New product management template: Customer and user research
Are you psychic? Mind reading is not a requirement for product managers — but deep curiosity and a drive to learn as much as you can about the folks who purchase and use your products is. The best way to gain meaningful insights about your customers’ pain points and desires is to ask them directly.
Customer research is a critical component of any product development process. How well you understand your users impacts how well you can solve their problems.
Many of us think of customer research as the first step in the discovery phase. But customer research is an “always-on” element of your work. As your product evolves, you will need to continue to research your customers to ensure that you are still meeting their needs.
There are many different ways to do customer research. There is qualitative research that delves deep into the “why” — such as interviews and empathy sessions. These methods help you learn more about the emotions, motivations, and experiences that inform your customers’ realities. And then there is quantitative research that helps you contextualize those big feelings with hard numbers.
Product breakthroughs come from analyzing all of that customer research. You want to set a consistent process for how you and the rest of the product team approach customer research so that you can maintain momentum. You want to look for trends or patterns that can inform the evolution of your product.
The new customer and user research plan template in Aha! software has everything you need to maximize your team's research efforts.
The customer research plan template is just one of the 50+ templates available in Aha! software. Each template was created by product development experts, is fully customizable, and ready to use right now.
The Aha! software suite includes purpose-built tools for all phases of product development — Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Develop, and Aha! Notebooks. If you are looking for a holistic product development tool, choose Aha! Roadmaps. If you are looking for a standalone digital notebook, choose Aha! Notebooks. This template is available in all Aha! products.
1. Start with objectives
Get clear on what you want to achieve with your customer research. Why are you doing this research now? What do you hope to learn? The insights you gather are only beneficial if you know what decisions they will influence.
2. Specify areas of focus
Narrow in on what you want to cover. Define what you want to include in your research efforts — such as a group of related ideas or upcoming features. Documenting this upfront will help you gain the insights you need to make informed product decisions.
3. Address the right customers
Identify who you will engage. Pinpoint the target personas, customer segments, and organizations that will gain the most value from the ideas and features you want to research. Layer in other information, like product usage data, to further inform who you reach out to.
4. Choose your method
Decide how you will engage customers. Aim to balance quantitative and qualitative methods so you can consider hard numbers and human sentiment as part of your analysis. Not all methods require timed contact — in-app feedback and customer polls can help you continuously gather input.
5. Put a plan in motion
Set a timeline for carrying out your research. Document the activities needed to fulfill the plan. Add a description and date for each activity to track what needs to happen and when. Assign to-dos to teammates who are carrying out the research to keep everyone aligned.
6. Analyze your findings
Review your findings. Summarize the common themes and highlight patterns that emerge. Distill learnings into a concise summary that the team can digest and capture any action items you need to follow up on.
Using this new template will help you organize the information you collect about customers and enable deeper insights since you can compare plans over time.
Ongoing customer research is how product managers uncover opportunities to deliver more value. The learning never stops.
Start a free trial today
Guided templates are available to all Aha! customers. Our suite of product development tools works seamlessly together to help teams turn raw concepts into valuable new capabilities — for customers and the business. Set strategy, crowdsource ideas, spark creativity, prioritize features, share roadmaps, manage releases, and plan development. Sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 700,000 product builders trust our software to build lovable products and be happy doing it.