Podcast | The Fundamentals Of Collecting Useful Feedback

Gary Stringer
December 20, 2023

Collecting feedback can be a challenge, especially when it comes to our content! From the framing to the timing, it’s easy to get the basics wrong, but this episode helps us get it right.

Matt Laybourn, Founder of Rockee - a platform built to collect content feedback in real time - joined Gary to talk us through the fundamentals of capturing feedback we can use.

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0:00 Intro to the episode, Matt and Rockee
4:04 The basics of good feedback
8:38 Is there trust in your content?
13:20 Improving content through feedback
16:44 Low-hanging fruit and quick wins
19:38 When we collect feedback matters
26:34 Storytelling using feedback
31:28 Keep feedback personal

Five lessons on collecting useful feedback in L&D 

1. Death by survey questions = a drop off in completion and a poor data sample

Designing a survey or feedback mechanism as a group ends up in this big long survey, where we’re likely to see a drop off rate and that gives us a broken data sample right away. Maybe 90% finish question one, 70% question two and so on.

We need to be concise and know exactly what we want in terms of feedback from that audience.

2. Ask if your content has delivered what it promised the end user

“The biggest thing that I would always look to answer with any type of content is are you serving on user intent? So if the title of your content is something like seven tips on how to improve a process, you've set out what you're giving the audience and you've given them an expectation.

“And one of the first questions you should ask is have we delivered on the thing that we said we were going to do? And it can be simple as yes or no. Do not overcomplicate it.”

If someone says, no you haven’t delivered, then you can bring in qualitative to find out why you haven’t met the user intent.

“I would only do qualitative maybe only once in a whole survey, just so you’re making sure you're understanding what the problem is and how you can go and solve it.

“That's where the real gold is. The gold is not in 17 different quantitative questions where you end up guessing even more about how good the content is afterwards. The gold is setting up what the problem is, trying to find it really quickly, and then finding out the why behind it.”

3. Qualify your audience (we have to make sure feedback comes from relevant people)

What if a percentage of the people responding to your surveys or feedback aren’t actually the type of people whose insights benefit you?

You might take action based on the feedback of people you were never targeting in the first place!

Matt gave a great example from one of his Rockee customers. They’re a B2B business, selling to HR tech professionals. And they get a lot of students going to their site and leaving feedback on the content. But that’s not their target audience, so their feedback just isn’t relevant.

So, have you segmented your outbound feedback to reach the right people? And for your open channels, are you asking who provided feedback.

For example, if we want to understand perception of our marketing efforts internally, including marketing people in the response skews the feedback - so we’d probably want to exclude them.

4. Collecting real-time feedback improves our quality and volume of responses

We are being bombarded with messages and notifications more than we ever have before.

So when we send surveys about content completed a month, a week or even a day ago, we’re trying to cut through clutter. And we’re also hoping that amongst all that clutter, people are able to recall how useful a piece of content was.

“Unless we're collecting things in real time, you're just breaking the data. And if you start sending out surveys on something that happened a while ago, the longer the time frame it is, the worse their data will be. 

“And you'll make decisions which simply don't work. Whereas if you're collecting in real time, you can get kind of real visceral responses."

5. Feedback can help you tell great stories that get buy in

There are two sets of stakeholders we need to win over. The senior management and the end users or consumers of our content.

For those end users, their role is measurable in some way! And if we’re collecting regular feedback on our content and what we do, we can tell a story of tangible business improvements.

“If you're collecting feedback regularly on your content… depending on what your opening kind of question - maybe it’s how effective was this content? or has this content solved your problem? 

“You can turn that into your net promoter score and use that as a champion metric to take to senior management and go, we've been tracking it for six months. Our net promoter score on how we enable people, educate people or train our teams is continually going up.

“We're getting really good feedback responses. And where we haven't met the mark, we're getting qualitative responses as to how we can make those improvements.”