

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How does consumer research work?

Consumer research is used to expand a marketer’s knowledge about the target customers. There are many ways a brand can gather customer insight. However, there is a way-of-things for every research. We will outline the basic process of conducting Consumer Research. 

Define Research Objectives

Having a clear objective can keep the focus of consumer research from being distracted by the side element. The research objective consists of the question/ issue for which you are seeking customer feedback. 

Your research objective could be to understand:

  • Customer experience and attitude about a product offered by your company
  • Customer’s satisfaction level with the services
  • Change in customer’s preference and interests
  • Impact of marketing campaign
  • Reason for a product’s poor performance in the market

You must clearly identify and establish the objective to have a clear picture of the goal you are trying to achieve at the end of the consumer research. A well-defined objective can help design the research process and prevent any costly mistakes during the process.

Gather secondary data

Secondary data indicates the information that is readily available for you to explore. These data exist in the form of journals, case studies, research papers, etc published in the past. 

In this step, you look through the secondary data to make sure that you avoid conducting research on an object for which you can gather all required data from the available data. This also helps you gain foundational knowledge on your topic or any related topic. 

Looking through the existing data, you can decide if you want to make any changes in your objectives or approach it differently. 

There are two sources of Secondary Data – Internal and External Data.

  • Internal Secondary Data refers to the information that you can find from your company. For example, customer service interaction from the past, customer’s inquiry, sales audit, and so on. 
  • External Secondary Data is the information that you need to collect from other organizations. Your company does not hold records of this information. Secondary data can be obtained either for free or you may have to pay. 

Sources of external data involve – Government data, Periodicals, and articles. The government collects data on its citizen’s income, population growth, and other societal factors. Periodicals can give you information related to business. 

Perform Primary research

After collecting secondary data you now need to gather your own data for Consumer Research. The primary research can be conducted in two ways – Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research: 

When your purpose is to gather subjective information from your customers, Qualitative Research is the better option. Customers are asked to answer the research questions in their own words. This gives you the chance to peek into the psychology of your customers. 

However, it is better to remember that qualitative research is conducted in a smaller sample size. The data gathered from this research therefore cannot be used to generalize against the entire target population. Nonetheless, it helps gather extensive insights from the audience and opens up the possibility of further research. 

There are two most common methods of conducting Qualitative Research: Interviews and Focus Groups

  • Interviews can be conducted in person or via phone. A highly trained interviewer is put in charge of the respondent. The research engages the respondent in a conversation and asks the questions created for the research. 
  • Focus Group involves a group of people who share similar characteristics and they engage in a discussion about the topic of the researcher in the presence of a moderator. The participants are encouraged to share their thoughts freely and discuss it with other participants. The entire session is recorded for data analysis. 

Quantitative Research: 

Quantitative research will bring you numerical data that can be easily analyzed. This type of research is conducted on a larger sample size which makes it possible to generalize the findings to the target population. 

There are three ways you can gather Quantitative data: Observation, Experimental Research, and Surveys. 

  • In an Observation, marketers try to understand the relationship between the consumers and the company’s product by watching them interact with the product. The research is conducted in public. The marketer observes a customer’s behavior in the physical store of the brand or a shop that sells the brand’s product.
  • Experimental Research is used to establish the cause-effect relationship between variables. In consumer research, it can be used to see the effect of pricing on the sale of a product. In experimental research, the independent variable is changed to observe its effect on the dependent variable. 
  • Survey research can help gather data from a large number of consumers. It can be deployed via email, website, social media, or SMS. This allows the marketer to conduct various types of research and also reach a wide audience for insight. 

There are various surveys that you can conduct such as, 

  • Brand awareness
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Demographic
  • Exit surveys
  • Likert Scale survey
  • NPS® surveys

Establish your Sample Size

It is not possible for any company to gather customer insight from all of their customers, even by using online surveys. There is always a limit to how many people you can reach. For this reason, marketers use sampling to narrow down their target population. 

Sample of a population refers to a number of selected respondents who share similar characteristics as the target population. A sample, thus represents the entire population. 

To establish a sample size there are three steps you should follow, these steps will make it easier to define your sample size: 

  1. Who do you want to sample?
  2. How many people do you need to survey?
  3. Which sampling procedure should you use?

There are primarily two types of sampling procedure – Probability and Non-probability Sampling. 

Probability sampling gives every member of the population an equal chance of being selected. This procedure is further classified into: 

  • Simple random sampling
  • Systematic random sampling
  • Stratified random sampling
  • Cluster sampling

Non-probability sampling involves the researcher selecting the participants based on their judgment. This sampling procedure is classified into

  • Convenience sampling
  • Judgment sampling
  • Quota sampling

Collect and Analyze the Research Data

Now that you have decided on the sample size as well as on the research method, it is time you collect the data. The collected data requires analysis to draw actionable insights from it. The analysis of the research data will help draw conclusions and give answers to the research objective. 

In the case of qualitative research, the data is gathered and codified based on the recurring themes. These repeating themes are then later analyzed to gain in-depth understanding. 

In the case of quantitative research, the responses are translated into numerical data. For data analysis software is used to identify patterns in customer response. 

Create Report from your Consumer Research

At the end of the research process you need to create a report that defines the research findings. The report should be made in a way that it is easy for the reader to understand the objective and the meaning of the end result. 

Your research report must also describe the entire research process. It should explain the objective, the purpose of research, the methods used for data collection and data analysis. 

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What questions should you include in consumer research?

While conducting research, nothing is more important than asking the right set of questions. So, every time you perform consumer research, you need to frame questions in a way that could fetch maximum insights from your audience. Here are some questions that you could include in your consumer research:

  • Who makes purchasing decisions in your household? 
  • Which platforms do you use for buying a product?  
  • How long do you take for making a purchase decision?
  • What features do you consider important before making a purchase?
  • What motivates you for buying a product?

You can consider using these surveys for conducting consumer research: 

Voice of the Customer Survey 

Customer Insights Survey 

Customer Buying Habits Survey

Product Feedback Survey 

Consumer Finance Survey


What is the significance of Consumer Research?

To recognize the market well

No matter how efficient your product or service is, your consumers should be ready to spend on it. There are investments involved in building a product that demands ROI from its purchase. By conducting consumer research before a product or service launch, you can develop a better understanding of the market potential, i.e. if individuals can spend on your offering or not.

To determine target consumers

With effective consumer research, it becomes easy for brands to segment their customers on the basis of geographic, demographic, and behavioral factors. Thus, it can help you to identify the customers who want to buy your products or services. Using that information, you can accordingly craft marketing strategies for your specific consumer segment. 

To gather product/service updates 

With the help of consumer research, you can collect valuable information about your products or services through consumer feedback. This helps you uncover their perceptions and needs so you can update your offerings accordingly! 


How Voxco can help you with Consumer Research?

Omnichannel Capabilities

Voxco’s exceptional platform offers omnichannel capabilities that are dedicatedly tailored for performing consumer research. Reach out to your intended audience through surveys conducted online, by phone, or face-to-face

Powerpacked Analytics

Conducting consumer research has never been so easy! Voxco’s powerful analytics software can help you uncover intelligent and actionable insights from the consumer feedback that you gather. 

Premium Support

Voxco’s robust and innovative platform is known for delivering round-the-clock service and support so that our clients can truly make the most of their consumer research. 

Flexible hosting

Voxco comes equipped with flexible hosting options that can streamline your consumer research. Now you can store your data either in the cloud securely or on your premises, compliant with your security protocols.


What is the significance of Consumer Research on Business?

You learn what your customers have to say

Voice of Customers is the answer to the biggest question “What do consumers want?” To satisfy the needs of your customers you need to listen to them. What better way to show that you care, than by helping them find solutions to their problems, responding to their pain points. It can help a brand understand the customer’s point of view from where they stand.

Soliciting customers’ feedback and capturing their message directly from them can be the simplest yet most effective marketing strategy. 

Identify your Target consumers

Conducting research on your customers and prospects can help you create a profile that defines who your customers are. Instead of imagining that “this is my target audience”, consumer research gives you data to ensure you are actually targeting your real customers. 

For example, you own an auto repair shop. You imagine that your target audiences are between the ages of 20 to 35. SO, you create marketing campaigns targeting this group. However, you cannot understand why your targeted marketing has little impact on your business. 

You decide to conduct consumer research and after surveying, you find that people between the age of 35 and 50 are looking for your service more. 

Based on your research you can identify consumers who are more willing to use your services and buy your products. This makes it easier for marketers to customize marketing strategies that better appeal to the targeted audience. 

Feedback on company offerings

The feedback you receive from your customers is valuable to improve the services and products you offer. You may think that your products and services are helping your target customers and fulfilling their needs. However, there is a slim chance that your company offerings are not completely representing your target consumers. 

Customer feedback before and after the launch of a product offers the opportunity to improve. For any product, there are quite a number of investments going around. The brand is also naturally expecting ROI. However, your product will fail if it does not appeal to the consumer. 

Consumer research can help you understand customers’ opinions and come up with ways to improve the product that represents the need and meets the expectation. 



After you have conducted your consumer research you should have gained a better understanding of your customers. You should be able to rationalize with their expectations and needs and sympathize with their pain points. 

The insight will enable you to develop strategies and update your business, products and services to appeal to your existing customers as well as prospects. The outcome of gaining customer insight will help you to create targeted messages, increase sales, refine customer services, meet customer demand and expectation.

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