Discover ways to gather user feedback and take action

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If you’re the administrator of a site like the S4 Marketing Resource Center (S4 MRC) that has several users, it’s important that you receive feedback from your users about their experiences in the system. This is especially true if you have more than a handful of users. It can be difficult to compile feedback and analyze it appropriately so that you can take the necessary actions. 

Gathering feedback from users will allow you to measure successes and improve end user satisfaction. Additionally, it will provide insight into how you can improve products and processes. Allowing users to openly provide feedback also has the potential to increase user adoption because they appreciate being engaged in the feedback process. Being engaged makes it more likely that they’ll use the system they’re providing feedback on.

To design your feedback model, start with determining the goals and what you hope to learn. Can you get the data you need in a simple survey with multiple choice or ranking questions? Or, do you need more in-depth feedback that might require one-on-one interactions? Also, consider how you will analyze the feedback you receive, as some methods are easier than others. Some common options include:

  • Surveys
  • Feedback forms within the system
  • Discussion forums
  • Direct conversations
  • Shadowing users

When possible, be sure to ask insightful, open-ended questions such as, “What do you like about [insert feature]?” or “How can [insert feature] be improved?” Be specific in your questions and avoid questions that could provide ambiguous responses. You may find it best to start small and only ask a few questions about a few features, and then expand upon that as you dive deeper in and have more functionality.

Also, consider user roles as you create questions, and know what questions would be most relevant to them. For example, you may want to ask new users about their experiences registering, experienced users about reorders or delivery and long-term users about the performance and successes they’ve seen from the system. Similarly, be sure to ask questions about features that role has access to, as it can skew answers if users don’t answer or answer negatively about a feature they don’t know anything about.

Sometimes, it’s beneficial to offer incentives for providing feedback. Depending on the level of engagement of your users, you may find this to be true. A note of caution regarding incentives: Make sure to clearly communicate that the incentive is only for providing the feedback/completing the survey. You don’t want the incentive to influence their feedback in anyway and give you falsely positive feedback.

Once you have received all your answers, it’s time to evaluate responses and come up with an action plan. It’s helpful if you can share some of the aggregate, anonymous feedback with users, as well as communicate what actions will occur as a result of the feedback. End users will appreciate this visibility and be more apt to provide feedback in the future if they know they’re being heard. Putting your action plan out there also holds you accountable to follow through on the items so they don’t slip off the radar.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Sample feedback: System isn’t easy to use; I can’t always find what I’m looking for; I’m not very tech-savvy so it takes me a while to figure things out

Sample analysis: Based on the feedback alone, there could be a number of things going on. Often, you may find you need to dig deeper to know what the root cause is. Do end users need more training? Does the site need to be set up different? What about the system isn’t easy to use?

Sample action plan: We’ll assume that in this scenario more training is needed. Formulate a plan to retrain your users. Will this be through webinars, live training, hands on sessions, or written documentation? Will you or the vendor complete it? What is the time frame? How will you prevent this from becoming an issue again?

Gathering feedback from users is extremely beneficial to keeping your marketing resource center operating efficiently. There are a number of ways to approach it, and which one you choose is entirely up to you and the type of information you hope to get. Regardless, be sure to follow through with the answers you receive so that you can maximize your investment and ensure users are satisfied.

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About the author

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Amy Galabinski

Amy Galabinski

Amy is the S4 MRC Services Manager. In her role, she leads software development plans, oversees product implementations, and serves as the customer advocate to the Suttle-Straus' S4 MRC team. She continually strives to make the S4 MRC a more robust tool that helps organizations streamline their workflows and increase productivity by ensuring their brand standards are consistently adhered to by their users. In her spare time, Amy enjoys playing and watching hockey, watching movies, and spending time with friends.
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Topics: Best Practices

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