Intercom is the perfect tool for finding candidates to test your product on. Using filters, you can quickly drill down into your userbase to identify subsets of people who match your requirements exactly. 

Here's an example:

A customer of ours set about creating a list of people in Intercom they would contact to participate in their user tests.

  • Firstly, they were going to user test with these people in person, so they needed to make sure they were close by, so the first filter was 'city is San Francisco'.
  • They wanted to avoid anyone who was new, or still onboarding, so they filtered to 'sessions is greater than 100'.
  • They wanted to make sure the users had used the feature recently, so they filtered on 'Last occurred less than 10 days ago'.
  • They wanted active users, so they filtered on 'last seen less than 30 days ago'.

So, now they had a list of users who they could contact and ask to participate in the research. They sent a message to about 15 of these customers, incentivized each customer with a month's free use of their product, and they got their 5 users scheduled in that same day. 

Here's more about how filters work.

Offer an incentive 

You should offer research candidates a small incentive like a voucher or a coupon in exchange for their time. This will encourage customers to participate and it will show them that you really do appreciate their help. For example, you can offer $5 for 5 minutes, $15 for 15 minuntes or $20 for 30 minutes, etc. 

Word of warning: It’s never a good idea to offer a free month of your product as an incentive as you could (unknowingly) be biasing your research participant. 

Target the right customers 

  • Customers who have used a specific feature recently - If you’re conducting research about a particular feature, you need to make sure the users you’re contacting have actually used it recently. Your filter here could be something like ‘Calendar feature used is true’ and ‘Last occurred less than 14 days ago’. 
  • Customers who haven’t used a specific feature recently - Sometimes you’ll want to know why customers have stopped using a particular feature. Your filters here could be something like ‘File exported is true’ and ‘Last occurred more than 30 days ago’. 

Don’t annoy the wrong customers 

Use common sense about who you contact for research. Once you have a list of potential research participants, you can check their user profile to see what their last conversation was, how they feel about your brand and when they were last contacted. It’s best to avoid the following people: 

  • Users who have helped you with research recently.
  • Angry customers whose last message was a complaint about pricing or a feature, for example. 
  • Recently contacted users. Before you send your message, you should add a ‘Last contacted at’ filter (e.g. ‘Last contacted more than 10 days ago’) to avoid over messaging. 
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