How can I decrease no-shows when doing user interviews?

Hello! Recently my team and I have been doing tons of interviews for the purpose of building user personas. For the last few weeks we have had almost EVERYONE flake on us. I honestly can’t understand it.

Our scheduling tool is very efficient and sends out several reminders, as well as allowing them to opt-in to text reminders, which many people do. We offer them a $100 Amazon Gift Card for their time (a virtual interview of 30-45 minutes), which, based on my research is an above-market rate. I include a personal message inviting them to reach out with any questions or concerns. The interviews that we do perform are informal, friendly, efficient, great experiences for everyone involved. I include a “what to expect” in the invitation email which explains exactly what to expect and makes it clear the experience won’t be formal or invasive. I send a follow-up if they don’t show up, with a link to reschedule, which some people do. But lately no one responds or reschedules.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated… we had good experiences in the past but recently have reached an 85% dropoff rate from sign-ups to completions.

I don’t think there is a formula to decrease people not showing up. Some people just don’t feel like answering and just ignore when they change their mind or something comes up for them. The best recommendation I can say is reach out to double or more for the amount of people you plan to test with.

Yes, that’s a good strategy too. We’re starting to expand the pool. It just means we have to send cancellations when we reach our max for certain categories. Appreciate the advice!

thanks for the awesome information.

I’d take a look at the wording of your letter. Are people who are receiving perceiving this as a legit thing or a possible scam? The whole “$100 gift card” might make it appear to be suspect - perhaps offer a check or paypal transfer rather than a gift card? Does the letter provide enough information that it is trustable? Can you attempt a survey for those who did not follow up/respond as to why they didn’t? Should be quick/easy with choices provided.

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