The work that user researchers do is incredibly valuable for designing features, sizing development efforts, setting roadmap priorities, and so much more.
It’s obviously valuable to have that research in a centralized repository. With one place to go for contextualized insights, product teams can make better, more informed decisions about the people they serve.
What’s less obvious is who else in our organizations benefit from having access to the repository. It turns out, there are loads of teams, especially across larger enterprises, who would love to be able to search for insights on demand. The trouble is, privacy concerns can be a hurdle to opening up access to research in many organizations.
With Handrail, research can be shared responsibly with anyone in your organization. Those who are actually doing the research are able to access personally identifiable information (PII) of participants. Others who are merely consuming research are granted appropriately limited views without access to PII. These consumers of research have access to research plans, insights, and summary reports. That way, they can understand why the research was done and what was learned without compromising the privacy of participants.
Now, let’s take a look at 8 teams that benefit from having responsible self-serve access to a centralized user research repository.
Email and Content Marketing
Marketing teams are the engine that keeps communication flowing to potential and existing customers. They are constantly looking for new, effective messages to use in campaigns to engage prospective customers and to keep existing customers enamored with our products. User research helps those teams understand the motivators and needs of customers. They use that understanding to develop and refine messages with language that resonates with customers and aligns with how they actually think and talk about our products.
Most products require increasingly robust documentation as they grow. There’s a team in most larger organizations charged with producing that documentation, often in multiple languages. When those teams better understand the rationale for why a feature was built and the value it delivers for customers, they can produce documentation that provides better context and communicates in ways that are more meaningful to customers.
You know those press releases that companies put out? The ones that make a difference are grounded in the customer’s perspective. And user researchers have the ability to provide this perspective. This helps companies communicate more authentically about the value they’re delivering to customers, which is a key part of building and maintaining a great brand.
Many products are backed by teams who provide additional services related to those products. It might be that the customer doesn’t have the right type of staff or that the product requires some initial work to get stood up. As new features come out, those teams need to understand, at a minimum, how to deploy features at customer sites. Much better is understanding the value that those features are intended to provide to customers, giving professional services teams the ability to provide much more meaningful support.
Systems Engineers at a lot of organizations do demos for customers. New features or changes to existing features are popular to talk about. Those demo sessions can be more effective when they not only explain how something works but also convey a strong understanding of the user’s context. This can be especially useful in feature-to-feature comparison where differentiation matters.
Many companies have a certification or education services team. This is yet another example where a deep understanding of user needs can lead to greater efficacy. Effective training includes explanations of the “why” behind processes and workflows. And trainers that have a deeper understanding of how a product delivers value are able to create a stronger connection with trainees.
Growing organizations often have a team that is responsible for reviewing adjacent market opportunities and introducing new products, either through acquisition, integrations, or product development. The people responsible for that should be interested in every insight that is generated, as user research can be a key input guiding analysis around potential markets.
The Leadership Team
This is one of the most valuable places where user research can impact the direction of the company. CEOs everywhere are looking for ways to better connect with and understand customers, and they are increasingly recognizing the value of user research to do so. Providing self-serve access to insights gives business leaders a direct window into customer needs on their own time. That’s key, as executives are often balancing a host of other responsibilities and need to make informed decisions quickly.
We hope it’s now clear that the benefits of having access to research are wide-reaching, not limited to just the groups of people designing and building products. With a centralized research repository, an understanding of customers can be infused throughout the entire value chain of an organization.