What is Feedback Management
Feedback Management supports you collecting and evaluating your customer's, employee's, or other business process participant's feedbacks.
Your products or services sell better when they really add value. A good idea can be made better by collecting requests and suggestions from your customers in a consolidated way. Often, suprising insights will surface.
Your employees are your most importang resource. Listen to your employees and provide a work environment which stimulates productivity. Employees have not only wishes concerning their work environment, though. They have valuable input on how to improve your company's offers, as well.
Which Approaches to Employ
How to establish and operate Feedback Management? Different target audiences and evaluation purposes require their most suitable measures.
You ask for opinions. It sounds easy, but it's not. Defining a questionnaire requires experience. The right questions need to be asked, depending on the survey targets. A meaningful answer spectrum needs to be defined. How many answer options? An even or an odd number of answer options? Increasing or decreasing? Online or paper based survey?
Of course, the target audience needs to be identified and available for the survey.
Internet Data Mining
While surveys can be very accurate, an identified and cooperative target audience as a prerequisite. On the other hand, via data mining, unstructured information already produced by the target audience can be harvested from the Internet.
- Blog entries
- Online comments on evaluation sites
- Discussions on forums
- Web statistics
Free Text vs. Forced Choice
The result of a survey needs to be easily readable and presentable. Most often, forced choice questions will be chosen, because the result fits into the predefined categories and can be statistically evaluated without problems.
On the other hand, a survey should also provide relevant new insight, whereas the target audience does not always think within predefined categories. And more often than not, valuable feedback is lost because the questions are too generic for answers to provide insight.
To provide a lot of space for free text answers within the survey is a very promising approach. After a limited number of meaningful forced choice questions, the participant can provide unstructured feedback in a single, large text field. The results can be astonishing.
The apparently unstructured answers will reveal patterns as well, whenever more than one person provide similar feedback. Of course, the number of identical unstructured feedback is small, it is not less relevant. Quite the contrary!
The following example shows the result of a survey about participant satisfaction during an event.
The forced choice result is unambiguous and easy to grasp: The majority of the participants was happy with the event. Nevertheless, we won't receive any insight about those who were not satisfied.
If the participants are allowed to provide unstructured feedback, the following kind of statements will be given:
The results are clear instructions about what to improve for the next event. Of course, not all feedbacks have the same level of relevance, but often small changes or improvements are sufficient to attract an additional person for the next event - or not to lose them.