Blog Post

How to recruit existing customers for your research

Once you’ve managed to bring your company and colleagues around to investing in User Research – read our blog post on how to do this here – it’s time to recruit participants.  

There are tonnes of different ways to recruit, but for the sake of word counts and attention spans, we’re just going to be focusing on how to recruit existing customers for user research in this piece. As well as potential customers, current customers are important to talk to when you want product feedback.  

1. Incentives

First and foremost, it’s important to offer an incentive for participants. This is likely to help you recruit customers in general as well as reduce the chance of no-shows. You can incentivise customers to get involved by offering cash, gift cards or a discount on your product. According to our Research Participant Happiness Study, 95% of participants want cash direct to bank – a key reason why Ayda offers participants a choice of how to claim incentives, including direct to bank.  

Not only will incentives encourage participants to take part but studies offering participants incentives have been found to have higher completion rates and fewer dropouts along the way.

2. In-product communication

This is perhaps the most obvious of all, but still deserves its own time in the spotlight. If your product is digital (e.g. software, app, a website with a login component) why not catch customers when they are in the product? I’m sure you’ve used an app or webtool that asked you if you would like to provide feedback.

This could be as simple as inserting a pop-up that asks if they’re interested in taking part in future research or an email campaign to current users asking for them to take part. Tools like Appcues or UserPilot are great ways to communicate with your users and catch them during usage in-product.

3. Social media!

We’re all reliant on social media for social and business these days so why not use it to your advantage? Those who follow you on social media may have used or purchased your product before. At the very least, they’re familiar with your brand. Social media is an easy way to connect with users. You can post links, polls, call to actions etc. We wrote a blog post about recruiting via LinkedIn which you might find helpful.

Ayda’s newest feature includes campaigns and screeners. Both can be shared via link on social media email to recruit and collect potential participant information.

4. Current customer touchpoints

You probably have more touchpoints with customers than you realize. Using current touchpoints is a perfect way to recruit current customers that won’t require tons of extra work. Maybe just a little back and forth with the marketing team 😉

I bet you’re already sending confirmation emails after purchase or sign up. You can use these communications as a bouncing off point very easily to ask if they’d like to be contacted for future research or take part in a specific project. I can’t even begin to tell you how many confirmation emails I’ve received that ask me if I want to give my feedback on the experience!

The same goes for customer support. Your support and success teams are already speaking to customers receiving both praise and complaints. If a participant is willing to feedback to your customer team, it is likely that they would be excited by the prospect of taking part in research. Try it out, it might go better than you expect!  

Last but not least – take advantage of your marketing team. Thinking about ways you can collaborate on email campaigns, social posts and even paid ads can save you a lot of time recruiting. Like all contact with your customer, try to ensure you’re adding value every time you contact them. In 2020 the average email open rate dropped to just over 21%. So, take 5 minutes and add something into your newsletters for immediate customer wide contact instead of sending another email that may just remain unopened!

Always communicate securely

Staying GDPR compliant is one of the most important things you can do as a researcher. Check out this blog article we wrote about the importance of GDPR and user research.  

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