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10 Best User Research Tools To Learn More About Your Customers In 2023

User Research Tools Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. UserTesting

    User research tool with a customer journey mapping feature

  2. Survicate

    Customer feedback automation with survey feature for gaining customer insights

  3. Hotjar

    User research tool with a heat map feature

  4. Userlytics

    User research tool with a dedicated QA team

  5. Lucky Orange

    User research tool with comprehensive visitor profiles

  6. Empathetic

    User research tool with a participant management feature

  7. Aurelius

    User research tool for organizing research data

  8. BetaTesting

    User research tool with a worldwide tester network

  9. EthOS

    User research tool with a live chat interview feature

  10. LogRocket

    Product analytics tool that uses session recordings to improve user experience.

Customer experience leaders are 3X more likely to exceed their business goals, according to a 2020 Digital Trends report by Adobe. How do you become a CX leader? Simple–by doing comprehensive user research to understand who your customers are, what problems they are facing, and how your product can best help them. 

One of the best ways to gather this information is by employing a user research tool. 

This article explores some of the best user research tools and how they can help you learn more about your customers. 

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best user research tools? Here's a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Users should be able to find valuable features easily to save time, so I look for software with a clean user interface. 
  2. Usability: I look for software that's easy to use and master so product teams can quickly uncover customer needs and address them. 
  3. Integrations: CX professionals use many research tools and user research methods, so I look for software that will work with their existing software and research tools. 
  4. Value for Pricing: I look for software with great features and reasonable pricing where companies can scale according to size or functionality needs. 

User Research App Key Features 

  1. Session replays: Allows companies to review recordings of how real-world users interact with digital products. 
  2. Survey creation: Allows users to create and send surveys to customers to get their insights on products and services.
  3. Research insight reports: Visualizations and reports for research data so product developers can glean actionable insights from user research.
  4. Heat maps: Visual representation of how real users interact with different features to help identify frequently-used features or trouble areas. 
  5. Chat feature: Allows UX professionals to chat with testers for real-time interview sessions. 

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Overviews Of The 10 Best User Research Tools & Software

Here's a brief description of each user research system to showcase each tool's best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface. 

1

UserTesting

User research tool with a customer journey mapping feature

UserTesting is a customer insights platform for gathering user feedback from digital and in-person experiences. UserTesting has an online community of testers you can tap into according to demographic categories you set yourself (age, gender, location, etc.). The software automatically generates highlight reels to help uncover patterns from numerous testing sessions. 

UserTesting is the best UX research tool with a customer journey mapping feature to understand how customers use your website, product, or mobile app. You can use UserTesting to identify points of frustration that could increase churn rate. UserTesting lets you scrutinize user behavior to uncover existing customer needs you can address in product updates.

UserTesting integrates with other tools like Google Analytics, Survey Monkey, Adobe XD, and Google Calendar.  

UserTesting provides pricing upon request. 

Trial Demo

Available upon request

2

Survicate

Customer feedback automation with survey feature for gaining customer insights

Survicate is an online survey tool for measuring NPS, CSAT, CES, and other customer service aspects. It has customizable surveys that allow you to change the colors, fonts, and layouts and brand your survey to make it unique. You can use Survicate to automate surveys using customer behaviors like exit intents, length of website visits, and website scrolling speed. 

Survicate has a free forever plan with limited features for up to 25 responses per month, while the pricing for the paid plans starts at $65/month/up to 250 survey responses.

From $65/month/up to 250 survey responses

3

Hotjar

User research tool with a heat map feature

Hotjar helps you understand how users experience your website. It has live playbacks of user movement to monitor clicks, scrolls, and mouse cursor pathways. It can even determine where “rage clicks” happen, usually marked by multiple high-pressure clicks in one area. Hotjar has a survey tool for creating targeted surveys for users and members of online communities to understand your users better, and receive ideas and suggestions. Hotjar can also create a user suggestions box to get direct customer feedback about your website, mobile app, or product. 

Hotjar is the best user research tool for heat maps. Hotjar's heatmaps let you see where users click, move, and scroll while using your website to identify the most used features. It lets you compare user behavior before and after releasing changes to assess their impact. You can also use Hotjar to identify seldom-used features to improve or replace them with better options.  

Hotjar integrates with tools like Google Optimize, Segment, Optimizely, and Omniconvert. You can connect Hotjar to a paid Zapier account to access more premium apps. 

Hotjar has a free forever plan with limited features, while the pricing for paid plans starts at $31/month/up to 30,000 sessions. Hotjar offers a free 15-day trial of their paid plans. 

15 days free trial

From $31/user/month

4

Userlytics

User research tool with a dedicated QA team

Userlytics is a usability testing platform with a global participant panel for testing your product or app. Userlytics has a custom screener for targeting a specific demographic or customer community during testing. It has UX reports for visualizing user test results, including actionable insights for improving customer experience

Userlytics is the best user research tool with a dedicated QA team to make sure that you have the quality results you need. With the help of Userlytics' QA team, you can save time because you don't have to scrub test results. This can also help weed out unqualified respondents that might compromise the integrity of test results. 

Userlytics pricing starts at $49/month/account and offers a free demo upon request. 

No free trial

From $49/user/month

5

Lucky Orange

User research tool with comprehensive visitor profiles

Lucky Orange is a user research tool with heat maps to track customer engagement with your website. You can record customer sessions to know how customers use your website—where they are slicking, hovering, and getting stuck. It has live chat to touch base with customers based on page behavior or traffic segmentation. 

Lucky Orange is the best user research tool for fleshing out comprehensive visitor profiles. Visitor profiles keep track of customer interactions across their history with your product as well as basic data like chat logs, key events, pages viewed, when they were last online, and what (if anything) they bought. 

Lucky Orange has a free version with limited features, while the pricing for paid plans starts at $18/month/account. They offer a 7-day free trial of their paid plans. 

7 days free trial

From $14/month

6

Empathetic

User research tool with a participant management feature

Empathetic is user research software for getting insights from customers. It acts as the central repository of research data where product teams can store video files and audio transcriptions of user interviews. This customer intelligence platform lets you send micro surveys that participants can quickly finish to increase response rates. 

Empathetic is the best UX research tool with a participant management feature for finding and recruiting research participants. This platform can add tags to research participant profiles to segment participants in groups. 

You can send notifications to targeted participants to increase survey participation rate. 

Empathetic provides pricing details and a free demo upon request. 

Free demo upon request

Pricing upon request

7

Aurelius

User research tool for organizing research data

Aurelius is a user insights platform for collecting research data to assist in product improvement and prototype testing. It has a report builder feature for automatically creating research reports for customer sessions and user interviews. Aurelius lets you create highlight reels for emphasizing patterns you can share with stakeholders

Aurelius is the best UX research tool for organizing research notes. This platform can transcribe user interviews and research sessions and convert them into text files. This makes user interviews much easier to search for certain keywords; in fact, the program can even pull out highly used terms for your consideration. 

Aurelius pricing starts at $49/month/account and offers a 30-day free trial. 

30-day free trial

From $49/month/account

8

BetaTesting

User research tool with a worldwide tester network

BetaTesting is a user research software for customer engagement data and user feedback on iOS and Android apps. You can use BetaTesting to conduct group tests by scheduling multiple users simultaneously. This UX research software has an in-app bug submission feature so participants can report errors and help you improve your tests.

BetaTesting offers access to a worldwide tester network to get feedback from real users in their native environments. They have a network of more than 350,000 testers and allow for targeting of a specific demographic like age, gender, location, education, or tech experience. BetaTesting's screening survey tool lets you refine your targeting by only admitting testers who passed pre-set qualifications. 

BetaTesting pricing starts at $650/month for up to 4 tests per year.

From $650/month for up to 4 tests per year

9

EthOS

User research tool with a live chat interview feature

EthOS is a UX research tool for gathering pictures, videos, and audio data from your customers as they use your products in real time. It has notifications (email and push) to alert respondents to new surveys or testing opportunities. EthOS supports unlimited video length so it’s great for products that take more than a few minutes at a time to explore.

EthOS has a great live chat interview feature for real-time user conversations. EthOS lets you ask follow-up questions based on user activity in a direct messaging window. This user research software lets you conduct individual chat sessions or focused group discussions that can include multiple participants. 

EthOS provides pricing details and a demo upon request. 

Free demo upon request

Pricing upon request

10

LogRocket

Product analytics tool that uses session recordings to improve user experience.

LogRocket is a frontend monitoring and product analytics software. This product analytics platform has a session replay feature for reproducing issues encountered during user sessions. You can use it to monitor frontend performance issues like page load times, browser crashes, or component rendering to see how they affect user engagement and conversion rates. 

LogRocket has a free forever plan for up to 1,000 sessions. Pricing for the paid versions starts at $99/month/for up to 10,000 sessions. LogRocket offers a 14-day free trial. 

14 Days Free Trial

$99/month

The 10 Best User Research Tools & Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
UserTesting

User research tool with a customer journey mapping feature

Trial Demo

Available upon request Visit Website
2
Survicate

Customer feedback automation with survey feature for gaining customer insights

Not available

From $65/month/up to 250 survey responses Visit Website
3
Hotjar

User research tool with a heat map feature

15 days free trial

From $31/user/month Visit Website
4
Userlytics

User research tool with a dedicated QA team

No free trial

From $49/user/month Visit Website
5
Lucky Orange

User research tool with comprehensive visitor profiles

7 days free trial

From $14/month Visit Website
6
Empathetic

User research tool with a participant management feature

Free demo upon request

Pricing upon request Visit Website
7
Aurelius

User research tool for organizing research data

30-day free trial

From $49/month/account Visit Website
8
BetaTesting

User research tool with a worldwide tester network

Not available

From $650/month for up to 4 tests per year Visit Website
9
EthOS

User research tool with a live chat interview feature

Free demo upon request

Pricing upon request Visit Website
10
LogRocket

Product analytics tool that uses session recordings to improve user experience.

14 Days Free Trial

$99/month Visit Website

Other Options

Here are a few more that didn't make the top list.

  1. Pixis Insights - AI tool for assessing audience pulse and identifying market trends. 
  2. Great Question - Customer research platform for turning customer interviews into research data and reports. 
  3. Loop11 - User testing platform for uncovering product insights.
  4. Qualaroo - User feedback tool for surveying website and mobile app users. 
  5. Lookback - Usability testing tool for websites, prototypes, and mobile apps. 
  6. ProProfs Survey Maker - Tool for creating surveys and online forms. 
  7. UserZoom - UX research tool for improving digital experiences. 
  8. Dscout - Research tool for running customer studies. 
  9. User Interviews - Platform with an existing participant pool for quickly launching research.  

What do you think about this list?

Knowing what customers want and need is important for companies because they can use this information to improve their products and develop new ones. The best user research tools can help companies uncover customer needs and product improvement opportunities. With innovations stemming from customer insights, companies can improve customer engagement and increase their revenues. 

Aside from user research tools, there are other tools your company can use to improve your products and services, and you can learn about them when you subscribe to The CX Lead.

By Hannah Clark

Hannah Clark is the Editor of The CX Lead. Her goal is to bring together a community of CX professionals to learn, interact, and voice their own opinions on this ever-evolving industry.

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