Where does feedback fit in to your strategy?

Blog

Hundreds of teams (maybe even yours) have already been using doopoll to gather information from their people to help in decision making.

But when you’ve realised just how valuable this information can be, what are the practical steps that you need to take to make the most of the information you’re getting from your polls?

We’ve thought about this topic a lot and we’ve narrowed listening to your audience into five stages in your strategy:

  1. Explore
  2. Engage
  3. Assess
  4. Evaluate
  5. Act

Let’s take a look at them together.

Explore

At the beginning of any project, scheme or campaign, you should always try to gather at least some information about the problem that you are trying to solve.

Let’s take an example.

I have a company that wants to add a new revenue stream to my business. I know the targets that I want to hit and my team have some really great ideas about how they might want to go about hitting those targets.

Ideas are brilliant – but if our customers or clients aren’t into it, they’re not going to give us the revenue stream that was the original objective of the whole campaign.

So after a discussion or two amongst ourselves, we fire up doopoll and begin creating a poll that asks users what their problems are and whether they would be willing to pay to have those problems resolved/eased.

Kinds of questions we ask?

  • What task takes up most of your time day-to-day? (Multiple Choice)
  • How likely would you be to use a product that automates the process? (Spectrum)
  • What would be the most important choice factors in this for you? (Budget)
  • Would you be willing to upgrade for a solution to your problem? (Yes / No)

Engage

Now that you have a clear idea and a well built poll for your users, you should begin to engage them in an open discussion. Mostly, this is a question of distribution of your poll and your approach will vary for each project.

But some things that you can consider are:

  • Where do the people I want to reach meet? – would it be best to use social media accounts to share a link to your poll or would it be more useful to send it through a MailChimp campaign? Some groups might be small enough to poll by sending links in personal messages.
  • Could you run the poll with a blog post too? – with doopoll you can already explain why you’re asking people to participate in your research using the poll description. But sometimes, it makes sense to expand on that with a blog post or video explaining in a bit more depth.
  • Consider setting a deadline for responses – polling is such a great way to gather feedback but most of the time, it’s helpful to your business to have a definitive end date to a consultation. And not only to you but also to your customers who are probably really busy. Give them a polite nudge a few times as the deadline approaches and you’ll be surprised at how many more responses you get.

Assess

As your request for answers to your poll progresses towards the deadline or the end of your consultation, it’s likely that you’re seeing a lot of momentum gathering. One of the good side effects of a polling process is that people also begin talking to you directly if they have any specific comments.

This is way more useful than giving people a survey with lots of text boxes. How much more valuable is it to be able to talk directly with people who really want to speak to you?!

It might be that some of the comments that you have received or the answers that people are giving to your poll are worth probing a little more.

With doopoll, you can add questions to a poll and have your respondents load up the page and pick up where they left off. No need for a separate poll.

Add more questions and send out your link again. As usual, explain to your respondents why you’ve added questions. You’ll get more interaction and engagement that way as people see that their answers and comments have had a positive impact on the process.

People love feeling that they have a valuable opinion. 

Evaluate

Eventually, you’ll reach a point where your polling process pauses or ends. This could be for a few reasons:

  • Perhaps there’s a clear outcome already
  • Maybe you’ve gathered enough data
  • Or the deadline you set for your poll has arrived

Whatever the reason, now’s the time to sit down with your team and your stakeholders. Have a look at the data that you gathered from your poll. We recommend loading up the Live Results screen onto a big screen or projecting it onto a wall.

Evaluate the data and see what the trends are. At this point, you can probably draw a good number of evaluations out. For example (continuing with our example above):

  • We’re surprised how many people do a lot of manual data entry
  • People really don’t mind doing so much of that
  • But they would be willing to upgrade their package if we helped them automate the process

Act

One of the biggest problems with user feedback (regardless of the platform or method used in gathering it) is that the data and conclusions sit dormant. Information that gathers dust is sad.

It is really important that people see that the time that they took to help you out is going to good use. You don’t have to immediately unveil your new product or even create anything new. Instead:

  • You could write an update about the process explaining what you’re going to do about the data gathered
  • And if you’re not going to do anything about it at all, perhaps you could explain why

Our experience is that people don’t mind giving their time to help you out as long as they can see that it wasn’t just a case of them shouting into a black hole.

Data is useful to you even if it inspires you to do nothing differently.


 

And those are the five steps of using polling and feedback in your campaign or strategy.

What do you think? Would you do anything differently? Let us know: marc@doopoll.co or @doopoll