What are conversational insights?

You may be wondering: what are conversational insights, how should I use them to understand my customers better, and what tools should I use? I’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.

Specifically, I cover the following:

What are conversational insights?

Sometimes also called conversational research, this type of consumer feedback is about the nuance and context of the spoken word. What are consumers saying, what does it mean in the context of the answer, and how does it apply to your business?

This type of research includes:

Why do we need conversational insights?

Certainly, there’s a place for quantitative research: On a scale of one to five, how much did you enjoy the meal? That can be helpful to understand the overall “what is going on and how are people self-reporting their feeling?”

And then, with the right conversational research technique, companies can understand why consumers feel a certain way and also see their body language and facial expression. That can give even more clues about their feelings, decisions, and opinions.

For example, a consumer might say, “yes, that sounds like a good idea,” but their body language and facial expressions might not align with that statement. The researcher can then ask a follow-up question in an online focus group to verify or dig deeper. In an asynchronous video survey, they can still read the body language and compare their hunch to the automatic sentiment analysis.

Read next: How to write research questions

Where conversational insights can be used

There are several ways to conduct conversational research to enhance consumer understanding, with the most popular applications including:

  • In-depth interviews
  • Usage and Attitude studies
  • Ad testing
  • Customer experience
  • Brand perception
  • Video testimonials
  • Win/loss
  • Creative testing
  • Shopper missions
  • Customer satisfaction
  • In-Home Usage Testing
  • Focus groups
  • Digital prototyping

Choosing the correct type of conversational insight strategy

The conversational research strategy depends on the goal, who we need to participate in the research, and the subject matter.

Some topics might need an in-depth one-on-one interview. Others would benefit more from a few dozen respondents answering a question through videos. And others yet might get the most out of a focus group where respondents can interact with each other.

But it also doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. At times, it can be a mix of strategies.

You might start with a quant survey, ask follow-up questions through a focus group or video survey and then follow up with another quant survey, as insights professional Jason Alleger discussed.

The analysis of conversational insights

Conversational insights platforms like Voxpopme don’t just gather insights but also help analyze them. That can include several ways.

Categorizing the overall sentiment

How much of your feedback was positive, negative, or neutral? Understanding consumer sentiment based on what they say is especially powerful.

example of consumer sentiment


Identifying themes

Conversational research can help us identify themes that consumers discuss. In the Voxpopme platform, I use theme explorer and builder to accomplish that task. The themes are generated based on what people say, and I can then review the most common themes based on what was said.

examples of consumer themes from conversational insights

Storytelling with conversational research

Conversational insights can help us bring the customer – or fan in the case of sports – to the table to ensure their opinions are heard and considered when decisions are made.

We have videos from our conversational research that can be powerful when we share certain soundbites from customers and consumers with decision-makers. They can see what’s being said, feel the emotion behind the response, and catch the subtle messages the consumer is sending. That helps your coworkers feel like they’re in the customer conversation too. 

Conversational insights can be a real game-changer for companies when done well. Many consumers want to talk, share their experiences and participate in a conversation. Why not make good use of it in your market research strategy?

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What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?