For over 25 years, Creative Good has run listening labs to uncover user and customer insights. Mark Hurst pioneered this method in the 1990s and wrote about it in his 2015 book Customers Included.
Early on in Creative Good’s history, finding that current research methods weren’t effective enough for our customer experience work, we developed listening labs as a more integrated, collaborative method for working with both customers and client teams. (We called them “listening labs” to clearly distinguish them from other methods like usability and focus groups. Although the labs involve more than “listening,” the name was catchy and we’ve stuck with it.)
These are typically one-on-one sessions conducted in person, or over videoconference, with the goal of uncovering user or customer insights.
• Listening labs create an environment where we can observe a genuine customer experience. Rather than forcing the customer into a contrived scenario or an artificial list of tasks, listening labs attempt to approximate a real-life customer experience that is relevant to each individual respondent. This way, the behavior we observe is as consistent as possible with what happens outside a research setting.
• Listening labs focus on discovering customers’ unmet needs. We try to find out what they are not getting from available products or services that would create an opportunity for innovation; at the same time, we try to understand which existing benefits are especially important to customers and should be retained. (In a car, for example, that might be buttons and knobs that are easy for the driver to reach without taking his eyes off the road.)
• Benefits of listening labs:
– Uncover key unmet needs
– Understand why customers behave the way they do
– See how customer segmentation drives different behaviors
– Prioritize the product feature roadmap
– Compare your team’s product with competitors and comparables
Do you need user or customer insights? Contact us to discuss listening labs: firstname.lastname@example.org