Monday, February 1, 2016

What To Do When a Good Webinar Goes Bad

On Tuesday, January 26, I hosted a webinar titled, SaaS Training Product and Pricing Strategies. We had a special guest, Lynn Marie Viduya, Sr. Director of Global Education Services at BlackLine. Lynn is a software industry veteran specializing in enterprise customer education at Silicon Valley companies like Siebel Systems, NetSuite, and HostAnalytics.

We organized this webinar to help our audience think about how to package and pricing training. About one third into the webinar, we started taking questions from the audience (We like interactive webinars. That’s how we roll). We took perhaps a dozen questions and based on those, there was a lit of interest in how to sell training as a subscription.

In the last 20 minutes of the webinar, there were a lot of questions, and it was getting pretty exciting. I thought the webinar was going great. And judging by the participation, the audience did to.

Until...

When a Good Webinar Goes Bad Bill Cushard
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/83633410@N07/7658225516

About 10 minutes before the end of the webinar, the network at the office cut out and disconnected me from the webinar. 

It just ended.

In mid-sentence. 

Dead air.

Except...

Lynn, a technology education professional (a.k.a., a pro), understood the problem and wrapped up the webinar so that it did not seem like such a disaster.

Thank you, Lynn.

At this point the question was, “What should we do now?” Ignore it? Follow up? Send people an email? Call our PR department and strategize about our messaging so we can consistent? Good grief.

We didn’t do any of that. 

Within about 15 minutes, we sent a simple email acknowledging the abrupt end to the webinar. I won’t bore you with the entire email, even though it was short. But I will show you the subject line.

     Subject: Yes, I got disconnected.

We intentionally wanted that email to be a authentic. And real. And not better way to be real than to use that subject line. 

Here are some results of that email:

  • 64% opened it.
  • 3 people replied to the email with comments like this:

“I also facilitate webinars, so I know how unexpected things can happen. The webinar was great."

“Thank you for the webinar this morning on pricing! It was very insightful and definitely worthwhile."

“Thank you for today’s webinar. It was helpful."

Music to my ears.

I think the lesson here is this: Stuff like this happens. It is best to acknowledge it. Own it. Be a little self-deprecating. And respond right away.


What is your take away? 

4 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing the valuable information here. So i think i got some useful information with this content. Thank you and please keep update like this informative details.

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  2. Excellent response to a sticky situation, Bill.

    With webinars, I plan for them assuming they'll fail somehow - someone can't log in, the audio doesn't work, the connectivity drops out, etc etc.

    There's always the option to record it and send it out to those who had trouble.

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