Listening Labs


Creative Good's research, which we call "listening labs," are qualitative, open-ended, one-on-one customer observations. The goal of our research is to recreate, as best we can, a true-to-life customer experience in order to uncover authentic customer insights. Listening labs thus include the open-ended strategic nature of market research and the tactical focus of usability tests.

Whenever possible, we invite the client team to observe users alongside us – either in person (in facility-based labs, as described below) or by watching video after field-based labs. This helps build consensus within a leadership team as to the user insights and the actionable next steps in the innovation and strategy process.

Over the course of one or two days, a typical listening lab will include a total of six to eight respondents in one-on-one sessions that last 45 minutes or longer. Video or transcribed sessions are provided to help highlight the key insights developed during synthesis.

As described below, Creative Good can conduct research in a number of different ways.

Listening Labs in a Research Facility

Conducting listening labs in a market research facility allows for a client team – small or large – to observe the research and discuss throughout the day. The research room includes a soundproof one-way mirror, allowing the client team to observe the session in privacy. Creative Good moderates a discussion among the observers after each session, allowing the team to create a consensus about the insights and patterns developing throughout the day.

Listening Labs in the field

Creative Good frequently conducts listening labs in the environment where the customer experience occurs: in users' homes, offices, in stores, on the street, or some other location. Field research is important when customer insights are shaped or determined by the surrounding environment. Since field research does not allow for large groups from the client team to observe, Creative Good documents each interaction in video for the client team to observe later.

Remote Listening Labs

For clients that want a globally diversified user insights, we employ listening labs through online tools. While limited in the depth of connection between moderator and respondent, this method can supplement in-person listening labs by offering additional insights affected by geography.


Typically completed in a retail environment, intercepts are short (5 to 15-minute) interactions with customers after a desired behavior has been completed (purchase, try-on, repairs, customer service inquiry, etc.). Creative Good works with the store’s staff to discreetly request feedback from customers.


In each shop-along, Creative Good will interview a customer before a shopping trip, accompany him or her during the store visit, and ask follow-up questions once the trip is completed. This method uncovers the complete context for the purchase decision and all the steps that take customers through the shopping-to-purchase process.

Mystery Shopping

In this type of research, Creative Good consultants pose as customers shopping in-store or online. We can conduct mystery shopping on either client or competitor sites, completing transactions and make returns. When mystery shopping in-store, we interact with sales associates, complete checkout, and go through the return process on a follow-up visit.