We learn something new every time we facilitate a workshop with customers. Often our new learning is about the challenges of customer recruiting—and ways to overcome them.
For example, to ensure that customers at a recent workshop showed up on time, we told participants that everybody who arrived 15 minutes early would have their name entered in a raffle for a $50 gift card (in addition to the compensation we’d promised them for participation). It turned out this was a great strategy to get everyone to arrive a little too early—as in, an hour prior to the workshop, when we were still doing pre-workshop prep with our client!
Recruiting is also a topic of extreme curiosity for our clients and attendees of our open enrollment journey mapping workshops. Below I’ll tackle some of our most frequently encountered questions and concerns.
How do we get customers to want to come to a workshop in the first place?
Bribe them! I’m only half joking—our clients typically give customers a gift card ranging from $250 to $500 for participation in a full-day workshop. Some companies, especially those in B2B industries, hold their workshops in desirable locations and then cover customers’ travel expenses. But the hard incentive is only part of the story. Many workshop attendees are thrilled that a company they do business with is taking the time to really listen to their stories and ideas. You can learn more about what’s in it for customers here.
What types of customers should we look for?
The most important consideration is finding customers who have experienced key journey events as recently as possible—they just won’t remember the nitty gritty details of experiences that occurred too far in the past. When we worked with a water utility that was interested in how customers got their water turned on when moving to a new home, we focused our recruiting efforts on people who had completed their move 4 – 6 weeks prior to the workshop. We also screen all participants by phone to check for the second most important attribute—the ability to be conversational, constructive problem solvers.
Who shouldn’t be there?
Anybody who has an axe to grind. Again, this is where there’s no substitute for a conversation with potential attendees prior to the workshop. Customers who have had rough experiences with your company are fair game—as long as they can be thoughtful and constructive about their experiences. But if someone goes on a twenty-minute rant during your phone screening, simply thank them for their time and put them in touch with someone from customer support who can help. Conversely, nix anybody who is too positive about their experience—folks who feel everything is fantastic as-is just aren’t going to have much to offer. During screening, ask potential recruits to briefly describe 1 – 2 ideas for how to improve their experience. No ideas, no workshop invite.