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Modern product teams continue to use customer-centric design at the core of their development processes to build better products. According to Gartner, 89% of companies compete solely based on customer experience. You’d be hard-pressed to find a product manager, designer, or UX professional who doesn’t feel that customer feedback and insight are an important part of the development cycle. This includes getting real-time, actionable, human insight from their customers to inform design, roadmap, and feature decisions.
Historically, this process has been challenging due to the significant upfront cost of recruiting the right participant, incentivizing them to provide quality feedback, and capturing their feedback in their native environment. UserTesting has made that significantly easier for product development teams with the recent public beta release of My Recruit.
Today, we’re excited to announce that My Recruit is officially generally available! My Recruit gives UserTesting customers the ability to create and launch a study with anyone, anytime—on-demand. Best of all, the feature is completely self-service, helping customers tap into insights from employees, existing customers, industry experts, and people within unique demographics. Since the initial public beta release, we’ve been listening and learning how our customers have been using feedback and insights to inform their development decisions. We’ve taken what we’ve learned and improved the feedback experience for participants. We wanted to share what we’ve learned in terms of best practices as well as tips to make getting feedback from your target audience faster and easier than ever before.
Few teams have the luxury of an in-house recruiting team, however, most teams do have a Data, Customer Marketing, or Sales Operations team that can help you pull a list of customers with certain characteristics. Understanding what you’re studying and how to get balanced feedback goes a long way. For example, when rolling out some changes to site navigation, Brandon Gasper of Turning Technologies says, “We wanted to know how some changes to a product would be received by our existing customers and ensure we were gathering a balanced view. We first ran a survey with our customers, then reached out with a My Recruit test to the 220 customers who stated that they were extremely satisfied and extremely unsatisfied.”
Getting feedback from your custom set of participants requires you to catch them with the study URL on the right channel, at the right time, with the right message. Some of your customers may engage with you through email, which is great because that’s easily tracked and measured. Using an email service provider or marketing automation provider enables you to get deeper into that data, showing open rate, click-through rates, and click-to-open ratios. Based on this data, you can change different factors such as time of day sent, subject line, content, etc… to increase the engagement of your My Recruit study. There are also other creative outlines to share your study link, including Slack and Social channels. Think about where your customers hang out digitally and try to reach them there.
One major difference between conducting a study with UserTesting’s panel versus your own customers is the conversion rate. People are busy, and it can be difficult to catch your target audience at a time where they’re able and willing to provide feedback. The rule of thumb we encourage at UserTesting is to send out 10x as many studies as you’ll need. So for example, if you need at least t five participants’ insights, send your study out to 50 potential participants. Your study will close once five participants have completed it, so it’s always better to cast a wide net early on.
At the end of the day, many of us are coin-operated. Having a compelling incentive is important to help your study get to the top of the ‘to do’ list of your customer. Experiment with different incentives beyond monetary compensation. Is there a way to get your customer early access to the product? Free products? Access to a special event? These are incentives that may be relatively inexpensive for you, but valuable to your customer. We’ve seen companies like Google create multi-step incentives. They’ve gamified their study process by building in incentives at every stage of the feedback loop. For example, they offered $10 for taking a survey, $25 for completing a My Recruit study, and $100 to hop on a call with the Product team afterward.
If your email inbox or calendar looks anything like mine, you’re neck-deep in conflicting priorities. The good news is that we’ve found that people are generally willing to help and want to feel heard in providing feedback—sometimes they just need an extra nudge to bring your email to the top of their inbox—so don’t be bashful about gently reminding your participants about the opportunity to provide feedback after your initial email. This personal message may be just what your participants need to provide feedback.
What tips and tricks have you found in using My Recruit? Feel free to reach out to tag us (@usertesting) on Twitter so we can share with our community!