User research when everyone loves your brand!

User research at Boiler Room is none like anywhere else. Through my experience at agencies and client side, we always had to include a hefty monetary incentive to entice users and even then I had to cross my fingers that they would show up.

This was not the case at Boiler Room, with 1.9 million Facebook followers and a private community of 9000 fans at my disposal, my biggest issue was our incentives were too good and all our fans wanted exclusive show entry and merchandise.

The three biggest issues I faced were:

  • Recruiting the right users

  • Overwhelmed and nervous feedback

  • When to present the incentive

Inspiration from Google

Through leading the Boiler Room community and holding regular user research sessions I became familiar with the fans. Some fans simply just wanted to visit our HQ and get the incentives without participating in any user research session.  Although we had a screener in place I had to be diligent in recruiting the right user as time was always precious.

Taking a leaf out of Google’s Captcha.

I introduced another screener typically in the form of a video call, voice call or another survey as a way to separate useful users from our fans to ensure the right users came in.

Every little thing is gonna be alright

At Boiler Room, things move at 100mph, from teams travelling across the globe to your favourite artist or Dj popping in. I always felt user's apprehensiveness prior to entering our HQ.

To limit this and make them feel comfortable:

  • I always met users at the door and greeted them by name

  • Dedicated 10 minutes to showing users around our HQ and to key rooms they’d be aware of from our Live shows

  • Introduced users to members of the Boiler Room team and anybody they knew (Users always knew someone).

The Incentive

Through past experiences, users were given their incentives at the end of user research sessions. However, with our offering of exclusive show entry and merchandise, waiting until the end didn’t work as users were eager to say the right thing to guarantee they’d receive the incentive. I thought it was simple, hand over the incentive early and everything is all good… I was wrong! Offering the incentive early sparked up a conversation that compromised the duration of the session. Through mixing and matching a tactic rose to the top:

Let the incentive be seen- During the 10 minute show around, I informed users that their incentive was waiting for them. Their incentives were placed in the meeting room where the session was being held with their names clearly visible. These simple tactic helped them feel at ease and allowed the session to flow.