Customer Research: What is it and How to do it

Peter Abraham
2 min readSep 16, 2023


I’ve been leading an infrequent series of free Zoom workshops, and I recently brought my friends Ed Cotton and Eve Ejsmont together to teach us how to do customer research. In my experience, most organizations (businesses, non-profits, schools, government agencies, you name it) do not spend enough time understanding their customers and various communities. I’ve spent the last 15 years doing (mostly qualitative) customer research on behalf of clients as well as businesses where I’ve been the CMO. And never once during the research process have I failed to learn something (or many things) that are surprising, actionable and ultimately extremely valuable for the organization.

The process of mapping customer research onto the user’s journey

While I am totally self taught in the research process, my workshop guests are not. Both Ed and Eve have decades of experiences working with many different kinds of clients to glean important customer insights. In fact, Eve has a master’s degree in Anthropology. Moreover, they both know how to package the learnings and turn them into an actionable road map for an organization.

Here are the topics we covered:

1. What is customer research and why do it?

2. The difference between qualitative and quantitative research (we’ll spend more time on qualititative)

3. The conversations to have with your team before you start the research

4. How to find and recruit interviewees

5. How to conduct an interview

6. How to develop actionable insights from the research

7. How to package and sell the insights to your team or clients

8. Some smart questions from attendees.

If you want to learn about the craft of research, I highly recommend the video.